Quilts can invite giraffes to dance


The third and last episode of the series “The secret lives of quilts” is out on Patchworkvictim blog, on its YouTube channel, and here above!

This time, the power of quilts to connect, flies from Italy up to Canada! I had the opportunity to participate in a mini quilt swap arranged once a year by the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG), and I created the work below for my swap partner: I titled it “Giraffe’s rock”, being inspired by fabric with text on the theme of “rock”, which was preferred by my swap partner: because the aim was to use a fabric pull according to the taste of the person who will receive the work.

This fabric selection was really surprising to me: I used a group of super cold blue shades which I don’t adopt very much (since I prefer the turquoise selections of blue). And I discovered how every blue skinny line, pieced among the warm orange blocks, created a very bright contrast effect.

I learnt a lot from the mini-swap experience. My swap partner, Linda, a biker form Canada, is a professional quilting longarmer: what an honor to be paired with her! She proposed that we wait for both mini quilts to be received either by her, in Canada, and by myself, in Italy. When I received her pack, knowing that she had my pack ready for the opening moment, I couldn’t wait! I contacted her on Instagram, and we started a minute-by-minute chat, sharing all the emotions of discovering all the features of our received quilts. We shared common taste for the orange colors: both of us made the quilt with such hues! She used a professional label: I should improve my quilt label style!

Thanks to Linda, and to our MQG swap fairy Mary , who supported swap timing and international communication, for us and for other 15 couples of swappers. Isn’t this title for the swap facilitator role, “fairy”, a confirmation that quilting power is a kind of magic?

Goldfinger quilt spy story

collaborations, Exhibits, improv process

The second episode of the series “The secret lives of quilts” is out on Patchworkvictim blog and its YouTube channel and here above! Like a spy story, we may call it mission Goldfinger. Do you remember the scene when James Bond emerges from the sea, unzips his submarine gears and appears perfectly suited in his smocking, equipped with a fresh flower ready for its place in the white jacket? The same happens to travelling quilts, hidden in small packages, ready to surprisingly pop out from their mystery box, to reach their destination in fully elegant settings.

This episode indeed features works by Quilt Improv Studio participants, such as the wonderful mini quilt “Delirium” made by Carla Beretta shown in the pictures below, which I had the opportunity to see in person after its travel to the venue for the gallery “The tales of the needle and the brush“: it perfectly unfolded from its tiny shipment pack, without showing any crease thanks to its incredible thick free motion quilting fill. Carla is a founder of Quilt Improv Studio together with Giovanna Nicolai and myself, and even if we collaborate by remote, I still remember the wonderful sensation of keeping first time among my fingers her masterful creation in the shades of gold.

One of the secret powers of quilts is the capability to connect people from all around the world. Since two years ago, Quilt Improv Studio launches its games online: the Instagram gallery of works made by game participants nowadays displays more than 160 quilts, showing how varied can be the ideas emerging from improv process adopted by quilters who were inspired by the same game prompt.
Quilts made for the game include excellent examples such as the works selected for QuiltCon2022 and aired last February in Phoenix, Arizona, by @aquilterstable@quiltcreation and @kathycookquilts; @sakuraquilting was awarded at Gramado Brasil quilt festival with her quilt “Emergiendo” created during Orange Summer challenge and @hollygrovethreads was awarded at Greenville quilt festival with her work “Mod Mondrian” created for Primary Improv challenge. If you want to join such adventures, you are still in time to participate to the latest game Pop Improv challenge!

To conclude with funny anecdotes, I add a bonus track here below: my favorite parodie of James Bond reiterating his name, by the great couple of Italian comic actors Lillo and Greg!

The secret lives of quilts


I’ve started a new video miniseries, thanks to the collaboration with Patchworkvictim, titled “The secret lives of quilts”. Like an investigator, I look for hints of fascinating behaviors of fabric creations, which walk around and play tricks especially when we are distracted or asleep.

Several witnesses shall be called in: quilt stories involve quilting friends who know more details than me, and help to connect the dots.

In the first appointment, titled “Fabric as a best friend”, I mention contributions by Brenda H. Smith (who spotted my work during her travels) and Ally Ryde (who gave me suggestions on how to uncover a best friend hidden among fabrics).

The story tells about my work “Sealights”, already described in my earlier post here. It’s a quilt that continues to give surprises: for example, it acted as a mimetic landscape to allow unexpected creatures to hide in between its seams: the following photos provide the proof.

Rest of the story is revealed in the video below. It’s in Italian, but you can still observe that this quilt is capable to travel across seasons and to move back in time.

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


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


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


“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


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.