Light Coming Home

I started this quilt the week of the Eastern Kentucky floods. I grew up across the border in Southwest Virginia. The images of the debris entangled against the bridges and houses. The lives lost. I processed this through making this quilt. Lots of curves and sharp lines.

When I began, I thought I would use more of the rust fabric, but it felt important to use the vanilla fabric as a dominant background with the black fabric and thread outlining each piece. Mildred Haun’s short story, Darkness Coming Deep, inspired the name of this quilt. It is the story of the death of a child. I wanted to express the opposite of that pain, Light Coming Home. This quilt represents lightness coming to me through the making of this piece.

This quilt will be exhibited at QuiltCon Atlanta 2023 as part of the Windham Fabric Ruby & Bee Challenge.  These are the colors:

  • Russet 51583-40
  • Mandarin 51583-31
  • Vanilla Custard 51583-53
  • Pool 51583-45
  • Cornflower 51583-46
  • Stormy 51583-44

It measures 52.25″ x 52.25″.

I took some risks with the quilting. I used 30 weight Aurifil in black to define all of the seams and to add the illusion of piecing growing from each section. In some places I stitched in the ditch more than once. In other places, I used Sulky 28 weight in white. along with blues and rusts I had from my mother’s stash; some are probably 50 years old, but they worked great.

Mr. Wordle’s Ultra Vivid Voice

This is Mr. Wordle’s Ultra Vivid Voice.

I created this work during a Finding Your Voice workshop, taught by Irene Roderick. My intention was to make a quilt with the online game, Wordle, as my starting point. To win the game, you have to guess a five-letter word. You have six tries to guess it correctly. When you get the word correct, each letter is surrounded by a green square.

At first I made five green improv blocks. At one point the piece looked like a face (see last photo).  I called him Mr. Wordle, then I killed Mr. Wordle because his eyes seemed to follow me. You may believe this was a rash decision, but I will plead a crime of passion.

The quilt represents the process of improv as well as the process of getting the right Wordle word.   What is happening in my brain was translated into this improv piece.  Ultra, vivid and voice are five-letter words.

The quilt measures 46″ by 56.5″. I used yellow, red and pink thread throughout.

I started with stitching in the ditch with my walking foot, but it didn’t seem like enough quilting, so I added tons of straight-line quilting, trying to echo sections of the piecing. It adds more movement, and it made me happy.

Here is how it began:

QuiltCon Obsession

Since 2014 I have entered at least one quilt to be considered for QuiltCon. The first one I made was a quilt for the Michael Miller Fabric Challenge. You can see it here. It wasn’t accepted and I tried to figure out why, so I studied the quilts which were accepted. Before this year, I had four accepted:

Random Perfection
How to Play Hopscotch
Mod Drunk
Couch to 5K

This year I have two accepted:

Off the Square
Splitting Cat Hairs

My quilts have never won an award. I’ve entered quilts in Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival as well. The judge’s comments usually compliment the design and there’s almost always an execution suggestion. I was particularly surprised that the judges believed the hand quilting on Mod Drunk was distracting and the tension was too tight. Because of those comments, I have tried to be more conscious of “mistakes”. I fret over the binding and the quilting. But, I make mistakes and don’t notice them until it’s too late to fix them. Sometimes I’m impatient to finish a quilt and I’m not mindful of all the details. I enjoy the design process more than I enjoy the execution part. I’ll continue to make and share my work. I do enjoy receiving congratulations from you. I feel accepted and loved.