Tuesday, March 17, 2009


click to enlarge for a closer view of the quilting patterns

Sheltering Tree is finished. There are many things about this piece that I am quite pleased with. I loved quilting it and I like the results of the quilting. It does have that look of having been drawn that I was after. Making up the quilting as you go is quite exhilerating once you get past the fear of totally screwing it up! The medications I am taking for my ear problem interfere with my sleep, so as I have tossed and turned in the middle of the night, I have found it calming to dream up new quilting designs in my head. Now I am looking forward to trying some of them out on another piece!

I took the nearly finished piece to STASH last week and mentioned that I felt the color scheme was a bit boring and they all assured me I was wrong about that. I do love more unconventional color than this piece turned out, so, to me, it falls down in the color column, but I am eager to try this all over quilting/drawing on some less representational work and see how that works. When I showed this to my family the other evening, my 2 year-old grandaughter pointed to the sky and said, "water," which I thought was pretty perceptive. I do like the movement in the sky section, but I have to say my favorite part is the leafy motif in the tree. Click on the picture and take a closer look at that.

My hearing is getting better in increments—two steps forward, one step back. My ears pop and gurgle and my hearing improves as the day progresses, then is bad again in the mornings. I suppose fluid and pressure build up overnight. I think there is progress. I see the Dr. again on Thursday. I feel a much greater empathy for people with hearing impairments and understand why they say deafness is so isolating. Trying to follow a discussion is tiring and frustrating and it is very tempting to go read a book, go play solitaire on the computer—opt out of social interaction.


  1. The intricacies of the quilting make up for any perceived lack of innovation in the color department. I look forward to seeing where you take this.

    My fingers are crossed that your ears keep improving. My hubby lost most of his hearing in one ear after an infection (of course, living 6 months on a flightline with many, many sorties a day didn't help matters at all), but he's got a great hearing aid that brings him back in the fold. Of course, when he wants to ignore us he just takes it out. ;-)

  2. Love this quilt. It is wonderful without being "out there!" Your quilting is so good and I agree with you about the leaf section but I also love the rolling hills.

    I can not imagine what it is like not hearing. I had one ear go bad a while back and that was bad enough. Took a while too but it is okay now.
    My mother is hard of hearing but she is 85! I can tell when she is faking it during a conversation as she will just say something like "Whatever" and then change the subject. Hope yours gets better soon.

  3. Love the texture you've got!

  4. Colours in nature are not always exiting either. The beauty of the quilting rhythm more than compensates that! --
    I know about hard hearing, my right ear has only 40% capability, so very often in parties I'm locked out of the conversation. But I found out that wherever more than 6 people talk at the same time, I don't miss too much.

  5. What a beautiful and calming piece. I love the variety of machine quilting - wow. The colors are terrific too, and texture. You are such a gifted artist. Makes me want to pull up a chair and sit under it with a pen and the moleskin journal and doodle away.

  6. Terry, This is absolutely stunning in the simplicity of the design and the elegant way you carried it out. It would be a good design with out all of the gorgeous stitching you added. However, that stitching elevates it over the top.
    Do you have plans to show this quilt someplace. Probably no where near Maine, but one can always hope.
    Enjoy the journey,

  7. Your quilting is so RIGHT. I look at many quilts lately that have intricate and even extreme quilting which actually distracts from the composition. Your quilting is an important integral part of the work and a joy to look at in detail; I'd love to see this quilt "for real"

    To me your colors have the serenity that nature has on a calm day. Yes, sometimes excitement is good but Mother Nature balances the flowering trees and the autumnal leaves with periods of quiet also. We can learn lessons of balance from trees. It's a very satisfying quilt.

  8. Terry, this is beautiful. The quilting is amazing. I love the bit of rust in the hills and the leaf motif in the quilting - well, makes me green with envy!
    I hope your hearing improves. I know how it feels and found it so frustrating. It is astounding how ear problems affect so many other systems. I always felt like my IQ went down a few points due to the constant having to ask people to repeat themselves.
    Take care and heal. Cheers.

  9. Terry, this is wonderful. I am glad you are happy with it, because it is a lovely piece. I like how the green line is clearly visible, but it doesn't take over the picture -- it's an integral part of the imagery but it isn't ABOUT the green line.

    I'm also intrigued at how well this seems to flow from the cut-paper trees you were posting some time ago. The tree branches have a cut-paper sort of look -- much more organic than those wonderful paper trees, but it makes me think that pulling those out planted some visions in your subconscious that came out here.

    Glad the hearing is improving!

  10. It is beautiful! The quilting really makes it.

    I'm glad you are starting to recover.

  11. This is an amazing work of art! Did you create the design? Is it all quilted by hand?

  12. A beautiful quilt. I can't say more.

  13. Catching up - this is a serene and beautiful piece - all I can say is ditto ditto ditto to everything already said.

  14. One of the things that really makes this piece work for me is the cropping, if you want to call it that. You don't see the entire tree, but you know the rest of it's there, just outside the frame. Knowing that there's more going on just outside your field of vision makes it even more dynamic.

  15. Penny5:47 PM


    Love the spontaneous quilting!
    Could you perhaps explain how you've done the hanging mechanism for this quilt--I very much like the look of hanging below the bamboo rod.

  16. As a longarm quilter, the quilting is usually what I notice first, rather than the piecing or applique. And in this case, it actually DESERVES first notice! This is really spectacular quilting. Please post more when you follow up this technique in future quilts ... can't wait to see what you do next.
    (Oh, would you tell us what size this quilt is?

  17. Oh my--I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful quilt. My mind boggles at the intricate stitching. I LOVE IT!

  18. So gorgeous and inspiring! I love the shape of the tree trunk, and the quilting is just spectacular, as Linda notes. Thank you for sharing it.