Thursday, January 25, 2018

Flow - A Friday Finish

How's that for lots of 'f' words?! I am so pleased to show you all my Wayward Transparency finish, and to welcome everyone, new readers and regular ones, to TGIFF, coming to you from Kingsville, Ontario, Canada, and from North Port, Florida, USA. (explanation to follow) This is my first time hosting this linky party, so I am pretty excited!
If you aren't familiar with TGIFF, it's a Friday finish linky party where you can showcase your finished quilt. Various bloggers host each week. Interested in hosting? Visit the info page here; it's super-easy to do.

Here is my finish, Yvonne's Wayward Transparency quilt along, which I've named 'Flow':

It is on my Q1 FAL list which is here, or ha, there on that link. You may be thinking, wait, what? Snow? I thought she was in Florida now. Well I am. No, there's no snow here. I took these photos before we left Ontario so that I didn't have to bring the quilt with me. I'm writing from Florida. 😉

All right, on with things... I wasn't sure about what layout to do; I didn't want borders, and the layouts with points in, or points out, or two in/two out, didn't sit right with me. When Tish showed me a layout she'd come up with, ding!ding!ding! the lightbulb went on and I knew this was it.
Late afternoon light to capture that texture! I haven't washed it yet, so it's bound to crinkle up more!

I love watching birds, have done for many years. When we lived in Alberta, we were on the migratory path for sandhill cranes. They fly WAY HIGH up; often so high it takes a while to find them, although you can hear their distinct calls. They will circle, waiting for an updraft, which, when they catch, flings them off south, much like a kid shoots out of a waterslide. Here in southern Ontario, I love watching turkey vultures float on the updrafts, lazily flapping their albatross-worthy wings every once in awhile, kind of like me floating in a pool, waving my arms in an 's' motion every once in a while.

So the circular movement of the 'geese' I see in this quilt felt right. Also feeling right was knowing I'd do a spiral quilting design, something I've not done over an entire quilt top, kind of like ripples made by tossing a pebble into some water.

I started in the centre of the quilt with a circle that spiralled outwards, doing the first several rounds FMQ-style so I didn't have to maneuver the bulk of the quilt. I marked 1/2" intervals so I had something to aim for. Here's a short video of that beginning:

After that, I switched to my walking foot, using the edge of it as my 1/2" guide.

Going around in circles did take a lot longer than I'd figured!
I love that the circle and triangles in the main background fabric can be found in the piecing and quilting.

What thread was I using? You might be able to tell it's a variegated one from the above photo. Bella picked it:
Sulky for the win!

It not only gives the quilt more movement, it also gives great texture.

TIP: I found about half way through the spiral quilting, that the quilt was starting to get a bit distorted from continually quilting in the same direction. I hadn't done something I always do on quilts, stitch in the ditch to stabilize. I'd figured with this dense of quilting, I wouldn't need to... Ditch-stitching also helps to prevent ripples on the back, a problem I read that a lot of quilters who pin-baste have. I don't pin baste anymore; it's glue basting all the way baby, never a problem since 1998 or '99 when I first had my quilting life changed by it. However, this quilt, though glue-basted, was getting distorted. So I stopped spiralling, and ditch-stitched along both central axes (plural of axis; I checked!), and then added more ditched lines along the largest long edge of two opposing triangles, and then went back to spiralling. It blends right in; you don't see these lines on the front or even on the back as the spiral takes front and centre. This is also why I am a press-to-one-side, usually the dark side, girl. The ditch-stitching will disappear in the 'valley' of that tiny ridge since you stitch on the low side of it. With seams pressed open, your ditch-stitching falls between the fabrics, not stabilizing the top at all, because your stitching is on top of the threads holding the two fabrics together. Hope that makes sense, and hope that helps to stabilize your quilt. I still plan to wash and block this quilt once we're back home.

Notice more of the circles motif in the deepest pink? That's all that's left of Masterpiece Mixers by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics. The medium pink is an older leftovers fabric, one that looks like a batik, but isn't. It has a hand like an AGF fabric. The lightest pink was a purchase, a Joel Dewberry on sale, bought a few months ago with no project in mind. I love blending newer and older fabrics.

When it came to the backing, I rifled through my pinks to see if I had anything that would work, and found the pink floral, purchased a winter or two ago in the sale section of Alma Sue's Quilt Shop in Sarasota, but of course there was not enough...
I love the sugary snow that ended up here and there on the quilt!

Then I spied a fabric I just love: that Nancy Crow deep fuchsia and orange tropical print, but hesitated to use it on the back of a quilt (it's another leftover, from the same quilt as the pink batik-like one). Then I thought uh hello? This leftover has sat for how long waiting to become the front of a quilt for me? So part of the back it became. Still not enough, so I added nearly all that was left of the medium pink. Perfect.

