Week in Review 2023 – 02/10

Being Still

I often choose to be still or at least slow down. Even when I am in the midst of complex and often repetitive piecing I feel I am being still. It takes on the form of meditation.

Pillars of Creation as viewed through the James Webb telescope is the inspiration for my Fierce Planets entry. It will be pieced in my signature style of abstract realism. The working title is In the Beginning.

Your Still Isn’t My Still

I am fortunate to belong to a critique group of fiber artists. Everyone one of us gravitates naturally towards very different styles of working. One does extremely intricate appliqué based on vintage photographs of people. Another focuses on dividing an image, say of a flower into large triangles of different shapes that are easily pieced one to the other. Our group includes an artist who is layering crumpled fabric to create 3D, flow and movement. None of us want to work like the others. However, by finding our own unique style we have learned to be still, to let go, to be with the work. What is still for one, is still for another.

Row #6 of eleven rows of In the Beginning is done.

There is nothing more meditative for me, now that I have my rhythm working on In the Beginning, then working on this project. It is easy to be still and focus.

How Does Your Garden Grow will look similar to this when it is finished.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

It is one thing to loosely design a quilt in EQ 8 and quite another to piece the quilt from fabrics in my scrap bin. The fun comes from making do. Also, I am frequently surprised, even inspired, by my scrap fabric. For example, if I hadn’t taken the time to sort through my pinks, I wouldn’t have discovered that small scrap of mini pink and orange flowers I used for the center of the pink flowerhead. When I take a moment to be still, I can see how perfect it is. I love the texture it provides. Note also, how the pale pink, slightly striped fabric that forms the first ring around the center has hints of orange. In other words these two fabrics do what I call playing nicely together. They bring unity and calm to the piece, just like being still.

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. Your comment surprises me, Jenny. I would think you reach times of stillness as you FMQ as your hands, foot and mind become one creating the fabulous motifs you design. I wonder if I used the word focus versus stillness if you and others would have a different reaction. Thank you for your positive feedback on In the Beginning. This is one where my “muse” seems to be the driver and I just tag along in the backseat.

  1. My ‘still’ comes from knitting simple patterns (or none at all) in the round, and from cutting and piecing fabric. I agree with you about the delights of finding just the right bit in one’s stash, and being amazed at how well it plays with the other ‘right bits’ you’ve assembled. That flower is delightful!

    1. I expect we each find “still” in our own way. Repetition is key for me. Therefore, it is not surprising to me that you find your still spot while knitting. Stash discoveries, I find, workout better than when I purposefully buy fabric for a project. Hence, I rarely buy project specific fabric any more. Thanks, Margaret, for sharing your own thoughts and insights.

  2. Very interesting interpretation of the image. And the flower is very striking. I love EQ8 for planning my projects! Thanks for linking up with TGIFF

    1. I am grateful to you, Chris, for taking a turn at hosting TGIFF. I tend to loosely interpret my finishes. Today I gave myself a finish because I Row #6 of the In the Beginning is done and stitched to rows #1 – 5. I’m big on interpreting and not replicating images. It helps keep my interest when I am working my way through 3 – 4 month projects.

  3. I’ve long been a fan of the Hubble and now the James Webb telescope pictures. They are so breathtaking. Your intrepretation of the Pillars of Creation is wonderful. You are so brave to attempt it and your result is awesome! Repetition is not MY style of still, but it sure seems to work well for you!

    1. Actually, Kathy, I think you and I aren’t that different in the way we create. Believe it or not, there is a fair amount of improve that takes place as interpret photos in my abstracted realism voice. How fortunate we both are to find ways of working that keep us engaged. Thank you for your generous words.

  4. I really enjoy reading your reflections. Still is challenging for me in a full house (all seven of my children are still at home). Quilting and making certainly help me become still.

    1. I do have the advantage that I am an empty nester and have been nearly 20 years. I did learn how to hit the studio the second my children were at school and work diligently for most of the hours before they returned. Then the studio door was closed and I became chauffeur, cook, confidante and homework helper. I only have two. I can imagine having seven can be quite the challenge. I’m impressed you manage any quilting time.

  5. You’re In the Beginning quilt is fabulous! Great interpretation! I really like your flower and the orange/pink center.
    Your ‘stillness’ is similar to what I practice as ‘mindfulness’. It could be playing with color, stitching, creating, doodling…anything that makes you slow down for even a few minutes. Thanks for your thoughts.

    1. It is rare that I create a truly monochromatic artwork. I find a hint of this or that color is like adding the seasoning to a dish. It only takes a little but makes a big difference.

  6. Interesting post. Wish everyone could find their “still” , slow down and meditate. It’s good for physical and mental health. I am thankful I can enjoy gardening and sewing.

    And your two projects are fabulous.

    1. Your comment reminds me of John Lennon’s Imagine “You may say I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one.” If we could all find ways to be still what a different world it would be. Glad to hear you have discovered what works for you, Cathy. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

    1. Astrid, you have found a wealth of ways to be still. Right now my cat, Lola and I are watching the birds at the feeder (animals and nature). Thank you for sharing what brings stillness to your life.

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