In 2020 I started and finished (with the help of longarm quilter Joanna Marsh) my last ever large project, “Calliope.” I also finished a piece I began in 2011 at an intensive five day workshop with Rosalie Dace. It’s a relief to have that project out of the closet and ready to display.
In early 2020, before the C word was everywhere, I developed a large quilt I call “Calliope.” It is based on stained glass windows designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and ended up measuring 42 inches wide by 72 inches long. I knew there was no way my quilting could do it justice, given its size. Yes, I could have simply done straight line quilting on my machine, but I wanted something more given the effort I had put into the fabric, design and piecing. Thanks to Instagram I looked at work done by several longarm quilters, and chose Joanna Marsh of Kustom Kwilts for her modern aesthetic. It didn’t hurt that we have the same first name.
Since I got Calliope back I’ve added facings and a hanging sleeve. She still needs a good photo, but these will do for now.
“Ode On A Macedonian Urn” began as a large single piece and is now two long, narrow ones. It is based on a photo my husband took during his time in Macedonia, hence the name. (Note: that country is now called North Macedonia, thanks to Greek objections.) Back in 2011 I was new to original art quilt design and didn’t realize that a large piece wasn’t a prudent choice, given my inexperience. I did a sketch from the photo, then designed on the wall for the first time. Rosalie Dace guided me gently as I blundered through it. Once it was sewn together with some improvisational piecing, I put it in the closet until my free motion skills improved.
Finally I realized that my skills were about as good as they were going to get, and I put the piece back on the design wall. I saw that the large red shape in the middle was too blobby, and I didn’t like what was on the lower right. With a “what’s the worst that could happen” shrug I cut it into two pieces and trimmed off about eight inches from the bottom right. I decided the two piece version worked better, and used a combination of walking foot and free motion quilting to complete my oldest unfinished work.
Of course, I’ve painted myself into a corner as the pieces need to be displayed together to have any impact, but I’m glad that my 2021 quilting to-do list will NOT include this UFO.
I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.