Saturday, January 3, 2009


The small and fabulous fiber art group I belong to (PTA) is in the midst of creating an exhibit with a deadline is March 1st.

The exhibit is based on a word; to be disclosed later.  Each of us pulled an individual letter of that word from a bag. Our rules are fairly simple.....quilts should be fairly bright and cheery, 32" square, & the letter should be very visible to enable the viewer to spell out the word.

As you can see.....I got the letter A.  After several false starts....and numerous reminders lately from those who follow my work....that I hadn't featured a cow in a quilt in a long time.....I decided my "A" would be the Ace of Diamonds and incorporate a Holstein cow somewhere.

Because I don't draw, I use my design wall to experiment with colors, backgrounds, general component sizes.  Pinning layers together, letting the composition speak to me, and repeating the process can take a day or more.  When I'm might only mean an hour before I have a plan.  

We've all heard it before.....we must let our quilts talk to us.....tell us what it wants to be.  This sounds so new age......but it really works.  When I rush the process, I'm always sorry I didn't allow enough time for the design to develop into the best it could be.

So, I've concluded I'll use a black/white print for the borders, a white on white center rectangle, an appliqued (happy & cheerful) cow, & machine appliqued red motifs.

It's now coming along nicely.  After appliquing the A and the diamond, I decided to bead the surfaces....detail photos will follow when I finish.  Beads outline the yellow diamonds in the border.  Due to the concentrated beading, I decided hand quilting was the best method for the center block.

After the center was quilted, I began hand quilting the borders and wasn't satisfied......ya couldn't even see it!  So I'm now on Plan B.....I just don't know what Plan B is to get these borders quilted.  It's times like this I lament that I've never learned to free motion quilt....constant turning for straight line quilting is not only a pain, but difficult to keep the piece pucker free.

So.....I must sign off now and begin experimenting......more beading is planned after the borders are quilted......and of course that's the part I want to get to, so I can't dally.


The Idaho Beauty said...

Oh, my, when I got to the pic with the cow, I guffawed! The red udders are too much! Love it!!!

Jan said...

Thanks for sharing the process. I love how your mind works.