Tag Archives: bark cloth

Starting Out Stuck


 I started this quilt some months ago. There are a lot of new techniques in it for me–liberated piecing, quilt-as-you-go, and a medallion style.


The center of the medallion is a piece of 60s Hawaiian bark cloth that I found years ago at an estate sale. I always pictured it as the “cheater” center of a quilt. Last winter when I was going through a hard time, I picked it up and began quilting it without much thought as to where the quilt would go next. But then I dug out a bunch of orange and blue scraps and added the borders. The orange radiated happiness and it lifted my spirits. The freestyle piecing was so quick and satisfying. But since then, I’ve been stuck.

Every time I head into my studio, I just end up folding yardage and pinning it to the wall in various configurations. Sometimes I piece a few blocks and arrange them. I drink a glass of wine and stare, rearrange, and repeat. I’ve done this endlessly. I can’t figure out what or where to go next. Here is how it looks at the moment:

photo 1

The fabric on the left is another vintage find which has a terrific bold print that is reminiscent of the center medallion yet quite different. The top has a couple of border auditions of Kaffe Fasset fabrics. I think I have to decide if I want to do another intricately pieced border–or several and “busy it up”–or if I’d like to let bold fabrics do the talking. One thing I want is to keep the vibrancy. In my head, this is a happiness quilt and I don’t want to lose the gift it gave me last winter by dulling the palate. I also don’t want to fall into an orange blue orange blue pattern.

Any ideas most welcome!