It’s raining, it’s pouring and the result is I haven’t been witnessing many sunrises at Minot Beach recently. Rather than walking in the often heavy rain and high winds I have opted to exercise inside. It also gives me time to focus on creating art. I’m up to completing and sharing 62 daily drawings on Instagram and still finding time to work with fabric and thread in my studio.
Just because I can’t take in the actual sunrise doesn’t mean I can’t interpret sunrises in my art. As I’m free motion quilting Sunrise at Minot Beach. I find my self reflecting how much has changed from when I first started machine quilting, approximately 20 years ago and today.
When quilters were transitioning from hand quilting to machine quilting there was a tendency to mimic traditional ways of quilting, but using the machine. This lead to multiple starts and stops of the thread. To combat that problem, continuous line quilting (no need to break thread) took off. So did using monofilament thread, since a clear thread matched all fabrics. Stippling, a continuous wiggly line, was a common and relatively simple way, to free motion quilt. Large undulating lines were quick to work up and excellent for utilitarian quilts, since the quilt isn’t weighted down and made stiff by thread work. Then quilters started varying the density of their stippling lines. Areas needing to recede were tightly stippled, while areas needing to stand out were loosely stippled or barely quilted at all.
As tools improved and more quilters were making wall art versus bed quilts, more and more quilters tried their hand at free motion quilting. I think of free motion quilting as doodling with the machine. When choices feel infinite, such as which thread to quilt with and what free motion motif would enhance this or that section of a quilt, making choices often takes time and experimentation. That is precisely where I am with Sunrise at Minot Beach. I’m analyzing each section, selecting threads, and testing multiple ideas on paper before translating them on my quilt.
I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.