Quilting the Seasons

July 3, 2012

A recent challenge for our patchwork group brought me behind my sewing machine. Everyone of us received a large sheet of paper cut as a triangle. We were asked to make a quilt of the same dimensions (60x50cm – 19×23 inches) using as many fabrics as we wished and free our imagination for embellishing it.

So this is how I started. Looking into my treasure-troves of scraps, I found a piece of dark brown corduroy,  some jute that used to contain basmati rice, the pretty remaining material that covered one of my mother’s armchairs and a piece of polyester in various shades of green.

The result looks like this, waves of Seasons as my imagination created them.

But in between a lot of time was given as to how I would “dress” this naked triangle.

On the lower part which I saw as the colder Season, I sewed a thin  twig surrounded by old tiny buttons that belonged once to my grandmother.  Pebbles and snowflakes. Her small sewing table contained real treasures and an array of thread bobbins to quilt all the rainbows of the world. Simply amazing !

I added a few broken branches that were covered with a kind of colourful lichen on our plum tree. The wave of raffia is the frost of late Fall and Winter.

Moving on to Spring time…

Fields and cultures are growing on the polyester narrow strip and another light twig is showing its first leaves on a bright green silk from Hong Kong (not the easiest one to embroider !). The yellow and green fabric above is a piece of beautiful curtain found in a thrift shop decorated with golden hot  rain drops  in Summer.  Looking up in a red Australian sky  (material found in an ancient and fabulous shop of Melbourne) a kite is dancing  at sunset. The next wave is made of Indian embroidered silk, I just added some beads to enlighten it.

Here you see more of this blue and purple waves. The indian embroidered silk and above it a small precious piece of organza ornated with tiny plastic flowers. Its transparence varies in shades according to the light shining on it. It can move from a light green colour to a sea blue or deep purple  underneath. Truly magic to hold and observe. Its texture is as free as waves are, gliding through your fingers.

More details of this beautiful organza fabric; it was the remaining lining of a little bag my sister gave me long time  ago.

Of course I just had to add some African fabric, a blue/turquoise shade with a wave of green beads, like seashells. The orange material at the top is another one found in Melbourne, like the hot Australian deserts but also like the warm mood that surrounds Christmas time and its decorations…  here an orphan triangular earring found on a trail in the forest. Imagine that !


46 Responses to “Quilting the Seasons”

  1. Anne said

    Your blog and your creations are full of creativity and details, like I taste!!!Thanks for everything and your comments. I shall go again here, I pu your blogs in my favorites!l

    • Merci Anne, ça me fait très plaisir d’avoir ta visite ici. Nous nous connaissons depuis que j’ai participé à un concours sur le thème de “Montaigne dans le Périgord”. J’avais gagné le prix du public, un Superbe panier de délicieuses spécialités locales ! Ton site est une merveille de poésie et de talents divers, j’adore le visiter. Merci de tes commentaires encourageants.

  2. Anne said

    PS: I like the use of african fabric; I am borned in Camerun and I use them very often( for exemple in my bathroom carpet) and the triangular earring at the top.

    • J’ai aussi vécu en Afrique, c’est là que j’ai appris les bases du patchwork. Leurs tissus ont des couleurs et motifs inimitables. Un vrai plaisir. Quand j’aurais terminé mes “UFO’s”, je vais aussi coudre un tapis pour la salle de bain. Excellente idée !

  3. Colette said

    What a beautiful piece. It attracts attention and keeps the eyes moving in all directions. Every minute details are perfect. You are very talented.

  4. Karma said

    Wow, Isa, you are amazingly creative! The decorative touches you’ve added here are so beautiful – they really bring your quilt to life!

    • Hello chère Karen ! Merci beaucoup de ton enthousiasme et de tes encouragements. Toi aussi tu es créative dans tes quilts. En as-tu fait de nouveaux ?

      • Karma said

        Merci, Isa. I haven’t made anything new recently. I really should be working on my daughter’s birthday quilt – her birthday is August 2! – but I haven’t felt like sitting at my sewing machine lately!

  5. Isa,
    It is beautiful. I love the marriage of all textures and memories form your scrap bag. You have embellished it with such detailed work. Truly a work of art.
    Thanks for stopping by today. The birds are my constant companions while I work at the kitchen table.

    • Sujata, your words mean so much, you are a great source of inspiration for me. I like working with scraps a lot since almost all of them have a story to share. It adds a particular meaning to a quilt, I find.
      I like the quilt you created for the Alzheimer research, congratulations for being in the auction. Thanks a lot for your visit and words.

  6. montucky said

    What a beautiful and significant piece of art you have created!

  7. shoreacres said

    So much creativity – but skill, too. Being able to visualize such a piece and having the competence to bring it to life are related, but different. Clearly, you are blessed in both ways.

    I do love the additions like the twigs and buttons. And the earring, found on the trail – now it has a home!

    • Thank you so much, Linda. Twigs and buttons were new to me. I thought why not try working with different materials ? When you start thinking this way, your imagination has no limit ! rather than visualizing a finished triangle, I worked wave after wave inspiring myself by the colour, texture and season. It was a very rewarding experience.

