Friday, March 20, 2015

Progress on "Come Walk with Me" quilt and Poetry

Come Walk with Me

 Last week I showed you pretty much all of the nuts and bolts of using a tear-away foundation to piece - it was a LONG blog to put together. This week it will be short and simple. (So I can get back to quilting!)

Last week I pieced the quilt top.

Detail of the branch
 Once the quilt top is pieced, the next step is to add any applique.  I added a few messy cut bits of shrubbery here and there, some ferns and some foreground foliage. Then I got out my trusty freezer paper and drew out a large branch. (I use freezer paper because I can press the paper directly on top of my fabric to make patterns.)

I needed the branch to arch over the path and to give the appearance of making the shadow on the path below. After I fused on the branch, I fused on fussy cut red leaves.

Detail of the path
 The last thing I added to the quilt top was a few 'fallen' leaves under the branch.

During all this fusing/applique, I have kept the remaining bits of foundation on the back of the quilt top. This makes a big difference in keeping the straight rows straight and helps to prevent the quilt top from getting warped by the applique.

 In the case of this quilt, most of the applique is fused at the top, this could lead to the problem that the dimensions at the top of the quilt will be smaller than the dimensions at the bottom. By leaving the foundation on while you are fusing, you mitigate against this problem.

Next step?
Removing the remaining foundation
 Once the quilt top is finished, gently remove the foundation.  I am not planning on adding borders to this quilt but if I was, I would sew on borders before removing the last of the foundation.

You might be wondering why I do not use a product called Quilt-Fuse; the gridded fusible foundation. Simply put: I hate the stuff. It is a non-woven product and it has a bias stretch. This means that it will not produce perfectly pieced squares with perfect straight seams. It curves and warps and is especially problematic in large quilts.  It also leaves a LOT of added bulk to your quilt top because you can't remove it once the piecing is done.  This is why I came up with the method of using a tear-away foundation.

Once the last of the foundation is removed, I fuse my quilt top to my batting.  Fusing is marvelous - it keeps all those straight rows straight no matter how tightly I stipple the thing.

Now that the quilt top is fused, I stitch down the appliques using monofilament thread. The batting acts like a super stabilizer and minimizes any distortion in the quilt top.

Once the appliques are stitched down (and I usually only stitch down the tree trunks and glued on messy patches) you can fuse on the backing fabric. I use tiny bits of ripped out fusible web instead of safety pins when I fuse on the backing and use whole sheets of the fusible web when I fuse on the quilt top.
Stitching down the appliques
 You can see a couple of the messy cut bits of shrubbery I added in the above photo. I'm stitching down the narrow sapling with a zig-zag stitch and monofilament thread. (I'm using an open toe free motion quilting foot because the width of my zig zag isn't too wide.)

Zig-zagging the raw edges of these narrow patches helps prevent fraying.  If I use a straight stitch along the edge, the trunks would fray a LOT more.  Plus, I hate 'thready looks' and zig zagging helps keep those raw edge threads contained.

I interrupt this blog with a bit of fun news. My quilt Carpathian Mountain Sunset won Best of Show wall quilt in Sun Prairie last week! (Thank you to Cindy Garcia for taking this photo of me and for encouraging me that my nose isn't too big, lol!) 


Back to Come Walk with Me.

 I just want to tell you about the title of this quilt.  I'm big on inviting people to join in my shared delights. Whether it is a movie I especially like, a quilt which touches me, or a favorite vacation place,  my walk with Jesus, or a path in the woods.

 Sharing a special 'delight' adds to my own enjoyment. 

Have you ever noticed the same thing? When you watch your favorite movie with someone, or you take someone to your favorite park and you experience their joy in it too, doesn't it it add to your own enjoyment? Sometimes I wonder if that is why God created us, to enjoy His world with Him... but I digress.

As a consequence, I really like paths as a theme in quilts. I wanted this quilt to be an invitation to walk in our Wisconsin forests in the fall during our peak color season. When I started thinking about this theme a phrase kept going through my head and the phrase was 'come walk with me'.

I didn't realize until a couple of weeks ago that this is a popular phrase in poetry. There are several poems right off the bat and I'll share them with you. I'm not big on poetry but these poems appeal to me and in case you might like to know them, here they are.

The first is by Christopher Marlowe, he wrote it in the 1500's. (I know the actual words are 'come live with me' but the theme still fits.)

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the Rocks,
Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow Rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing Madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of Roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty Lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and Ivy buds,
With Coral clasps and Amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The Shepherds’ Swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.

Isn't it beautiful? It's all about shared delights, about seeing and turning everyday ordinary things into something precious. At least that what it speaks to me...

