Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Last Drop

Thinking about this challenge and adages from my youth, I made a serendipitous mistake: I misspelled sow. I was remembering “You reap what you sow” but I wrote “You reap what you sew”. Perfect for an art quilter! It got me thinking about the impact of our art, the love and the meaning we imbue, and what it might possibly produce after its creation and release.

“Just a drop in the bucket” was my negative self’s response. Thankfully I quickly remembered an analogy of leadership, used to encourage individuals to give their best: that one drop in the bucket may be the one that causes the water to overflow. Or, another analogy: the ripples that emanate from a single drop of water…you never know what might change as those ripples travel distance and time. There is always a reason to be “Just a drop in the bucket” and turn something derogatory into something powerful.

Settled upon a drop as my inspiration, I recalled a photo I had taken in Washington, DC shortly after the SAQA conference in May. A Hosta leaf with water drops hanging onto the veins. My husband encouraged me to represent nine drops – a tribute to Viewpoints 9. Stitching is a prominent element, in keeping with the initial challenge: a stitch in time saves nine. After finishing this quilt at an unusually late hour, I’m inclined to rewrite that adage to: A stitch of nine, takes time!

I painted a cotton/silk blend fabric with Dr. Ph Martin’s ink, Inktense pencils and glue as a resist. Cotton and polyester threads were used for quilting. The piece measures 45” W x 36” H. In full disclosure, I was disappointed with the fabric…the pigment didn’t seem to penetrate. I like to paint in a watercolor style with multiple layers and each time I rinsed the fabric, the color faded; even after heat setting. During quilting, the color still transferred to my gloves. I think I’ll try pure silk the next time I choose to do a whole cloth painting. If that doesn’t work, I’m back to muslin. 

Of course, I welcome any suggestions you may have.


  1. Beautiful work, Lisa-Marie! I love the way the leaf veins go from the realistic center to the abstract border. I hope you can find a way to keep the color from fading or rubbing off. It's just stunning.

  2. Lisa-Marie, your quilt is so beautiful!

    I remember last time you mentioned that you had a frozen shoulder, I hope you've recovered. I also suffered from frozen shoulder since May to August. That was painful… but I still had to complete 6 quilts by early August. A week after I completed the 6 quilts on August 4th, my shoulders recovered! Miracle! My doctor was stunned (lol).

  3. Lisa-Marie, this is fantastic! I agree with Diane, I love the way it bleeds from color into black. You handle the paint/ink so beautifully….a favorite! Glad the shoulder has improved, too!