Beaches and Rocks

A happy belated Thanksgiving to all of you.  I had a very wonderful deconstructed turkey meal that my son Ale cooked for us on Saturday.  I had a house full of guests, lovely turkey smells throughout the house … and although it ended up being a very expensive meal … it was well worth the money spent to see Ale cooking again and taste some of his foods.  Although I do have to say that I spent two days washing dishes after him!  That’s our deal:  he cooks, I clean … every pot, every pan, every spoon … used and re-used and used again! :-)  I realized afterwards that I forgot to take pictures, so no photos of the meal this time around.  You’ll have to trust me when I say it was delicious!

But after all that food and all that cooking and washing, I needed to do something different, so while he slept, I started a new piece of work on Sunday with some of the ideas I had been playing with, and some of the pieces I had been working on.  This was all going to be about 24″ x 48″, but decided to start small and see if I liked the way it was shaping, so here it is so far.  This will end up being 20″ x 20″.  You will recognize some of the images from previous postings.


I have all those rocks made, and made about 12 more on Monday, so they will get added around the ones you see on the bottom left-hand side.  The printed image is part of the ones I asked Laura Kemshall of Fingerprints to print for me.  I have to say I love the way they look.  Stunning images, well worth the price paid. This is the image that I had printed on fabric:


My idea is to applique the fabric rocks over the rocks that were cut off (at the edges) to blur the hard edges a bit and incorporate the print into the rest of the quilt.  I know I will applique at least 3 or 4 to the print and then all around the ones I already have.

I thought that quilting around the rocks was going to be difficult, but I was pleasantly surprised and it was not.  I was able to get quite close to them.  Now I know for future pieces that I can actually make more rocks by placing the shape between the two layers of fabric – and then applique the rest once the piece is fully quilted.  In this piece, I have only three done in this manner, although it will be interesting to see if there is a marked difference between the two methods once the piece is finished and all the embroidery has been added around it (see previous blog).


I have quilted it with vertical and horizontal lines every 1/8″ or so, quite tight, and have echo quilted around the rocks at the bottom, to give the idea of ripples in the sand and the marks left behind by the ocean receding. I still have aobut 1/3 of the top to quilt. You can see more detail in the close-up above.

I am not sure what’s going to happen at the top right hand corner of the work, in the big expanse of grey fabric.  As it is the case with most of my work recently, part of it is planned, and part of it is well, serendipity?  Left to what pops in my mind at the time?  Who knows?  There’s an element of angst in working this way, because the work sits on the table or design wall for a while until it becomes clear in my mind the direction it needs to take, but … it keeps me on my toes!  And I get to make all those smallish pieces of work to try the techniques I’m thinking of using before I go ahead and do it on the actual piece of work.

This is how far I got on Sunday and Monday.  Stay tuned.  I’ll post more with updates.

Now that I used some precious time to play, I need to go back and finish preparing for Houston which is in a couple of weeks.  I will arrive for Market on Saturday October 26th and will be doing a couple of demos on the 27th and 28th in the morning at Wonderfil Threads.  So if you are planning on attending Market this year, stop by and say hi.  Otherwise, I’ll see you around walking the floors and looking at quilts during Festival.

And if you have been, keep quilting.


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