Archive for the ‘2019 SFA’ Category


Here my latest finish…Sweet Fanny Adams (SFA).  She’s hanging in the little house above the pressing station.

Chartreuse linen from my friend Elizabeth’s stash.  Cherrywood dark scraps left over from previous projects.  Bamboo batting.  FMQ doodle-style with Sweet 16.  Double trapunto letters (I didn’t want to run the risk of them NOT standing out!).  Faced edges.  Lettering inspiration from Jessica Wheelahan.  Design style inspiration from Irene Roderick.

Sherri Lynn Wood, author of my most favorite quilt book EVER The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters suggests that when you finish a project, you evaluate it by asking yourself questions such as:  surprises?  discoveries?  dissatisfactions?  changes?  what next?

What surprised me about SFA?  I’ve done a fair bit of improv over the years but I found it difficult to study Irene’s work and try to interpret it without copying it.  It was difficult to use her work as a springboard to where I wanted to go.  Although, having written that, I rarely have a plan.  I just wanted the FEEL of Irene’s work.  I struggled.  In reading about her process, I learned that she works from the inside out with her pieces.  I honestly tried to do it that way, but finally reverted back to my technique of starting on the edges and working inward.

Discovery?  No real surprise…I love doing quilts like this.  Quilts that start with a fabric or an idea or just random left over blocks…and build from there.

Dissatisfactions?  I might have rushed it.  I struggle to let things marinate for very long.

Changes?  I wonder if the lower left is a bit ‘heavy’?

What is next?  I have an idea brewing that I’m calling “Oh how she loved being home alone”.  My friend Marcia and I have been brainstorming and I have a loose plan.  I want to finish my String Therapy series (I’m working on #7 now).  I have 8 rows of 24 clamshells (10 across) finished and I have 44 of 45 autograph blocks embroidered.


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I am being blackmailed by Mr. W.  He has advised me that since I have not blogged for nearly 3 months, that he is going to remove me (or my link) from HIS blog ON THE GRAPEVINE.

Well…here goes….an update on Sweet Fanny Adams.  I’ve started the jigsaw puzzle portion of the process…sewing bits and pieces together.  It’s always a crap shoot on how it turns out – even though I have a fairly good idea of where I’m going with it.

The last 2 pictures are where it is now.  The first 3 photos are the progression/development of the pieces.

My plan is to quilt the snot out of it and that is why I am leaving so much negative space.  I’m also planning to trapunto the letters in order for them to stand out.  And, I might embellish them with hand stitching.

I don’t know if it’s a new term or not…or if I have run across it somewhere else….but I think my ‘style’ could be called “abstract quilting”.  It’s not really “modern” and it’s not really “art”.  I used to call it “wabi-sabi” but I think “abstract quilting” is spot on.





The bottom section


The top section


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I’m working on another improv quilt with subversive words in it.

(Thinking back over the last 5 years or so, I have been adding lettering and/or wording to my quilts in many ways.  Only today I connected the dots that it might be my ‘thing’ or style.)

The backstory on this quilt…I had sent an email to a friend of mine using the expression “SFA” to describe someone or something.  I then proceeded to clarify what “SFA” meant (Sweet F**K All) as sometimes my American slang isn’t known by my Australian friends.  She assured me that she did know what SFA stood for but in Australia, it is also known as “Sweet Fanny Adams”.

Well, as Mr. W and I were making brekkie that morning, I innocently said to him “Who is this Sweet Fanny Adams?”.  To say that he nearly wet his pants is an understatement.  I haven’t seen him laugh so hard, bend-over hard, hard to catch his breath HARD,  in many many years.

Off to Google I went to research who this Sweet Fanny Adams was.

There is an entire story about her.  A very sad story that involves murder of a child.  The origins of the saying ‘Sweet Fanny Adams” has military connection relating to their food.  If you have time and are interested, here is a wikipedia link:  It’s kinda gross though – and like I said…very sad.

ANYWAY…..to make a long story even LONGER….I was inspired to do a SFA quilt but I wanted the words to be more hidden than my FFFF Indigo words.

I am really enjoying using the freeform lettering that I learned from my workshop with Jessica Wheelahan so I started making letters.

I’m also totally infatuated (quilt crush type stuff) with the work of Irene Roderick.  Using inspiration from  Irene Roderick , I decide to have a fair bit of negative space on the outside of the quilt.  This lead to doing the lettering in a low contrast style so that the words/letters will probably not be immediately visible unless you look closely at the quilt.

IMG_4179 (1)

Irene starts many of her improv quilts from the inside out – she calls it ‘dancing’.  So, I’m trying to channel Irene and Jessica and see if I can find my own interpretation of their styles.

So far I like where I’m headed.

**edited to add…I use the word VERY way too often.  I had to go in and remove at least THREE of them.

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