Emily Jane Bronte wrote this poignant poem in the early 1800's 

Come, Walk With Me

Come, walk with me, 
There's only thee 
To bless my spirit now - 
We used to love on winter nights
To wander through the snow; 
Can we not woo back old delights?
The clouds rush dark and wild 
They fleck with shade our mountain heights
The same as long ago 
And on the horizon rest at last
In looming masses piled; 
While moonbeams flash and fly so fast
We scarce can say they smiled - 

Come walk with me, come walk with me;
We were not once so few
But Death has stolen our company
As sunshine steals the dew -
He took them one by one and we 
Are left the only two; 
So closer would my feelings twine
Because they have no stay but thine - 

'Nay call me not - it may not be
Is human love so true? 
Can Friendship's flower droop on for years
And then revive anew? 
No, though the soil be wet with tears, 
How fair soe'er it grew
The vital sap once perished
Will never flow again 
And surer than that dwelling dread,
The narrow dungeon of the dead 
Time parts the hearts of men -' 

This sweet sad poem looks at the end of our lives, sharing the sorrow with a loved one as friends pass away, knowing that there will be a time when the lovers themselves will be separated but drawing closer to each other even as the time draws near.

Definitely not what I was thinking when I made a path.  Though perhaps there is an element of time passing
 and the need to grow even more intimately connected to the special love in your life... 

Here is another.

Author unknown

Come walk with me
Along the sea
Where dusk sits on the land
And search with me
For shells are free,
And treasures hide in sand.

Definitely doesn't fit with fall in Wisconsin!

And the last poem - and the one I think expresses my feelings best about the invitation to walk with me.  Written by Alexander Haugh

Come walk with me and be my love...

Come walk with me and be my love
Please share your soul with me
Tell me who you really are
And who you've come to be.
I'll listen to your memories
To all the dreams you've had
I'll listen to your wants and needs
The good time and the bad.

And as we walk, please hold my hand
And let me tell you too
Of all the dreams and fantasies
I want to share with you.
There are many things I want to say 
As I have many things to do
Many things I need to learn
Before this life is through.
I know I've met you times before
In meditative dreams
You are the one who holds the key
To unlock this heart it seems.

So once again, come walk with me
My love, I welcome you
Just be yourself and I'll be me
In everything we do.
And as you gently hold my hand
I'll hold on tightly too
And together we can walk along
Until our time is through.
I love that last stanza, 

And as you gently hold my hand
I'll hold on tightly too
And together we can walk along
Until our time is through

Perhaps that last poem is a bit mushy!? Maybe so, but since my husband and I just celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary, it fit my feelings the best.  Ted and I love hiking and camping together and this is something we've been doing together throughout all the different stages of life we've gone through.

When times were hard or when times were easy, when the kids lived at home, and when they moved back. Again.  Our lives can be expressed as a journey down a path and an invitation to walk with someone special is something never to be taken lightly. There is joy in the journey, and sorrow at times. One never knows what awaits around the bend, but the sad times can be used to draw even closer to your path-mate. Cliche, I know. But that is a what a path in the forest means to me.

Comments welcome. 


  1. Wonderful, beautiful. I have to come back, when I have time to really look at this process and maybe try it.

  2. I sit here totally awed! You are one super talented lady!

    1. Thank you. I don't feel all that talented... I think that I've just worked at expressing myself for a long time now and after 25 years have reached a point where I'm making it work. I appreciated your kind words, thank you for writing to me. :)

  3. This is so lovely, it looks like you could just go for a walk right there. Beautiful job and thanks for the info on using tear away instead of that other stuff that I really don't like. I will give this a try. Also congrats on the win with you beautiful mountain scape.

    1. Thanks! I'll assume you saw the blog from a couple of weeks ago or so - that you saw the beginning of the process? Let me know if you have any questions... and if you start one, remember to cut your squares a few threads shy of the grid you'll draw on your foundation.

      And don't sneeze until everything is pinned.
      And don't let the dog in if he has a big wagging tail, lol.

      Lessons learned the hard way!

  4. instructive, seen from the quilting side, enriching seen as a whole...
    I fully enjoyed it.

    1. Thank you Hilacha, I'm glad you liked it and hopefully it will help inspire you on your own walk and the paths you have in front of you. :)

  5. Saw your work on facebook and really like it. Now have your book and am going thru my stash and browsing your site. Great book and very well written!
    Luv the new one Come Walk With Me - the path especially.

  6. Why thank you Ruth! I'm glad you are feeling inspired. I finished quilting it last week and the facing is on. All that is left is adding a sleeve and label. Over the weekend I went to the big quilt show in Chicago so when I get more time I'll start posting some of my favorites from the show. Let me know if you have any questions!