Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Multiple Beginnings- Beverly

Multiple Beginnings
16 X 16
Commercial and Hand dyed cottons, machine pieced and quilted

My thinking behind this piece evolved as I considered what to do, and began the process.  After considering some rather 'grand' ideas, I thought about the morning walks I started doing this summer with my dog on the days I didn't have to work.  My favorites were early in the morning- what a wonderful way to begin the day!  At that point, I knew it would be nature based and involve lots of greens.

Then I took the trip to visit my sons, one in Florida and one in Chicago.  I've had a close relationship over the years with my older son, and the distance between Utah and Florida hasn't changed that.  My younger son is a different story.  He left Utah when he was 19 and moved to Chicago, where his father and his relatives are.  We spoke occasionally, but I had very little involvement in his life.  I always kept the door open, however.

Then a few years ago he began contacting me more frequently.  We began to have more 'real' conversations, not superficial.  When he invited me to visit this year, I jumped on the opportunity.  He turned 30 this May, and I hadn't seen him in over ten years.

I had a wonderful time reconnecting with him, getting to know the man he has become.  The camping trip we took to Michigan was particularly special.  Ian is quite the outdoorsman, and we had fun walking the many trails in the park with his fiance and their two dogs.  A couple of the pictures I took on that trip provided the final inspiration I needed to make the piece.

I wanted to capture the myriad of greens, the sense of light and shadow coming through the trees, and the vertical lines of the tree trunks. The trees were just starting to show signs of fall color, and I wanted to capture that also. I think I did.

I fell victim, however, to what Jane Sassaman calls the 'tragedy of the literal', mainly in my quilting choices.  I'm just not happy with the quilting in the upper and very lower sections of the quilt- too literal.  And, I've about decided that the more modern quilts that use strip piecing and odd geometrics don't always lend themselves to the hyper-quilting that is so prevalent today.  I think I'd be happier with simple vertical and horizontal lines.  That would also have lent itself to some hand embroidery, which I'd wanted to do but decided against once the quilting was done.  In the detail shots, you can see how closely the top portion is quilted.

I used a variegated thread in this, and I was surprised at how light it looks compared to when I puddled it on the quilt.  It's all shades of green, but a lot of it reads almost like white.  It tends to minimize the piecing lines much more than I was anticipating.

All that being said, I'm happy to have a quilt that represents the new beginning in my relationship with my son Ian.  And so you have it, Multiple Beginnings!


  1. What a wonderful beginning! I am partial to green and lines! Beautiful quilt!

  2. What a beautiful quilt and the story of your beginnings with your son is wonderful. This is truly a special quilt!

  3. I love this beverly, but I love the story so much more! I really like the way you have captured that scene with your piecing. It was one of my favourites from your trip.

  4. I am always impressed by the personal experiences you bring to your quilts. The beginnings of a new relationship with a loved one is certainly something to treasure and celebrate. I envy your ability to mingle the abstract with the concrete. Your leaves are beautiful and the roots are a fitting conclusion.

  5. How wonderful that the beginning of a renewed relationship with your son and a visit with him was the inspiration for your piece. The placement of your hand dyed fabrics in your piece does truly give me a sense of walking through a forest trail. The FMQ'd leaves are stunning. Until Judy pointed it out I had not noticed the "roots" and they add to the illusion.

  6. Your Beginnings theme is very impressive. I’m so happy for the renewed relationship with your son. It has lead to a beautifully executed quilt with wonderful quilting!

  7. this is such a wonderful beginnings piece - your interpretation of the forest, and your new beginnings with your son are both just wonderful - this is not only a beginnings piece it is also a wonderful memory piece. (In my mind there is no such thing as too much quilting - yours looks fabulous and I love the roots grounding it all.)