2020 - As I See It

Every year our MIX group comes up with a theme for an exhibit in Portland.  These exhibits then travel to other venues throughout the years.  The theme for 2021 is “As I See It” and we could add anything we wanted to that phrase, before or after. 

I decided on the title and theme “2020 – As I See It”

The year 2020 was a year of isolation, confusion, helplessness and pain, a year we do not want to repeat but also a year we should not forget.

I made this quilt with the pandemic in mind, thinking of its effects on the world and on each and every one of us.  It is a quilt that I will keep for myself as a reminder to not take anybody or anything for granted.

My process:

I love to create architectural quilts of places that make a strong impact on me.  Last year I also learned new skills inside and outside of my studio.  Inside my studio, I learned to inset circles! I tried just about every technique I found in books, on YouTube and in blogs, and when I finally settled on the one that worked for me I made many blocks that ended up in a large children’s quilt.

So, I was ready to start my “2020 – As I See It” quilt with measurement requirements of 18”w x 40”h

My plan was to create a world in isolation, places in a bubble.  The 18x40 measurements were a challenge that made the placement of those bubbles a bit tricky but then I also discovered that they could fall off the quilt, and half or partial circles were ok too.  The next task was to decide which places were going in the bubbles and after going back and forth a million times I finally settled on Portland-OR, a street in France, La Boca-Argentina and a village in Venezuela.  I started with a few simple sketches mainly for size and proportions.

The street in France was my first attempt followed by a grouping of houses in La Boca.  Once they were pieced, I either folded or used paper templates to audition the design.

Next came Portland, a view of the city from the Ross Island bridge going from East to West, with the Tilikum Crossing bridge in the foreground.  I knew I wanted to include the Koin Tower because of its interesting shape, and Big Pink.  A fabric that I created during a Resist workshop with A Stitch in Dye was a perfect candidate for a yellow building.

For the Tilikum Crossing I had in mind couching a few white strings over Portland, later.  Next, came a village in Venezuela with whitish houses and colorful windows. 

As I finished it and auditioned the entire piece, something didn’t seem right.  After staring at it for some time I decided that France was lacking the playfulness that the other bubbles had, it was too serious.  What to do? I decided to send France home and bring in Portugal with the city of Porto.

The colors and shapes looked much better and it seemed more coherent.

Now that I had the places built, it was time to inset them in circles.  I chose one large piece of fabric and proceeded to insert every circle, or half circle using a combination of methods described in Marie Joerger’s Circle Tutorial and in a book by Dale Fleming called Pieced Curves So Simple.

The cities/villages are slightly tilted to represent the confusion during most of the year and the many times contradicting “best practices” put in place by health organizations all over the world.

I usually decide on the quilting while I am piecing and I knew that this one required every circle to have its own quilting and then something that connected them all.  My initial plan was to quilt houses in the background but I realized that there wasn’t enough room for this and it would have been way too busy. So I settled for matchstick quilting with dark thread representing the many modes of communication during this past year: Zoom, WhatsApp, Google Meet, Google Hangouts, messaging, Signal, Telegram … and so many more!

The little circles you see floating in between are a special request from our daughter, the scientist, who researches Viruses at OHSU and has kept us up-to-date with developments.  They represent COronaVIrusDisease-2019.

Here is my final piece, "2020-As I See It"

2021 is looking promising as we slowly come out of our caves and start rebuilding lives and places.  We (my husband and I) look forward to soon re-establishing our Tuesday-with-the-grandkids day and I am dying to teach face-to-face workshops again.


Glorianne (Jul 10, 2022)

Absolutely awe inspiring Hilde. I love reading about your process from start to finish. Your piecing in those circles is gorgeous as is your final result. Outstanding quilting and execution. Wow!

Allison Lockwood (Jul 10, 2022)

Hilde, Your quilt is simply spectacular. I wish I could say that I made it. I love the crispness, clean and pure colors. The way you quilted it with the beautiful interruptions of bubbles was the frosting on the cake. As always, you are an inspiration for many.

Margaret A Linderman (Jul 9, 2022)

An inspiration. Thank you for providing the community with renewed focus. I am still using techniques learned at Sisters prepandemic

Heidi Yorkshire (Sep 6, 2021)

Hilde, I have now had the privilege of enjoying your Porto piece in my wall for more than a year. It is a marvel that draws me in more every time I look at it. I love this new piece with its new shapes and points of view. Thank you for sharing your process.

Judy Larson (Jun 9, 2021)

I’m in awe. Always love your work.

Carole Shumaik (Apr 2, 2021)

Oh Hilde, your quilt is really beautiful! It’s just great that you took such a difficult year and created a beautiful piece of art to remember it all. Thanks so much for sharing your process and the end result! Stay safe, healthy and happy! Caorle

Virginia Hammon (Apr 1, 2021)

Wonderful! - and a treat to have you walk us through your creative process. As a work of art, it speaks to and for us all!

Jan Eddy (Mar 27, 2021)

Hilde, So very inspiring and thought provoking as well. Seeing how you progressed in your thought process is very insightful for me and helped immensely by the visuals along the way. I too get excited when I see something from you in my inbox and look forward to hopefully another class in the not too distant future. Anxious to leave “my bubble.”

