Monday, May 7, 2012

Magnum Opus, Reconsidered

    Current Girlfriend here. I arranged these hand appliqued 18" blocks at a recent quilt retreat. I started sewing them August, 2010 and finished all of the applique blocks and border pieces March, 2012. Now I am cutting the 2 1/2" sashing squares, 574 total. There are also 76 - 4 1/2 x 2 1/2" rectangles in the border setting. My intention has been to have my sister, Pam, machine quilt this on her long arm machine. Yesterday I reconsidered hand quilting this, my magnum opus.

   Ok, my question is, why didn't anyone else at retreat use a design wall? My project was admired. A few said they had heard of design walls. This retreat, annual to the Pinehurst Quilters of Riggins, ID, is not so much about encouraging creativity. It is about bringing in a teacher and all doing the same projects, games, and devotionals. The same two women have organized this retreat for several years, I think 7 years.

   To me, a design wall is intrinsic to creating a quilt. Distance creates perspective. I want to be able to see the trees and the forest!

   I read about a psychologist turned quilter, Laurel Reinhardt, in the latest Quilt Life magazine. The article is titled, Finding answers in quilted labyrinths. She makes small quilts for finger tracing a labyrinth. Her quilts, patterns, and books can be purchased on her etsy site. Look for her at her website,


  1. Hey I know you! Welcome to the blogging world! I get to be the first commentor of your soon to be famous blog! I completely agree about design walls. I can't get a good view of the flow of a quilt without being about to step back and look at it. xoxo

  2. Beautiful work! I agree about needing to step back and look at the overall effect of a piece. Your quilts are so lovely, so it must work, right?

  3. Well, to each her own! We all have our own experience, and one of the good things about going to retreats is getting inspiration and new ideas from other quilters. Maybe some of your artistic talent will rub off...I use a design wall a lot, and agree it helps to step back and get perspective, also taking photos or looking through a reducing glass is important for me. There are times though, when I wish some people at retreat would NOT use a design wall - and you know what I mean....
    Good luck with the hand quilting. I know how you feel, I also know you have a lot of quilts you want to make, and hand quilting takes a lot of time and dedication. Maybe if you were back at the Shepp ranch for another winter you could get it done. I am hoping to finish my Pine Burr before another 10 years goes by!