Day 6: The project.

Dear friends,

I started a new project today — a quilt for a special friend.

It’s a surprise, so I won’t say much here except I hope she likes it.

Based on what I know and what others have told me, bright colors, bold graphics, and a modern layout will please her. I skipped using a pattern and decided instead to improvise the size and placement of each fabric piece.

Here’s a sneak peek:


Once the quilt has been gifted, I’ll tell you the story of the person it’s for. And when I show you the finished quilt along with the story, I think it will all come full circle in the way that only a lifelong friendship, a milestone occasion, and a mother’s love can stitch together.

In the meantime, I’ve got to get back to the sewing table, er, dining room. I’m on deadline.

With gratitude {for the joy of piecing together the story of a life},

Joan, who loves nothing more than a tight deadline and a challenging assignment


  1. This reminds me of Christmas…..something about the patterns…or maybe I am getting in the mood……or maybe I am worrying because it is coming up so fast. Eager to hear the story of the person for whom you are making it.

  2. I love the composition — a touch of Richard Diebenkorn (one of my favorite painters).

  3. What fun to be able to surprise a friend this way! I’m eager to hear the story behind the gift.
    I really like the watercolor/batik-like qualities of the prints – you’ve got quite the eye for color combinations. Do you find choosing fabrics at all difficult for a free style quilt like this one or is that all part of the fun?

  4. Deb — Choosing the fabrics can be challenging but is also one of the most enjoyable parts of the creative process. You know me — get close rather than get perfect. I know some quilters who will spend months (or longer!) selecting fabrics for a single project. Not me. I git’er done, and I’m usually pretty happy to live with my selections.

    Selecting a pattern is as difficult as selecting the fabric — unless you improvise. In the case of this quilt, it’s had three different iterations in a very short time, and who knows the tweaks I will make before it’s done. I keep adding to the pages of my sketch pad and switching it up with the next better idea. I love improv sewing. You simply can’t make a mistake and there are no rigid patterns to fence you in.

    Thank you for asking about the creative process. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed thinking/talking about it.

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