Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 4: Wholecloth Quilt Challenge

 The "Today I Feel" Quilt is my ongoing large wholecloth quilt project. I'm writing one post every week about the past week's phrases, which answer the prompt, "Today, I feel...." You can read more about the project on Week 1's post and my daily expansions on each phrase on Instagram under the hashtag #todayifeelquilt. The threads are generously sponsored by Aurifil Threads.
This week's words were slightly challenging, mainly because I didn't have my sewing machine for 2.5 days. Luckily, she's all better now and ready to take on all the quilts of 2017!

For those days, I wrote my phrase in a notebook and, as always, wrote in more detail on Instagram. I fear that my machine being out caused more of a disturbance to me than intended (everything seemed to go completely wacky for a couple of days), but I'm happy to say things are back to normal. 

Last week, I talked about using contrasting colors for each phrase and shared some tips on using heavier thread weights (thank you for all of your positive feedback!). This week, I have a few thoughts about size, or scale, of words.

When you are designing a wholecloth quilt, scale is a delicate subject. Since you will ONLY be quilting this quilt (no piecing involved), you must create interest. One of the easiest ways to do this is scale. I'm not tracing any of the words, so it allows me to be especially organic as I quilt. I've done very little ripping of stitches so far because I aim to leave things as they happen.
My usual approach for changing word size is to take it day by day. I look at the word I wrote the day before and decide if I want to go bigger or smaller. Many phrases tend to be medium sized, but my goal is to be able to spot the larger ones from afar and read the really small ones as you come within a foot or two. It will be really exciting to see this one hanging in my individual exhibition in March.

There have been a few times where I chose word size based on how I was feeling. The morning after election day, all I felt was dread and despondence, and I had little to no energy to devote to the quilt. So, I quilted very small. A few days later, I was furious with the world (specifically the patriarchy), and I quilted in large, all-caps letters. That in particular was very therapeutic. 

Next week I'll talk about the logistics of managing this larger-than-I-thought quilt, as well as my thread burying strategy. I'll be back on Wednesday for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day and Friday-ish for a finish! Yay! Have a great week!


  1. So glad it was a quick spa trip for your machine and you are back up and productive again. :)

  2. very nice quilting.
    I remember 8 years ago feeling the same way!!
    Our country is doing just fine.
    The media and Hollywood like to play with our emotions. That creates angst, and division.
    I just step away from all of that. No time for drama.
    I would just like to see more people happy, and focus on life, not grievance groups and identity opportunism to divide people. What a crazy way to live. How do these people go to bed at night, haha
    Enjoy Christmas time. Life if good.

  3. Such a fun project, and so many things to think about that I probably wouldn't have considered. I love the variation in size, but really hadn't consciously noticed it until you mentioned it. It just felt balanced to me, I guess. It's certainly more interesting this way than if all the words were the same size.

  4. I love your use of scale on this project! It emphasizes the loudness of the feelings, or the stillness of the day.


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