Quilt no. 011: Fogged

I am envious of the talented quilters that populate my social media. I see them start and finish quilts and other projects in matter of weeks and months while I am still plodding along in my hand quilting. I pieced 7 quilts in the past 12 months and finished 4 of them. I suspect the remaining three will take me until, at least, October to finish. Quilting is a slow process for me. Hand quilting is about letting time pass without consequence, of having a place to channel creativity, anxiety and perfectionism. It’s about giving myself idle time to get lost in minutiae and detail. It’s about finding calm and quiet in the repetitive motions, about losing myself in work. I feel accomplished and focused when I spend a few hours every day hand quilting.

Quilt no. 0011: Blowing in the Wind

I feel conflicted about my slow, plodding, methodical working process. I feel like I should be churning out work, to get it up and in front of people, to continuously send WIP images to my instagram account. To output for the sake of audience. To have more than one quilt in mind to submit to shows and competitions, to have a choice. I’d even like to be able to see my work evolve faster, to execute my ideas and have them be finished pieces. Despite the fact that I’ve got a bunch of WIPs, I’m still contemplating three more quilts to be made in the future. I’ve got fabric earmarked and piled together, inspiration images pinned, planning vectors half started.

Quilt no. 0011: Front Texture Quilt no. 0011: Front Stitching

Basically, quilting forces me to slow the fuck down.

Quilt no. 0011: Back
Previously, I’ve pieced and quilted quilts according to sections, which is a nod to the Amish quilts I love so much. For this one, I wanted the pieced sections to interact a little more and so I let quilting lines intersect, let others bleed out of their space. I think I was successful in creating more motion in this quilt. It feels less still and static than the others I’ve made.

Quilt no. 0011: Back Detail & Drape Quilt no. 0011: Back Texture

This quilt was made for the sake of making. I wanted to challenge my piecing skills. I wanted to make flying geese blocks. I had a bunch of grey and blue-grey scraps from previous projects that I wanted to use up. I have a thing, a negative thing, about leaving scraps sit around with no purpose, which is also why the back is the way it is. I was thinking about mist, about foggy days. In a Missouri summer, I was longing for a cool, misty landscape. I was thinking about moving to Colorado, about mountains, about craggy rocks and pine forests.

Quilt no. 0011: Front Texture


  1. I wish Quilting helped me slow the F down., instead I think I’m almost as manic about creating as I am when at my job. (Perhaps I have to work as hard at erasing what I see by working as hard at creating something positive? That’s the answer I give my mom anyways). The social media production wheel can be icky though. I get that. Shelby, this is lovely especially for the thought, effort, time and of course design behind it. Keep making-however you do it, and at whatever pace your creations are amazing.


    • Gosh, just a lovely quilt; classy and warm. Hand quilting really is the best thing ever. I love to do it and wish I could be more productive doing it on all my quilts. It’s nice to quilt vicariously through you. 🙂

      • Shelby Marie

        Thank you so much, Chawne! I’m so flattered you like my work; it means a lot to me to be seen and appreciated by a talented and smart maker as yourself.

        And absolutely on hand quilting. It really is the best.

    • Shelby Marie

      Thank you so much, Hillary! I understand about being manic in a creative process. When I was in school and making work with a camera, it was frantic and fast-paced and all about output. If you use quilting as a counter to what you see everyday at work, it makes sense that you would mimic that pace when you are making.

      I’m trying to be okay with not being able to finish stuff with the pace of social media. It’s hard though!

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