The Paths Often Taken

Desire lines are paths “created as a consequence of erosion caused by human or animal foot traffic. The path usually represents the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination. … Desire paths emerge as shortcuts where constructed paths take a circuitous route, have gaps, or are non-existent.” (Wikipedia) If you have been on a campus or a street with no paved walks you have most likely seen informal desire lines worn down to dirt.

Such paths weren’t on my mind when I began my quilt “Desire Lines” but once I began the quilting the subject snapped into focus. Much of the fabric and quilting structure is rectangular, yet the white lines in the dark purple/blue fabric suggested parts of paths to me that needed to connect irrespective of a grid.

“Desire Lines” 24 by 34 inches

To emphasize the informal paths I hand stitched two curving paths in red, orange, and yellow.

“Desire Lines” detail

I finished the edges with fused strips of dyed Pimatex using Frieda Anderson’s method and added a line of orange stitching to make sure the strips stay put.

It’s always interesting to see how a piece can find its way, no matter how nebulous its starting point.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.

18 Comments

Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

18 responses to “The Paths Often Taken

  1. Jane E Herbst

    I like it!! I like the various elements and how they play together, I especially like the part about the piece evolving as you made it, which has been the story on some of my favorite fiber results. The lighter/brighter colors add a good ping without taking over, allowing an overall peaceful feel.

  2. Donna

    I really like this piece. I love your color and fabric choices. I love the texture you created with the quilting. I find the white lines emerging from the fabric a thoughtful and intriguing detail and something I may very well explore in my own quilting. But, don’t hit me, this is only my opinion, I find the red and orange lines distracting. I feel they obstruct my view of what I really want to see.

    • First, I am not going to hit you. I hope I am open to all opinions. Second, I debated whether to add the orangey curves, and still am of two minds about them. It may be that I am will rip them out at some point as a piece is never done.

  3. Wow, I see an aerial view look to this now, the stitching pushing the patchwork back. I love the curves. I’m noticing more now the contrast/gradient from the center out to the edges, and that binding it makes a nice finish.

  4. I always find it interesting to see where a piece takes me, especially when I’m pretty sure I have it all figured out. I never knew those shortcut paths had a name, so that was fun to learn. However, I especially enjoyed seeing this piece, the play of the fabrics and the quilting. Great piece!

  5. Thank you for the link to the binding from Frieda Anderson. I’m going to try it on my quilt today. Also it was nice to see all the curved lines on a geometric piece. Great job!

  6. Vicki in MN

    You really made this piece a unique art piece.

  7. kjk9x

    This is my favorite of all the pieces you have made in the past few months. The juxtaposition of curve v. grid is really cool, and you have enhanced what might have otherwise been a rather ho-hum piecing with those pieces that have the white lines. The whole thing is balanced into a whole, though. Lovely! 🙂

  8. Nice! I’m seeing it as if from an airplane above fields.

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