Week in Review 2022 – 07/22

Going Granular

A simple village, set on a hillside with side by side yellow townhouses, sporting blue windows and doors fills lower and most of the right section. There is red sky above. Flying over the city in the upper left is a bat with Russian Z's on its wings.
Where to go from here?

Artists make innumerable decisions before and during the creation of the artwork. So many in fact that sharing the process of how the work came to be is difficult. How deep should I go? When will my sharing go from illuminating to soporific? I thought I would take a chance and go granular this week.

In my last post I asked how you might quilt the sky in Bat Sh*t Crazy. The consensus matched my own inclination – to echo the chaos and not detract from the graphic design of the piece. Sounds easy. However, how precisely is that done? Research and play/doodling is what I turn to when I don’t have an answer.


When in doubt I surf the web. A great place to start is an image browser, such as Google Images. Type in a few key words, such as tornado simple line drawing and voila ideas galore. Another resource for free motion quilting motifs is Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Gallery with over 500 designs. The trick is to not get caught up in the vortex of research and start to play.

Questions to be Answered

The art of free motion quilting is one long continuous line that rarely requires back stitching and fills in the desired space. This is why whenever I plan on using a new motif I test drive my ideas on paper in ink. If there will be awkward spots is there a way to circumvent them? How will the design work when done again and again? Does it achieve the look I am going for? My first 20 or so attempts were rejected, but I finally landed on one that worked. It is the doodle on the far right in the above image. It is easy to repeat, evenly covers the space and can be modified to get into awkward sections.

This week I free motion quilted the red sky with swirls, tornados and horns. The thread was chosen to blend in order not to distract from the strong graphic image of the village set against a blood red sky.

Now it is time to go from paper to quilt. I begin with a practice sandwich (sample top, batting and backing made with leftover blocks and or muslin) to both test drive the quilting motif and build up my muscle memory for the pattern. It also lets me know if my thread choice will work. Once I am satisfied with my test piece, I take a big breath and move on to the quilt.

How the quilting motif looks if you were to be standing a hand’s distance from Bat Sh*t Crazy.

All that time researching, playing, doodling and test driving paid off. I was able to finish quilting the sky in less than a week. No doubt the town will take longer. I won’t be able to do that with a single a line.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

The image is of three traditionally pieced blocks in shade of pale lilac through a deep eggplant. One block has a strong diagonal slant. The other two combine a Churn Dash and Ohio Star blocks with the star inside the churn dash.
Rainbow Scrap Challenge – 3 Purple Blocks

If you follow my posts, then you probably noticed I haven’t posted in a month. This is because of the timing of our family vacation. When I returned to my studio I needed to ease back into work mode. How wonderful to have the excuse of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge to welcome me home.

I’m linking up to the following posts:

By Gwyned Trefethen

I am an artist who uses fabric, thread and miscellany to create designs gifted to me by my imagination.


  1. I agree with your choice of quilting and it looks like it was fun to do. I also admire your research to find the perfect pattern.

    1. Good to have my choice confirmed, Norma. So often I others share an option or two for a “crowd” vote. I thought it might be of interest, especially for my non quilting friends, to learn how many clunkers are considered and instantly discarded. Perhaps the artist version of kissing many toads to find a prince.

  2. Thank you for sharing your process for deciding on the quilting design, that tornado was a great idea to fit in with the chaotic theme of the pieced sky. Thank you for joining TGIFF!

    1. It was a toss up between a tornado and explosion, but my muse kept saying tornado, tornado, tornado. The tricky part was working out a FMQ with a tornado that didn’t leave channels and was more chaotic than tessellated.

      Thank you for hosting TGIFF and taking the time to drop by my site.

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