Let the shapes talk

improv process

I started this quilt while attending a modern patchwork course by Daria Blandina and Roberta Sperandio, whose activities can be followed at the page D+R Patch Fun.

Even if its look is mainly modern, I didn’t plan any pattern: the position of each piece was improvised, one after the other, line after line, and some scrappy stripes found their way within a few smaller shapes.

The combinations offered by equilateral triangles surprised me: unexpected hexagons and bigger, nested triangles appeared during the work in progress. When looking at the top, I started playing with myself a mathematical search of how many triangles I could see in the overall picture, being them complete or incomplete… A good excuse to look again and again to my color map, as if it were a treasure hunt!

The initial idea in my mind was a mountain landscape full of trees. When a friend of mine, visiting our home, proposed the image of a lake and its reflections as appearing from the quilt, I was proud of feeling a connection with my early intent. Later, a quilting mate commented that such colors reminded her of crystalline waters… Yes, I like this: multiple interpretations are welcome.

Finally, when my husband said that he saw the view of a regatta, as the one populated by thousand sails which we admire every year in our gulf, I could not stop seeing it myself too!
The most important annual event in my hometown is a sailing race. Its images are impressed in the minds of all the locals, thanks to decades of celebratory photo galleries, posters and graphics attached on all the street lamps, triangle-based logos printed on the gadgets, and stunning aerial views offered by media coverage, usually depicting the winning sail running distant from the competitors, inside a blue sea full of boats surrounding our lighthouse…
Each place has some symbolic images of their own, embedded in its local culture. So, if I title my work “Barcolana”, in Trieste this will be well understood.

Before this quilt, I didn’t feel oriented to piecing triangles, maybe because I didn’t know well how to use them.
In this occasion, I heard triangles speaking in both languages: the one of abstraction, the other of figurative subjects, overlapping within the layers of fabric.
Next time I will feel more easy in letting any shape to propose an expression for itself!