Quiltmaking is my jogging

improv process

I share my quilting studio with DaveTheWave, who collects there his tools for electronic music improvisation, and sometimes I enjoy piecing during his composition hours.
His tunes are a perfect companion for sewing with a rhythm: not only I respond better to the emerging shapes on my design wall, but also I feel confident in changing my texture while keeping unity in the overall piece.

Music improvisation and quilting improvisation are similar: when you find a good balance between control and intuitive response, you are in the flow, you are connected with the medium, the eye switches easily from zoom detail to overview check, and repetitions with variation can proceed.
Where can I learn from, if I want to practice the feeling of improvisation? Keeping a good link between body and mind reminds me of training in sports: you have learnt the basics and, during the match, you seamlessly adjust your strategy according the movements of the team.

Birthday party drawing gallery: April 15th

activism, Exhibits

Did you know that my quilting practice influenced my drawing habits? That my bigger love for spirals during free motion quilting turned into my favorite ink and pen color transition mark?

If you are curious to see my most recent works, where I transform the photos taken while strolling in my hometown by using all sorts of ink on paper, feel free to join my birthday drawing gallery titled “Dreamscapes”: Friday April 15th, exhibit inauguration at 17.30 in “SpazioTrieste” room of via Donizetti 5/A in Trieste. I will bring you through my dreamy visions that appear in my mind during daily walk in the ancient streets. It will follow a party drink, confirmation of your presence is appreciated for booking arrangements.

No birthday gifts needed, but if you really wish to do something, in the gallery room you will find a free offer box, aimed to fundraising for Ukraine refugees by Médecins Sans Frontières, also directly possible through the donation details at this link.

Looking forward to see you at the party: a selection of postcards based on my drawings will be available. And if you are too distant to attend, but you wish to feel the party atmosphere anyway, write me your postal address and I will send a signed postcard to you!

Light facets on the sea

Exhibits

I choose my daily walk time, when possible, based on its proximity to the sunset hour.
The marvel of the light nuances, from the sky to the sea, evolves at every moment. The water in front of my town is usually calm, due to moderate sea depth and closed coast around the gulf. In windy days, salt and pepper tint the waves.

Twenty years ago, when University studies allowed noon time breaks, I went swimming every day, and I checked light rays from the underside of the water surface.
One of my happiest memories from that period is the friendly behaviour of sea breams, who liked to swim together with me!

“Sealights” is a quilt that includes and abstracts many viewpoints on the above subjects. It will be travelling with MQG exhibit through the US, together with representative works from QuiltCon 2022. Already on the schedule this year, the quilts will be traveling to Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, the “Airing of the Quilts” in Iowa, as well as shows in Texas, Virginia, and Tennessee. If you have the opportunity, catch it at the shows, because after the tour “Sealights” will land to its new home… not too distant from another coastal line!

That hue of blue

improv process

Some months ago I was walking to the city center, and I raised my eyes upwards. There was a beautiful intense blue sky, and many perfect white clouds. It was just a small field among the houses, but it gave me sense of the beauty of our remote roof on top. I decided, then, that I wanted to make a quilt out of these colors.

I talked in this earlier blog post about the start of this work. I selected all my favorite blue fabrics, and I combined them such to obtain this same feeling impressed in my memory. I wanted to render the sense of expansion, but I realized that I needed a kilometers wide quilt… it was required a real size effect!

I finally settled for keeping just the meaning, distilled into a small detail.

Now my quilt is finished, and I can keep between both hands a tiny symbol of something located so remote. I gave it title: “The space between the clouds”.

Each month has its colors

collaborations

December is the month when the number of daylight hours is the smallest one. At least, in this part of the world! Nonetheless, I am fascinated by the observation of reality, as it is, even if it’s cold. So, after my long working hours, I try to go out and catch the last shade of light during a walk to my beloved sea. Blue sky turns to black night, and sometimes I’m surprised by the capability of the last rays of the day to carry colors that are still intense and bright.

The palette I propose for the month of December, in collaboration with Patchworkvictim as usual, is dedicated to the intensity of dark blue and warm red. You can see in the video below how nice pairing of red and blue can be found with printed fabric dedicated to celebrate this month! Description of all selected fabric is listed on Patchworkvictim blog.

I tried the proposed combination of red and blue in the quilt below: no surprise that, in using such colors, I bumped into the idea of quilting star shapes!

From the microscope to the sky

collaborations, improv process

“Beyond Borders” is a virtual quilting guild of the Modern Quilt Guild. It is virtual because many of us are not able to meet in person: the group includes members from different continents, who applied for participation to the Individual Members Coalition of the MQG.
Our last virtual gathering took place on November 16th, with participants from USA, UK, Sweden, Spain, Italy and Australia, and we talked about:

•MQG highlights: keep connected! Resources and articles setting the example.

•Off the shelf! Quilting books that we like (led by Barbara @barbararosborg and Giovanna @jonikquilts).

•”Inspiration corner”: From the microscope to the sky. Natural textures finding room into our quilts (this was my talk: I will describe it here below).

•Show & Tell: participants showed what they were working on, new beginnings, past finishes.

•News from the quilting world: coming quilting events, sharing plans to visit venues

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“Inspiration corner” is a section we have recently introduced: we have discovered the inspiration sources of Samantha @threads_of_my_life and Ally @alsterdeeluxe, from the English countryside, to the shapes hidden in the daily shadows around us.

