Quilting Calm

I think most of us who “make” would admit that half of the motivation to do so is in the therapy it provides.  Have you ever made something because you needed the excitement or the calm the object channeled?  I’m not often conscious of these motivations until I’m done with a piece.


Lately I’ve needed a little calm and this quilt top filled the bill.  At the end of December, I took advantage of a sale Leslie Keating was having and bought some beautiful Maze and Vale fabric along with one of her quilts.  If you don’t already know, I have a huge soft spot for hand printed and dyed fabric.  Leslie’s work is amazing. (Maze & Vale.)

IMG_1432I actually drew out a design but then quickly abandoned it and started piecing half circles and circles.  I hated the idea of cutting this gorgeous fabric up so tried to make big blocks to keep it intact as much as possible.  I threw in a Japanese Indigo dyed linen and some mustard linen as well.  Can you see my inspiration in the printed mustard circle of Leslie’s baby blanket?






There is a hidden square on the piece on the top middle.  It was a completely delightful “accident”.  I LOVE this quilt top and the calm I get gazing at it.  This one will go on my wall once finished.  I’m auditioning names for this guy and somehow the cheesy 80s songs which have been my naming inspiration of late don’t seem right.  If you have any suggestions, I am all ears.


16 thoughts on “Quilting Calm

  1. The hidden square is a fun secondary pattern – I love it! Somehow it makes me think of “square peg in a round hole” but that seems like a long name for a quilt. That made me think of your reason for creating and then something like “rounding corners” or some idea that quilting / crafting is like removing the sharp jagged edges and bringing calm and softness back into life… I don’t know if that helps with naming the quilt, but all thoughts I have looking at your quilt and thinking about your inspiration behind it.

  2. Love all of your work — what about
    ” Outside the Box” ?
    U r taking your quilting there – thinking & living outside the box & the curves/circles r definitely outside the box (hidden square) — about living life fully…

  3. “like a record, baby, right round, round, round’…is that the 80s song you’re thinking of? I am terrible at quilt names but I know a gorgeous quilt when I see one. There is indeed something very calming about the methodical process of making a quilt, including the big ‘reveal’ at the end, when it hopefully fulfils all your intentions. This is definitely a keeper.

  4. It’s beautiful Hillary. I honestly have a hard time naming my more artful pieces as well. So at times I just sit and stare and list words that come to mind, sometimes I take those to the Thesaurus just to see what pops up. I thought of “Forty Five” when I saw this because it reminded me of the little 45 records I used to play in the 70’s before I was a teen and had “real” albums in the 80’s! That’s my visual word. My emotional response is your own word, calm. “Awakened Calm” describes that feeling I get when I’m visually calmed and excited at the same time. Excited to recognize how moved I am by a piece that is so calming… I love Maze and Vale too, and one day will order my own beautiful calming fabric. As usual, you’ve done it again! Laura

  5. I really like this quilt, and of course I love the fabrics. I have a stack that I seem to be saving, one day soon I should bring them out. Here is what I do to name a quilt, if the name does not come to me as I am making it. First, I try really hard to avoid phrases and use one word for the name. Then if there is an idea or feeling in my head, I check for synonyms and read definitions and soon the name will appear. My first though was spin but that is not very calm, next was revolution, these come from your reference to 80’s music and the record like shapes. So next I thought of listen.

  6. cool quilt, great circles. In the UK you get little round mints with holes in the middle called Polo mints, just makes me think of calling it ‘O polo’.

  7. oh! yes! I am totally with you reagrading the therapeutic aspect of sewing! And I love Leslie’s prints too, I always plan on getting some,and I will one day. Your quilt quilt is indeed conveying peace and I love it.

  8. I thought of the same 80’s song but it really doesn’t seem to fit. somehow for some reason it reminds me of the seaside and now I’m humming summer loving from Grease!

  9. Sorry, it’s trite, but due to the color of the golden solid it reminds me of Cheerios. Lovely, calm and incredibly aesthetic Cheerios.

  10. I know what you mean about making things for the calm. I am normally a calm person, and I think that is why quietly sewing suits my temperament.
    This is beautiful. Definitely worthy of wall space. Can you put a foot wrong?
    I keep thinking of bagels and doughnuts. ‘Yum. Doughnuts!’ comes to mind. As do lifesavers. A very, very simplified yin and yang? As for 80s songs, circles represent eternity, so ‘Neverending Story’ by Limahl pops into my mind! (I am not too proud to admit my dodgy 80s music history.)
    The hidden square is so hidden I cannot see it, I confess.

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