Isn’t this just the most elegantmat? This was a birthday gift from my dear friend Suzanne Sawko who has honed her free motion quilting skills to a level that qualifies as real art.
The varied textures and intricate patterns on this piece make it almost too pretty to use. The stippling is so tiny that those areas appear flat. The quilting designs vary from large and open to small and tight. Variety makes this such an interesting piece to study, especially while enjoying a cup of tea.
Suzanne is a great fan of on-line classes and has taken several quilting courses. One of these focused on free-style feathers and other free motion quilting techniques. The designs are not drawn onto the fabric, but created like a pencil sketch drawn with no eraser.
All the feathers and swirls present even more dramatically in contrast to the straight line patterns. The overall effect is made more elegant by the use of variegated thread.
Suzanne’s needlework skills are legend. For several years, she authored a series of articles on machine techniques in Creative Needle magazine (see her re-creation of an antique quilted bib). She paints (see the scene she painted in her grandchildren’s playroom, gardens, smocks, crochets, sews heirloom and contemporary garments for her grandchildren, bakes incredible birthday cakes for the children and currently is focused on quilting. Because of that, my Earl Grey will taste even sweeter sitting on this pretty mat.
How fortunate am I to be the lucky recipient of this little masterpiece! And even luckier to have this wonderful, talented woman as my friend.
Note: The African violets in the first photo were grown from leaves that Suzanne gave me from two of her own trailing violets.