Binding fabric had to be the only fabric I had enough of, the medium pink. I sewed it to the front, and hand-stitched it down on the back, my favourite, albeit slowest, method.

I always sign my quilts somewhere, but I didn't want to detract from the spiral, so I FMQ-ed just my initials in the one corner.

Here's the label, a triangle.😉

A deeper meaning to this quilt
I started the quilt along in October. I'd chosen two colours, first, my favourite, blues, and second, because I'd only just got the Joel Dewberry, the pinks. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so pinks seemed fitting. Then, near the beginning of October, and throughout the entire month and beyond, actors were coming forward with allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Harvey Weinstein. It got me thinking more about women.  Our power.  Our sisterhood. How we've been 'beneath' men forever. All through the making of this quilt during the quilt along, more and more women were coming forward with allegations against big names, men abusing their power, taking advantage of girls and women. Then, a BBC news presenter, Carrie Gracie, quit her job in China when she found out she wasn't being paid equally for equal work; she's since exposed the BBS for doing this repeatedly and secretively despite the Equality Act. E! host Catt Sadler quit when she discovered her male co-host was making double her salary... While finishing the quilt, the Larry Nassar trial was going on, and again, I was struck by the strength and resilience of women, many of his victims mere girls when he assaulted them, who found the courage to speak out and hopefully stop this behaviour, once and for all. I'll never part with this quilt; it holds all these events in its vibrant pink heart.

We were at our friends' house for supper last weekend, and I took the quilt with me to get a shot of it in the setting sun, Lake Erie in the background...the wind had other ideas, (it flew out horizontally in my quilt holder's hands!!) so I had to prop it against this tree and snap a quick shot. 
This quilt will go to yoga with me, already has done to one class, as my sit-upon quilt, its vibrant pinks reminding me of these courageous women, the flowing images reminding me of the birds I so love. Together, I think of how much lighter these women must feel, finally being listened to, believed, and finally seeing a monster gone from society forever.
Just look at that incredible sky and sunset! The peaks formed by the winds blowing snow where the lake had started to freeze, dune-like.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  Wayward Transparency
Size: 48" square
Fabric:  'Wander' by Joel Dewberry, scraps and stash
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Sulky variegated pink rayon, Aurifil 2600 in the bobbin

What have you finished this week? You may link up your blog post, Flickr or Instagram post using the link up below. Remember to visit a few blogs and spread some quilty love and encouragement. Please include a link to this blog post and/or the TGIFF button, so your followers can come here to view all the great finishes! You never know, you may have your quilter ADD kick in, and have to go DRop Everything And Make It, aka DREAMi! (Come back for that link up on Saturday; see sidebar for the button which will take you to the explanation post.)

I'll be linking up my finish:
Quilting JETgirl

and to some of the other Friday Finish parties in QBL:
Crazy Mom Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Busy Hands Quilts
Tish 'n Wonderland - because this was on my Quilting Confessions UFO List and now it's off that list!
Dizzy Quilts for the Q1 FAL


  1. I love the quilting on your Transparency Quilt. It is so great with the "geese"!

  2. The spiral, the colours, the story, and the photos. I love this so much. A lake, wind blown piles of drift, a jetty, the sky, and vapour trails, man and nature together.

  3. Wow, your quilt is gorgeous! The fabrics, the design, the quilting, all are just perfect.

  4. Beautiful finish! Thanks for showing us how you did the circle's really striking. <3

  5. The story, the quilt, the quilting all flow beautifully! Love the lake photos.

  6. I love your quilt, as well as the back story of everything going on in your head while you were making it. YES to the flying geese circling and gliding like birds in the sky, and YES I've been feeling the same way about all of the sexual assault stories in the news, from Weinstein to Nassar. I started reading -- finally -- Simone de Beauvoir's feminist classic "The Second Sex" recently, wondering how far we women really have come since the 1940s, and how far we still have to go. Yes, it was exhilarating to see those strong women stand up in the courtroom and confront their attacker at last, and to see a judge on the side of the women victims for a change, when for so long our authority figures automatically took the man's side and assumed that women were making things up "for attention." Whew. It will be interesting to see what comes next for the generation of women who are little girls today!

  7. Great finish Sandra, and in time for Valentines!

  8. Your quilt turned out gorgeous! Love the colors and the quilting is perfect. You also picked a really great layout...well done!

  9. The pinks in your Wayward are so fascinating! The Dewberry print almost looks frosty against that snow! Here's another tidbit to add to the story of your quilt. When birds are migrating, you will often see a kettle, which is a whole bunch of birds riding a thermal column of heat. They will circle in the thermal, going up and up, until they flow out the top, usually all heading in the migratory direction. It is an amazing thing to see. So add that to your flow story, since the block direction as well as the spiral remind me of that. Great finish, Sandra!

  10. Everything is perfect about this quilt....the layout, the colours and the quilting! I love it! I had intended doing this quilt, but didn't even start. I actually bought fabrics and realised later that they would make for a terribly drab quilt.

