Friday, August 9, 2013


 In the midst of our moving madness in March I began to experiment with taking my hand-stitched texture in a different direction.  I pinned together a top layer, batting, and backing, ran a couple of quilting lines across it to hold things in place and began stitching down strips of hand-dyed fabric, scrunching and wrinkling as I went. I was using three or four rows of perle cotton, # 8 or 5 on each piece, although I ultimately decided 8 was better with an occasional 12 thrown in.

I wasn't exactly sure where I was going with this, although I had originally been inspired by a photo of amazingly colorful hardened lava that I discovered in my search for volcano images for that little commission last fall. As the rows of color grew, I began to be motivated to see what the next strip of fabric would produce--and the quiet stitching was a great ballast as my world rocked and morphed around me and my definition of home shifted eastward.

Of course the texture is a big part of this piece so a photo doesn't capture it fully, but here it is:

And here is a detail that gives you some of the feel of it:

When my five-year-old granddaughter asked to see what I was doing, she looked at it and then got up and came over and kept running her hand over it--an appropriate response I thought.

My original vision included letting some of the background show, but I fell in love with the texture.  I had always planned for the stitching to show, hence the perle cotton, but I had also planned to include more stitching in some of the flat valleys, a plan I abandoned as the piece took shape. It ended up being 20 1/2 x 19 3/4".

This is my contribution to Nina's Off the Wall Friday, so you might want to check out the other postings on her site.


  1. Just beautiful Madalene. There's something about the feel of a quilt that photos will never be able to convey. Your granddaughter's response was perfect.

  2. My art quilt group is doing a challenge about texture. Boy, your quilt would be perfect! Can I claim it and say I made it? Just kidding of course, but I do love this piece.

  3. I love your piece. I bought some silk cut into narrow bands at the Denver Mancuso show--this would be a perfect use for it.

  4. Fascinating what you achieved through the scrunching and stitch. I see the lava flow influence.

  5. Your granddaughter definitely had the right idea...

  6. Oh yes I want to touch it too! Nicely done and great colors too.

    Happy Sewing