Quilts can invite giraffes to dance

collaborations

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

collaborations

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.

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!

Joining passions

collaborations

About one year ago, it was inaugurated my solo gallery Tagliamento king of rivers, where I used both photography and quilts to express my passion for visiting the wilderness of riverbeds in my region.

Now that it was time to propose a palette for the month of September, for my usual appointment with Patchworkvictim, I could not resist revisiting this homage to the colors of water and nature, and I selected the solids used for my favorite quilt dedicated to Tagliamento river. No wonder, it is titled “King”.

Fabric selection is described in a dedicated article on Patchworkvictim blog. You can get a full view of them all also in the video below. Wish you a nice dive in the waters of mountain rivers!

Fabric for a drink

collaborations

I prepared the colors for the August “Palette of the Month” several weeks ago. I didn’t expect that an exceptional heat wave would come, but now that it’s here, the color selection fits perfectly to the day: a group of yellows and greens, refreshing like a lime and mint based cocktail!

My monthly reflections on color match has become, for me, an occasion to learn something new. For example, I familiarized with the flower prints by Anna Maria Horner, and this resulted in a new collaboration with Patchworkvictim: Sara, from their team, has sewn a skirt for me, based on my design and on the fabric selection from last month: you can check in the next video if the new skirt it suits me well!

All the details of the “Palette of the Month” of August are reported at this link of Patchworkvictim blog.
Happy refreshing sewing!