Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Space Between, Part 3

Yesterday, I finished quilting my piece to submit for consideration in a juried invitational called “The Space Between,” which will be co-curated by Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal. I just pressed it (with lots of steam), and it is actually lying flat. Hallelujah! I am amazed, as I had worried that such heavy quilting would make it go very wonky, and it was certainly looking that way before I pressed it. I thought you might like to see the back of the piece, which more clearly shows the stitching, all done in black and white thread (Aurifil Cotton Mako 50).

The back looks like a pencil drawing, and it is quite a nice effect. When I was worrying about the wonkyness, I thought I might have to add a layer of interfacing and another backing, and quilt some areas again to take care of this. I am so glad that I didn’t have to, since it would have hidden all of this wonderful stitching.

Here is a shot of the front:

Now, on to the binding. I usually face my art quilts, but if I do this, I will turn under just a bit of the quilt, and at this point, it is slightly smaller than the size requirement for the exhibition, and a binding will add a bit back. And I think a small white binding will frame it nicely. I hope to show you the finished piece in my next post. 

And I have a name: Hope is the Thing. It comes from a poem that was special to both my mother and me, and seems appropriate, as I was working on this piece when I learned about her death on Jan. 26. My mother loved two American poets very much: Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson, and passed that love on to me. The name for this quilt comes from this poem:

by Emily Dickinson
Hope is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul, 
And sings the tune – without the words,  
And never stops at all, 
And sweetest in the gale is heard; 
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


  1. It is absolutely beautiful. I hope it is hung where people can see both sides. Thank you for sharing.

  2. The quilt and the poem are both beautiful. I hope that they bring you a small bit of healing.

  3. If I get into this, I hope I don't have my piece hanging next to this masterpiece. It will be like the ridiculous next to the sublime!!

    I have been meaning to tell you that my mother died very unexpectedly in an automobile accident when I was your age. It was so difficult for a long time. I still miss her and her humor and wit and good advice. Been thinking about you.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous...on both sides of this piece. The title and poem are perfect as well. What a wonderful tribute to your mother! I hope that it's juried into the show.

  5. We are in sync! I finished quilting mine yesterday too. I am still deciding on whether to bind it or face it. Normally, I would face it, but I am kind of liking the idea of binding. The Emily Dickinson poem is a favorite of mine too.

  6. A heart-warming post, Susan.
    Poem and your artful piece.
    I love the back, perhaps a bit more than the front. Go figure.
    Warmest of Hugs,
    Gerry in Jefferson City

  7. Can't wait to see the finished product - it's a lovely piece!

  8. I absolutely love this piece! It's amazing and carries so much meaning! The name is perfect along with that poem! I know your Mother is sitting by your side as you work on it! And thank you for sharing the behind the scenes information, such as facing or binding. That always interst me to see how artist make their decisions and yes, it's sometimes based on the size requirements! Thanks again for sharing with all of us!

  9. That piece is so beautiful, really wonderful stitch painting. Love the poem as an inspiration for the title.


  10. The quilt turned out to be so gorgeous .. stunning stitching! I'm so glad that you didn't have to hide it. And the title and poem are just right ... what a fantastic tribute to your mother!!!


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