Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone


Feather Play I
(16" x 16")
Inspiration for this little art quilt came from several terrific sources. During a workshop in May, quilt artist Sharon Schamber encouraged me to include more texture in my quilting by adding small scale stitches to the larger motifs. And quilt artist and fellow blogger Jill Buckley posted a lovely piece of work to her site that helped push me in the right direction. I asked Jill's permission to adopt her idea and blog about it.
I then referenced Mary Nordeng's Extreme Makeover: Feather Edition, a gem of a book which I purchased from Kim Brunner's web site, and I adapted one of Mary's sketches for my design. I auditioned a number of different micro-stippling patterns inside the feathers; in the end, I decided to use just one pattern repeated in each feather.

I used my lightbox to transfer the design to the fabric; then I pulled out the 30-weight and 40-weight rayon threads and began stitching.

I had so much fun playing with this technique, but it did take me some time to complete the piece because I work so s-l-o-w-l-y. I wouldn't want you to hear the sound of my machine as I quilt -- a friend who took a class with me told me that she thought I could probably hand-quilt faster than I was machine-quilting. Watching me stitch is as exciting as watching grass grow. But I do find that quilting is meditative for me -- works better than sitting in the lotus position and chanting "ohm."
So, I say "thank you" to Jill for her inspiration and to all of you who follow my blog and send along great words of support -- you lift my spirits.

Diane

16 comments:

Quilt Rat said...

OMG! This is absolutely Stunning! Your stitching is beautiful.....you sure need confidence in your stitches when using such luscious thread colour
Thank you Diane, I am thrilled to think that I could be a small part of the inspiration for this piece.

Marilyn Rock said...

Beautiful Diane! Love the "whispiness" of this pattern. You are a magician with fabric, thread, and design! xxoo

Diane Wright said...

Wow! That's extreme! I admire your workmanship and design...really inspired. Thanks for sharing.

Judy Alexander said...

Your quilting is amazing! Love the design too.

Loreen Leedy said...

Nice work, love it! I like to FMQ super-slowly at times, too. Can't say my stitching is this precise, though. : )

Ruth Anne Olson said...

This is so beautiful. It certainly doesn't look as if it's outside your comfort zone. I love it.

Deborah said...

Lovely details.

Mary-Kay said...

Wow! That's beautiful.

Tracey said...

Just gorgeous. Sharon is a great teacher and has influenced my work quite a bit too. I wish I had the patients to work slowly , I think is very admirable especially when you get the results you do.

imquilternity said...

Another masterpiece!! Why am I not surprised? Diane, you are a masterful artist/quilter? Whatever the term you choose, you do exquisite work!

moosestashquilting said...

That's spectacular.

Victoria said...

beautifully done!

tangled stitch said...

It's a beautiful, beautiful art quilt and I love that you use the sewing machine as a meditation.

shellysquilts said...

This is gorgeous! Well done!

beewitchinstitchin said...

This is beautiful. You made me laugh when you mentioned how s.l.o.w.l.y you quilt. I'm a s.l.o.w quilter, too. It's easier for me to control my stitches and feel in control. It's not about speed; it's about being comfortable, enjoying yourself and being satisfied with the outcome. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing...Kathy

martins111 said...

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