Monday, January 29, 2018

Winter Garden

I hope this finds you well! New week; I get to start a new quilt but before diving into the new one, I need to tell you about the last.
Last week I searched the internet for January poems and quotes. I have tried to focus on the day I have, be it cold or mild, snowy or clear skies and not to complain (too much!) and wish for the spring (too soon!). I found this poem by Patricia Hampl and love the way she describes this season.

“The cold was our pride, the snow was our beauty. It fell and fell, lacing day and night together in a milky haze, making everything quieter as it fell, so that winter seemed to partake of religion in a way no other season did, hushed, solemn.”

“Winter Garden”
Size 11"x12"
Cotton fabrics, Marimekko print as a starting point, embroidery, few beads on the crocheted snowflakes, few quilting stitches

The names of the quilts will be my written memory of the week, just a phrase or a single word to remind me later what was on my mind. My general thought last week was “There is enough snow already!” As lovely as it is, there is a saturation point there for it and I reached mine.
Although I did take a few snow pictures yesterday or the day before.
This is a picture of the fence that surrounds the kennel. There was lace on every single surface… Mother Nature had decorated it all. I get the lace on trees and windows, but to add it to a metal fence, and every single square in it, feels like wasting, but so beautiful.

I had covered some background noise with the blue fabric last time. As I jumped into the process suddenly, I did not have enough time to think ahead. After I had some space to work on the picture, I needed to add white, as more snow…
I am happy with the big white rose in the foreground, I like the white embroidery on the black leaves.
The small flowers on the tree are not as successful as the big flower. I tried white embroidery and black embroidery, and as I could not decide which one I liked best (plus there was the time limitation), I left both ways (see the first picture), but I think the ones with black chain stitches work better. I like the house on the bottom right; I still have this fabric left and if I make another quilt, I might work it around this house.

While I was looking at the quilt from further away, I saw it in a different light, as in spring and that did make me think of making four little pictures with this same fabric, but all representing different seasons. I will think about this; and come back to it later in spring and see if I can still see spring coming to this blue fabric.
I did not have any more thoughts about embroidery, just added few stitches here and there without any plans. The picture is small, there really was no room for quilting and I did not do much, just a few stitches. I do like the quilting stitches so much that I want them in my next pictures and I will leave room for them.
I wanted to challenge myself with yarn, as some crochet or knitting or some other way, but I already began to doubt it… I could not give up the idea right away and I added two little crocheted snowflakes. (Tried to add more, but decided not to.)

While making this first quilt, I could not help but start thinking of series. Like making four with the same fabric, like the four seasons. Or giving myself a theme, like five in winter theme, five in spring, five around the birds (migrating birds returning in spring is a big thing for me, cannot wait for the music they bring to the woods), five around the lake… Or maybe even more personal series, with words attached, or favorite music pieces or books that have changed me, art pieces… something, that would give meaning and a starting point for the quilt.

For now, though, I will focus on the few basic rules I set for myself. Small, one a week, with some yarn, the signature will be the red button.
(Should I get rid of the yarn thing, it will become troublesome. I am afraid it is going to be too much in a small quilt, but then it would be a real challenge to try to build it into the design, and not to be an addition. At some point it could also rescue me, because a time will come when nothing but holding real yarn is going to calm me.) My desire and goal with these little ones, is to keep going on, not to take breaks as coming back after a break can be tricky; although there is a limit to this too as brain sometimes needs to be quiet.

Winter Garden is no master piece, it is an exercise in small. When I look at it, I see too much, I get exhausted. My general feeling was being tired of all the snow, maybe I did manage to make a point. I want to simplify, go for the bold and simple, the real challenge will be how to have less, know to where to stop.

I have made the first one, have started the second. My mind needs this, I am not sure for how long, but for now.

Time to go, be well, wool with you,


  1. I love it! The crocheted snow flakes are gorgeous, the signature red button - perfect! Your snow pictures are so beautiful as well. The "lace" on the fence is amazing. Thanks for sharing the poem at the top - love that as well.

  2. Anonymous18:36

    Your work is lovely. Very inspiring. I live near Stockholm and we wish we had snow instead of rain and slush!
    Perhaps the snowflakes would resemble flowers less if they were 6-sided?
    Thank you for your blog! I always read.

  3. I always enjoy your projects. They always have a 'dream-like' quality to them. I am eager to see the final series. It will be lovely and unexpected(surprising) as you always come up with unique view.

  4. Beth in Maryland23:49

    It's wonderful! And I love the idea of carrying the image through the seasons. Many years ago in a flea barn, I bought four needlework panels that depict the same landscape throughout the year. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed looking at them. I only wish I could thank the needle worker who made them!

  5. I like this little quilt. The red button is a perfect finishing touch. I like the snowflakes as is but then I like snow and winter. I love reading about your creative process and thoughts.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful piece. Your work is so creative, it is always an inspiration to me.

  7. It is inspiring to me how closely you listen to your creative truths....

  8. I echo the above. So kind of you to share your creative thought process,

  9. Beautiful work you are doing! Happy stitching!

  10. Anonymous01:47

    LOVE this beautiful little quilt - so beautiful.