  8. Truels said

    I do not need to tell you how much i admire your quilts …. And this is very special and likewise your fine stories about the background behind many of the fine details ..
    What a fine and unique work of art!

    • Nice to read you, Truels, and very happy you enjoyed both, quilt and background stories. I loved all the links that came up as I sewed those various scraps together. I really appreciate your words, Truels.

  9. sybil said

    Real works of art — the love shines through in your creativity.

  10. sonali said

    wow! so prettyy!! 🙂 I love your quilts. Hey, you have a great choice of colors. I like the way you’ve combined. fantastic creativity. Wish I could touch & feel them 🙂

    • Hello sonali and thank you for the visit and enthusiastic comments. You would enjoy indeed touching all the different textures of the materials I used here, as well as the wooden branches, beads, buttons and metallic earring. Indian quilts are full of such adornments, very inspiring.

  11. Tammy said

    Isa, I really love this. Your work is always beautiful but the combinations of fabric and the details of the buttons and stitching are really special. I can definitely see the seasons in there.

    • I really enjoyed reading you, Tammy. This triangle was a new experience for me: letting my imagination free to decorate a quilt that was not really planned but a joyful improvisation. Thank you.

  12. Jenny C said

    Hi Isa
    I love your hexi quilt – I have been wanting to do one for 10 years now. My original plan was to make a colour washed wreath of flowers on a white back ground, however your quilt has altered my original plan. I’m collecting fabrics before I start cutting. The quilt is for my daughter and it will be a representation of her late Grandmother’s magnificent garden. It’s my way of passing on the special memories I have of amazing people in a colourful and inspiring Australian oasis.
    I love your blog. Thank you

    • Hi Jenny ! Lovely to read you and know you appreciate my grandmother’s flower garden. Your idea of passing on the beautiful memories of a family garden in a quilt is a great one. It is good to collect a lot of fabrics – even small ones, the size of your hexagons. Personally I chose mainly materials with some sort of green background. I thought it would look more like the type of gardens I love but your own choice will be great too, of course.
      If you live in or around Melbourne, there was a few years ago an amazing shop up in Bourke St (downtown) called : Job Warehouse. They had lots of vintage fabrics and more. Here is a link for you :
      Have you got a blog, Jenny, I cannot seem to be able to connect to it. Thanks a lot for your visit and warm comments.

  13. Marie said

    What a lovely triangle. I love the use of all the special fabrics and the way you have combined them! Just lovely as always…
    Hope your Summer is happy and joyful ❤

  14. Simply beautiful-both colors and design!

  15. Kathy said

    I should think quilting would be a perfect opportunity to practice Presence, Isa. Really enjoyed that you put a twig and broken branches into your creation. How delightful!

    • Your words touched me, Kathy, thank you. How right you are, practising presence while quilting is something I mostly do. Nature is so much part of my life and environment that I just had to try adding a little part of it in this quilt. It worked well, I thought, glad you enjoyed it.

  16. Sartenada said

    I love too Your creative also. It is art which You make.

  17. Giiid said

    What a lovely idea, Isa, -collecting so many important life stories in one little sunny quilt, and very creative made. I imagine you telling the stories, sitting with the quilt in your hand as your notes. 🙂

    • Hello Birgitte ! Lovely to read your words. Indeed I loved the way stories unfold as I wrote about them. Words are everywhere and can be shared in so many ways and occasions. Happy Summer Days to you and yours.

  18. Oh Isa, it is both lovely and inspiring! The colors and textures are so rich. Sewing offers so many possibilities for our creativity. Because we can touch our work, it makes the experience all the more wonderful.

    • Thank you Amy-Lynn, I appreciate your comments. Have you been quilting lately ? I imagine that your gorgeous surroundings are a great source of inspiration. You are right, touching one’s work is a real pleasure, as you choose the materials first and then as the project goes on. Wishing you a lovely day in beautiful Nova Scotia.

  19. sonali said

    How are you doing Isa? Long time.. Is everything fine? What’s keeping you busy? What new quilts have you made?

    • Thanks for your words and concern, dear sonali. Soon you will know how I am doing. Today I finally found time and peace around me to write a post. This Summer I have sewed more than expected, the internet connection did not function so well up in the mountains where we were staying with my husband. I will not complain though 🙂

  20. Quilting used to be a passion for me but when I returned to work it fell by the wayside and now, I fear, my eyesight would create frustration rather than fun and enjoyment. Interesting pieces. We can stitch so much into a quilt.

    • Hello Lynn, nice to see you here. Quilting is a passion, I agree, and I am lucky to find some time to practice it. You are right, there is a lot that we can stitch in our quilts, it is liberating and comforting in many ways. I am sorry you can no longer create your own quilts. Small ones maybe with very bright colours ?
      Thank you for your visit.

  21. gonerustic said

    Love this! I love the way you’ve graded the colours of the strips, and the embroidery, etc. added on top … beautiful =D

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