I've started 3 new pieces this week, and now they are waiting on my kitchen table for their stitches.
I typically work this way, placing the backing, batting then background into a sandwich, already cut approximately the size of the finished piece. Then I'll lay pieces onto this sandwich, until I reach a point where I must stitch things before going further.
This first piece is the largest, about 18" x 28", and is my interpretation of a photograph my friend Lydia took on her visit to Croatia to discover her family roots. It's a "lights at night" photo, but to me it represented a snapshot of a moment, a way to capture such an ephemeral thing as time.
The second piece also came to life from a photo of Lydia's, a great shot of the circular stair in a castle tower...this is a small piece, about 8" x 11", and serves as a study for what I hope will be a better, and larger, work!
The last piece reflects another method I have of working; I stitch together elements to create a background that I plan to do alot of stitching on. This piece is a bit larger than the last, and has a piece of fabric that I myself dyed,(dark circles at the top), a commercial fabric by Nancy Crow (left side) and the big dark fabric is a favorite of mine, I've had it for years, incorporated it into other pieces, and I found it the other day and had to use it! I have a plan for the machine stitching, but I don't want to give it away!
I look at my work and see that I do tend to favor certain fabrics; some have quite an emotional response tied to them. There's a piece of Italian cotton, black with multi-colored elephants on it, and I've had it for at LEAST 20 years. Okay, more like 25. I've used it in several quilts, and I still have one little strip of it, about 2" wide by 12" long. I have that strip carefully wound and placed in a storage drawer in my sewing room. I'll find the perfect use for that last little bit someday.
The dark fabric on the last quilt, with the faint wavy lines, is another fabric that has become a touchstone for me. I used it once, in a tiny little quilt, but that quilt is quite possibly my ultimate favorite. I'll have to share a photo of it soon. Everytime I see it, I feel a little proud of it, like it speaks my voice better than anything I had done before and possibly since. The wavy fabric has become for me an element of truth, and I've not used it again because I have been waiting for another moment of truth!