  11. It is a breathtakingly beautiful finish, Sandra. I am surprised that there were no quilt holder-uppers available. I'd be happy to "hold" your quilts for a picture...or longer :-p
    Congratulations on the TGIFF hosting gig. Isn't the Dreami linky also just around the corner? Or did I miss it?

  12. I like your version of Transparency - it is beautiful!!! COngrats on the awesome finish

  13. I like how you laid out your blocks and you gave it the perfect name. The quilting really adds to the flow.

  14. Wow, very effective! Liz in Houston

  15. I really like your version - especially the colours!! And beautiful job with the quilting. Thank you for hosting TGIFF this week! :-)

  16. I love the spiral quilting--I want to try it soon! Thank you for the inspiration!

  17. This is a great quilt! I *love* the pink and the awesome setting for the blocks. It really does remind you of birds in the air, circling around. Great quilting, too! Next time I try a spiral I'm going to start near the side and see how that goes. Hope you're enjoying Florida!

  18. Beautiful ❤️❤️❤️ Love the spiral quilting.

  19. First of all, no fair to have a snoopervisor that picks your threads, cheater.
    I lOve your words on meaning behind the quilt.As a woman who's been harassed in nearly every job I've had, and abused by family members, I stand up with the others and say, "me too" and I didn't tell as no one paid any attention to the injustice back then.
    Each citizen must be respected to make this country work again.

  20. Looks fabulous, especially in my favorite color!

  21. Great finish Sandra. So pretty. Love the sentiments behind this piece too. Spiral quilting is the perfect choice for this.

  22. Beautiful circular movement in your quilt - with the placement of blocks and the spiral quilting. I love the fabric - especially the background light pink. Agree with and appreciate all sentiments expressed.

  23. It's awesome. I want to make another one using this layout. Way to go, Tish!! Thanks for hosting TGIFF. It's not hard or painful LOL Maybe you'll want to host again later in the year ☺

  24. Sandra, this one right here is my very favorite Wayward Transparency quilt! LOVE the layout, as well as the colors, and the meaning it took on. You got some very pretty photos. And thanks for hosting TGIFF this week. :)

  25. Love your version! Your choice of fabrics and quilting and placing the blocks is perfection! Well done!

  26. Your wayward quilt is beautiful, love you color choice and that great spiral quilting.

  27. I love your imagery of the birds circling in an updraft - I can really see that in your arrangement of the Transparency blocks.

  28. That is just gorgeous, Sandra! I love all the different pinks, and the layout you decided on. Your quilt photography is always fun to see, too!

  29. Spiral quilting is perfect for Flow, Sandra! I know how long that takes, but oh-so-worth-it for all that curved texture. Did the circles in the lightest pink print start whispering the quilting plan to you early on?

    I love the idea of you sitting on this beautiful quilt in yoga class, centered, strong, calm, flexible.

    Hope you're enjoying a bit of warmth in Florida! I have several finishes to share, just need to get some photos taken. It's windy and dirty here in the boatyard so I'll have to really hunt for a good photo spot.

  30. Love your take on this pattern! Everything flows so wonderfully. Beautiful!

  31. Cute, cute, cute with super fun quilting and beautiful photos.

  32. Lovely quilting on Flow. Well done persevering with the spiral; I always get bored while quilting spirals as they seem to take forever!

  33. Love the patterns in the combined fabrics...a great look combined with the quilting and the backstory. Beautiful quilt...congrats!

  34. It's a beautiful finish! I'm not typically a pink lover, but in this quilt they work really well. Congrats on the finish.

  35. Beautiful quilt and I love the story you tell about its making. I like how you have done this in prints, most of the Transparancy quilts I've seen have been in solids. Interesting learning re the quilting too.

  36. What a powerful message, Sandra. It makes me admire this quilt even more. (It's been a tough--but also empowering--week here in mid-MI as you can well imagine.) Your spiral! I knew it would be wonderful, but the visual impact now that you've revealed the whole quilt is just spectacular. (Hey, and yea Bella for being spot-on picking the thread.) I'm hoping a lot of people who see you use the quilt as a yoga mat will ask about it so you can share the message with them. Have a wonderfully warm time in Florida! I didn't know you were hosting TGIFF this week, or I would have linked up. (Sorry)

  37. This is an absolute beautiful finish! I love that you chose this layout...I'm secretly going to call this quilt "Birds of a Feather; Tish and Sandra Flock Together." Wait that might sound dirty, never mind :P I hope you were not taking a drink of something when you read that last line.

  38. So pretty! I love how you made this flow in so many ways!

  39. Great quilt, Sandra! I love the way you have set the blocks, and you've "stitched" meaning into it, too. Love it! On behalf of the hosts, thank you for participating in the Finish-A-Long!


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