In The Weeds

Sometimes I quilt a piece I’m not so enamored of to avoid dealing with a piece I haven’t a clue about and don’t want to screw up. Yet again I’ve sidestepped a larger (around 45 by 50 inches) piece by tackling a smaller one that I’m not heavily invested in emotionally.

In keeping with my recent efforts to use fabrics I created, I combined tissue paper and stamped fabrics with orphan blocks to make “In The Weeds.”

I kept cutting off bits and then adding strips, and finished up with a thermofax print; so the piece is a hodgepodge of surface design techniques. I decided it looked like a patch of weeds so I called it “In The Weeds.” I recalled that term being used by restaurant workers so I looked it up and came across this post at The Word Detective.

I decided the following sums up my methodology:

. . . as Mark Liberman points out, the use of “into the weeds” to mean “delving deep into the details” doesn’t carry the same sense of painful confusion as the restaurant use, and such “weed wandering” is actually the sort of thing true policy wonks enjoy. As he says in his Language Log post, “The metaphor here seems to be that when you wander off the beaten path, you can explore arbitrary amounts of not-very-valuable intellectual foliage (“weeds”) without getting closer to your conceptual destination.”

In other words, I’m on a side spur just detouring around that larger, more serious piece. Because I didn’t really care whether or not the piece was ruined I ran roughshod over it with free motion quilting. That was fun but resulted in quilting that would elicit “strive to maintain consistency in stitch length” from a show judge. I also learned that tissue paper fabric needs a longer length stitch than I used.


October 20, 2017 · 5:11 am

10 responses to “In The Weeds

  1. Really neat use of your fabrics and colors, they make a great composition. I especially like the use of the Thermofax to add another layer and I love your quilting. I’ve had many student who were afraid to even try free-motion quilting finally get into it when they learned it is simply drawing with thread and no quilting police can tell them how it is supposed to be done (I’m not talking about quilts for competition, of course). That link was interesting too, thanks.

    • Thanks. I’ve been getting into overlays of printing after a top is pieced as a way to unify the blocks. And I do love thermofax screens. Re: FMQ, at a recent local show I saw that for winning in competition intense FMQ is de rigueur. It’s not what I can do. What you call thread drawing is more my approach.

  2. What an interesting piece. It looks great!

  3. As usual, I agree with Kerry. Can I just say “ditto!”?

  4. I think it’s great to have these projects that can be experimental, without a lot of angst involved in how they turn out. I also think this one turned out really well!

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