In my turn for the “Inspiration corner” speech, I explained how I am inspired by textures that I find in nature and during my professional experience.

I have used photography for twenty years, and among my past photo galleries there was one fully dedicated to textures visible in the reflections on the surface of water.

I started to use microscopy during my thesis work at the University, and the pictures I gathered in that period became part of a science communication project which travelled around Italy for some years.

I am still using microscopy and other imaging techniques, such as optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, x-ray tomography and ultrasonic testing: I have a professional relationship with images and I continuously work extracting technical meaning from raw abstract pictures.

When I put my recent texture quilts aside to the images obtained at the microscope, sometimes I find they have similarities. I don’t use photos as a direct source to make a quilt as a replica of the subject, but the library of pictures filling my memory surely influence my quilting practice.

I’m a moderator of “Beyond Borders” group, together with @tarahartslief: if you want to jump onboard, feel free to contact me for questions!
Consider also checking the other one of the two groups of MQG Individual Member Coalition, at their Instagram profile: @modernfusionmqg

The colors of Autumn

collaborations

I love walking in the wood in Autumn, hearing the sound of cracking leaves under my steps, peeking the light popping out between the trees now and then as a surprise.

I rarely use dark colors for my quilts. But they make a beautiful background for bright and warm details! This is why I’ve chosen my crimson quilt as the inspiration source to propose a “Palette of the month” for November: in Autumn we have less light, but when it appears, it’s a wonderful flash!

You can see the fabric selected in collaboration with Patchworkvictim at this link of their blog, and a display of combination effects for prints and solids in the video below.

Quilts and friends meeting again

collaborations, Exhibits

I first met Giovanna @jonikquilts on the verge of new year 2020, thanks to the common interest for improv modern patchwork.

After noticing her on the web thanks to common attendance of an on-line workshops, where the sneak peeks of our works in progress suggested we had a similar taste for color choice, I decided to break the ice inviting Giovanna to start a joint project. During the first phone call, while Giovanna was on the mountain enjoying family holidays, I proposed her to meet in person. A new year was starting: the best moment to fill our agenda with new plans! Even if this required to take the train, Giovanna liked the idea of travelling, and started to fill her luggage.

In February 2020, Giovanna took the train from Mestre, near Venice, and reached me in Trieste. What was the content of her suitcase? A bundle of quilts! All the quilts she had sewn in the recent years. Large quilts, small quilts, mini quilts, top to be finished, flying thread…

Received in my home, the quilts popping out from Giovanna’s bag seemed to be endless. It was the first chance we had to see each other in person, and to look at all the quilting work done by both of us until that day. We started to plan a weekend in Prague together, to visit an international patchwork fair. We didn’t know that this one was the last occasion for us to meet, in years.

Until today.

Technology helped us to pass the difficult coming months: sometime crises create new opportunities. We met virtually, we tightened the connection with another Italian improv quilter, Carla Beretta @falcolupo, and ideas started to take shape: the construction of Quilt Improv Studio project.

Now, one of our old ideas took shape.

This Saturday we had the first occasion to meet physically again. It’s been a great experience to be in person, for the first time after almost two years, during the inauguration of the gallery The tales of the needle and the brush. A great occasion to meet quilters earlier known only through the web, and to appreciate the beautiful details of their quilts in a way that photography cannot express. Thanks Giovanna for passing through all plan changes we had in these complex times, and to continue with enthusiasm in promoting our initiatives together with Carla! Remote ways of working will remain our main tool: our quilting community reaches whatever distance.

On the back of this photo: the quilts Giovanna and myself made with identical palette, jointly purchased just in time before everything was closing down. Now they have finally been put one at the side of each other, in a real exhibit where we could be together.

Improvising with common colors

collaborations, Exhibits, improv process

When it was time for me to propose a palette for the month of October, I immediately thought of the pumpkin color and to the works I have done with orange fabric. I chose my quilt made for the first Quilt Improv Studio game, and I listed the colors used at that time to share its juicy palette: my favorite oranges, white and a well contrasting dark blue.

You can find the resulting fabric selection made in collaboration with Patchworkvictim, at the following page of their blog.

In this video you can see how nice prints using orange blue and white we could find, to match with the solids chosen at the start.

If you wish to see with your eyes the orange quilt which was created following this palette, you can soon come to visit the quilt+painting gallery The tales of the needle and the brush, opening on October 23rd in Trieste (Italy) and displaying not only orange quilts, but also blue quilts and black and white quilts, all stemming out from the fantasy of improv quilters who followed Quilt Improv Studio game prompts. And much more!

Participation to Quilts Unlimited

Exhibits

Two of my quilts are part of the juried show Quilts Unlimited, on display since Saturday, October 02, 2021 to Saturday, December 04, 2021 in Old Forge, New York.

The organizers made a great job in creating previews and event related material, collected in the online reception page. I can feel like being there, in good company of beautiful works from Australia to US, even if I’m not travelling there. My quilts travel more than me!

In this video you can find a selection of hanging quilts. It’s nice to see that my yellow “Grasshopper path” stands near to a blue quilt, getting contrasting colors effect in the sequence of the display, while my “Landing” mates with a quilt having similar repetitions and symmetry scheme. Thanks to View Center for Arts and Culture for this awesome exhibit!