Come Fly with Me

In my previous Cloth in Common blog post about the prompt International, I mentioned that I learned of our prompt while traveling from New Zealand back to Anchorage, Alaska. (If you are wondering what the heck is Cloth in Common, start here.)


At the time I was sitting in the first row of First Class on Alaska Airlines. (Being a frequent flyer has its perks. ) I was on the second to last leg of my journey home, a flight from San Fransisco to Seattle, and I was staring at this “wall” in a classic long journey travel stupor.


Here was my thought sequence—

International = Travel = Students from Around the World = Airplanes = This Wall in Front of Me = Quilt.

The quilt is about all of these things.

It is very much about my students in New Zealand and Australia. Many of them had taken bit making to entirely new levels. I was very interested to see if I could build on what they had done.


I have thought about the geometric potential of this “wall” before. It is very quilt-like. I created a sketch based on all of these ideas as well as the design elements I  often use—color, pattern, repetition, and the units used to compose traditional quilt blocks.


I pulled a palette of twelve colors.


I am not sure why I started with the outer edge, but I did.


In hindsight, I think it was a mistake. AT least for THAT quilt it was. I was disappointed with the result, so I started thinking about other things I could do with the units.

I decided I like the blue version best. I loved the flat palette and the potentail for vibration with this combo. I often tell my students that once you are on the design wall you must begin to think about construction. As in, how in the heck could I piece this?


I modified and moved forward.


The stars/spinners became airplanes in my mind.


Vibrating, tessellating, flying across my design wall.


So now, I am back to the original sketch.


This time I am starting in the center.


I apologize for the poor quality of my photos. We are in the heart of darkness up here in the sub-arctic. The light is low, sparse, and poor this time of the year.

If you would like to learn more about Cloth in Common and the quilts I have made while being a member of this group you can by following the links shared here.  They are in chronological order.

Cloth in Common—In the Beginning
True Confessions: Cacophony—Euphony
Spring Sprang Sprung
Break Up
MXY Road
Time Tunnel
Use Your Words (Carefully)

I encourage you to visit the Cloth in Common blog yourself to see what ALL the members have created. You will be amazed and inspired if you do. And if you happen to be in Taiwan, we will be having a Special Exhibition of our work at the Taiwan International Quilt Exhibition in 2020! How’s that for International?

This entry was published on November 30, 2019 at 12:39 PM. It’s filed under Cloth in Common, My Process-Quilts, News And Events and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

9 thoughts on “Come Fly with Me

  1. Susan Egge Haftel on said:

    Doing my typical handsprings after absorbing the color and geometrics of your work. There must be brainwaves attacking me while I sleep. My latest quilt looks like yours and I SWEAR I didn’t copy it!

  2. Carol R on said:

    My husband worked in Alaska Air engineering when they redid the interiors all those years ago. We don’t get to fly Alaska as much, living in Memphis now. But we look for that design every time we do fly Alaska🙂

  3. I’ve been wondering what it would be like to start at the outside and work in. Sorry it didn’t turn out well for you this time but the recovery is lovely. And you still have the original sketch to work on. What fun to have a project ready for December. Congratulations on all your quilting travels and successes. It’s a pleasure to read about them here and remember the class you gave my guild.

    • Thank you Ann! I am not sure if I will try working from the outside again. I think the idea is alright, but colors seemed all wrong. It was a pleasure to teach for your guild!

  4. It’s fascinating to read about your process. Thank you for sharing it and your beautiful work. I love the title

    • I like the title too. It took a while, but then it just clicked. In my mind it was about those cheesy Pan Am advertisements, but then I discovered those were based on a silly, but fun song by Frank Sinatra. It just sort of all fit together! Thank you!

  5. I know the song !

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: