Saturday, October 15, 2016


Convolutions is based on an aerial photograph by Tom Lamb of Laguna Beach.  Tom photographs internationally, but this piece is liberally adapted from his photograph of a field in Southern California, showing dusty tracks of farm equipment in our drought-stricken area.

Convolutions pattern pieces

Initial palette and pattern marking pencils

I loved continuing to work in recycled and hand dyed silks, linens and metallic in this piece.  Much trial-and-error work with different fabrics is required, but isn’t that the fun of it?  One fabric switch often begets  while new scheme, which helps explain why these larger pieces (this one is about 30x50 inches) don’t just fly out of the studio overnight!

The complicated piecing is designed and stitched using Ruth McDowell’s method of freezer paper transfer and colored pencil markings.  It’s time-consuming, but I have found no reliable short-cut that can guarantee the accuracy in shapes while retaining a final piece without warping. 

Thread Galore!

In the end, I inserted by hand a couple of minuscule pieces that I felt were needed to move the eye along.  The quilting is done by machine, hand guided, of course.  I used concentric stitching, working in smaller and smaller sections, until the forms exhausted themselves.  This is harder work when pieces are larger, but, aside from the physical effort, it’s an almost meditative process that I enjoy.  It seems to seal the piece.

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