Dancing in the Rain

"The storm is an artist; the rainbow is its master piece."
-Matshona Dhliwayo, Canadian Philosopher and Author

When it rains, it pours!  Another storm rolled into San Jose, bringing more rain and a brand new hand dyed and quilted mandala!  I've come to enjoy these rainy days, as I am happy to ride out the storm from the comfort of my studio. 

Quilting these mandalas is a truly meditative experience.  In fact, I was so immersed in the quilting, that I almost forgot to take an in-progress picture!
Finding Calm in the Storm

I am often asked whether I brainstorm and plan out my quilting.  Truth is that I do very little, if any, planning.  It is truly improvisational as I stitch one ring of quilting at a time and then evaluate what to stitch next. 

The only planning involved is with thread selection.  For this trio of mandalas, I am using darker threads to give more weight to the stitched mandala designs.  Whereas the previous two mandalas utilized Dark Navy or Very Dark Navy in 50wt, I wanted to go more bold and found a small spool of Aurifil 40wt in Black (#2692). 
Splash of Color and Texture

Using 40wt worked beautifully as a single line of stitching shows well against the hand dyed fabric.  Ocasionally, I will travel over a previous line of stitching to emphasize a certain design element (and sometimes purely to get to where I need to go next!)  In the pictures below, you can see how using the Black 50wt used in the bobbin for the quilt back (left) compares to using Black 40wt on top (right) which really stands out!  It is very striking and will be my go-to thread for future mandala designs, athough I stock up on more Aurifil 40wt!
Rain or Shine

Bubblegum (#3660), a variegated pink 50wt, was used to stitch the flame motif into the pink corners.  It adds a little sparkle and texture, without drawing attention away from the mandala design.
Dancing in the Rain, Finishes 21" x 21"

"Sometimes the greatest storms bring out the greatest beauty...Life can be a storm, but your hope is a rainbow and your friends and family are the gold."
-Steve Maroboli, Author, Speaker and Behavioral Scientist