Monday, May 24, 2021

A present arrives

I received a wonderful present today from Paula Kovarik, a great quilter whose work I admired even before we got to meet and become friends,  It's a small quilt, densely stitched, of course, since that's her modus operandi, but a bit different from her signature quilting in that it has no funny creatures, just straight lines.  In fact, the quilt is called "Sightlines," which I'll explain in a minute. 

I couldn't wait till I find a place to hang it, so Ken obligingly modeled the quilt right out of the box.

This quilt is special not just because I get to have another Kovarik original in my collection -- which is special enough right there -- but for how it came to be mine.  Paula has written a book about her quilting process, and I had the privilege of editing and proofreading it for her.  "Sightlines" is my pay for the job.  

Having read every word of this book four or five times, I am uniquely qualified to tell you that it's a fine piece of work.  It has several kinds of text: detailed stories about how she came to make some quilts, tutorials and exercises on how to emulate her style of drawing-through-stitch, thoughts on her creative process and why she works in this medium.  It will even tell you how to (gasp!) cut up and reconfigure quilts that you're bored or dissatisfied with.  (Paula even did this with a Quilt National piece after it came home from touring.)

The book is called "At Play in the Garden of Stitch: thoughts that come while eyeing the needle" and it should be ready to purchase very soon.  (One advantage of self-publishing, which I shared with Paula while she was still in the planning stages of this book, is that you don't have to wait for months and months for a publisher to slot you into a huge schedule.)   I'll let you know when that happens.

But back to my new quilt.  Paula pieced the quilt from her scrap bag, and when it came time to quilt it, decided to not just stitch on all the pieced lines, but to extend those lines all the way to the edges of the quilt.  That led to a very dense network of lines, which made a web of interesting shapes, especially in the large black and white areas of the quilt.  Wherever she saw a triangle, she filled it in with dense stitching in gold.  

The gold areas jitter, giving excitement to the plain white foreground and making the black "sky" alive with sparks or fireworks or maybe auroras.  I can't wait to get this quilt into a permanent place so I can see it every day. 


  1. What a special “gift.” It is striking.

  2. Wow! Love Paula's work. What a great payment for your work.

  3. Lucky you! I am a huge fan of Paula.

  4. Magnificent!!!! A true work of art!!!!!

  5. The quilt is wonderful!!! Do let us know when the book is out for sale. Just looked on Amazon and our library...ha!

  6. A real treasure, and especially appropriate since you were so involved in her words about her process! I own her other book and will eagerly anticipate this one.