My Grand Finales for 2020

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.

“Ode On A Macedonian Urn” diptych

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.


Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

12 responses to “My Grand Finales for 2020

  1. Calliope is fantastic and I’m glad to see the other side of Ode On A Macedonian Urn. I like how the lines carry across from one side/piece to the other but don’t quite connect. Improvisational piecing, I think I’ve done some of that, haha. Happy New Year.

  2. I love your comments. Blobby? Haha. I’m so jealous that you took a class from Rosalie Dace. Where? I’ve got to watch for one of those. It’s been on my bucket list forever . . .

    • I think Rosalie often teaches at the Quilt Surface Design Symposium in Columbus Ohio and at Nancy Crow’s barn outside of Columbus. All bets are off about in person classes for a while.

  3. Beautiful accomplishments! And as usual you show your confidence in choosing your design sources, being that one is an homage to another artist, and the other is based on an original photograph. A lovely way to finish the year!

  4. kjk9x

    Love Love Love Urn, and love the fact that it is an asymmetric diptych as a way to solve the red problem. Happy new year!

  5. What a great way to start my morning, by looking at these three incredible quilts! Calliope is just stunning with all its color and movement, and Joanna’s quilting is spot on. The Ode quilts make me want to go grab fabric and have some fun. I like that you decided to cut the quilt up and it turned out to be a great idea. While I get that you think you need to hang them together, I think they could each stand alone too. Definitely grand finales – and well done!

    • Thanks so much. These projects span almost 10 years of my life, and have shown me what I have learned over time. That includes the wisdom of finding alternative ways to complete a piece, whether bringing in a quilting expert or altering a composition.

  6. cjlk2012

    This is truly a WOW !!! Great design and fabric/color choices by Joanna #1; great quilting choices by Joanna #2. A win, for sure!

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