Deb Seltzer (Mar 22, 2021)

Thank you for sharing. This is wonderful. Your creative process is so inspiring.

toni f smith (Mar 22, 2021)

Fantastic! Thank you for sharing your process,,, The piece is beautiful and colors are joyful. It feels effervescent,

Beverley Longford (Mar 21, 2021)

This is such a thoughtful and wonderful quilt. Thank you for your generous sharing or your process. After a long period of time out of my studio I seem to have returned with renewed energy, maybe spring fever. Also a wonderful memory of this stressful time. We will get our shots tomorrow and are planning Easter with our children who also had shots, as for our son’s family in Europe one can hope eventually, Last visit with them was Christmas 2019.

Barbara Post (Mar 21, 2021)

Thank you for showing the planning and sequence of this beautiful piece. I could look at this for hours noting each detail of architecture and quilting. You are a master and I wish I could come to your studio again for a workshop.. Here’s to a much more vivid 2021 with travel, friends and family.

Sharon Raddle (Mar 21, 2021)

So fun to see how you think about making a memory quilt. And then to put it together put it together, like a meditation.

Cinda Langjahr (Mar 21, 2021)

I agree with Stone - except when I see a message from you I must WAIT to open it until I can really pay attention, there is always so much to learn, absorb, enjoy.

Sheila Poore (Mar 21, 2021)

Hilde, your piece is beautiful. What a year it has been with so much uncertainty going forward. Stay well. Sheila

Suzanne Warren (Mar 21, 2021)

Hilde what an inspiring and beautiful piece you have created. And like others have commented, the opportunity to learn about your processes- idea, design, and execution- is so valuable. Thank you!

MJ Caswell (Mar 21, 2021)

This is really lovely and I appreciate your insight into your process. May we all get to gather with our families, friends and communities soon.

Jo (Mar 21, 2021)

Loved following your thoughts and design decisions. Agree that France, certainly Paris, should never be portrayed as too serious.

Shelley O'Brien (Mar 21, 2021)

Seeing your creative process and hearing of the thoughts that lead to the finished piece is very inspiring, Hilde. Your 2020 - As I See It quilt piece is full of details representing the year and our world/communities and it will hang in a place of honor in your home. I can only imagine how wonderful you will feel when you can resume Tuesdays with grandkids and teaching eager students again. Your creativity will be overflowing!! With much respect and admiration, Shelley..

Judy Linderman (Mar 21, 2021)

So wonderful. Maybe even a little moody. I love it!

Janet Wilson (Mar 21, 2021)

Espléndido!!! As usual a deeply satisfying work, Hilde, both interesting, intellectual and beautiful. Well done and thankyou for sharing. Love the process details.

Jill Hoddick (Mar 21, 2021)

Thank you for sharing your engaging process and story of your year. I hope we can all be out of the bubble soon.

Randi Swindler (Mar 21, 2021)

Wow! I love your work!

Coni Hendry (Mar 21, 2021)

Another fabulous quilt. Loved learning of your thought process for this quilt which seems a wonderful read of 2020. The gift this year was learning to appreciate what we have in our neighborhoods, memories and hearts. Thank you so much for sharing!

Kay Skov (Mar 20, 2021)

Thanks for sharing, Hilde! I love that yellow fabric - how fun that you created it yourself.

Jean Dearn (Mar 20, 2021)

I learned of you as there was a flyer hanging near the registration table at sister’s quilt show 2 years ago. I am hoping to meet you sometime, take one of your classes in the Pacific Northwest With admiration, Jean in Bothell, WA

Shari Belling (Mar 20, 2021)

Dynamic, fabulous, and innovative! Loved reading the story leading up to this piece. ❤️

Annette McFarlane (Mar 20, 2021)

Oh, Hilde, its so lovely! You’re mastered that circle technique. Can’t wait till we can hang them all together.

Rebecca Dakan (Mar 20, 2021)

Hilde, I love this work. It really makes me feel the isolation, especially your choice of background. Because of that I find it beautiful but a little bit disturbing, but also magical. Love your buildings and the color in the bubbles. Thank you for sharing. Would love to take one of your classes with buildings!

Claudia McCarter (Mar 20, 2021)

You have captured the theme very well. 2020 has been a year spent in a bubble, isolated from everyone else. Each of your cities is distinct and appear to float in a soup of contagion yet tenuously connected by lines of various technologies. As always, thanks for sharing the methodology that went in to creating this beautiful piece of art.

Betty Daggett (Mar 20, 2021)

You continue to inspire me with your story, your process and creativity. You continue to successfully challenge, kicking the ball out of the parki! How could I not be inspired. You have done it again! Beautiful!!

Andrea Fleiner (Mar 20, 2021)

Lovely bubbles, but still I hope they pop soon and we can all join and see more than our own bubble. France had such a different coloring and I am curious on where it will eventually find its home. I will check the website you mentioned in regards of circles out. All the best to you, Riccardo and the whole gang. Andrea

Marti M (Mar 20, 2021)

Beautiful work! Can’t wait for you to start teaching again.

Stone (Mar 20, 2021)

Hilde, any time I see your name in my In Box I get so excited to see what you have done. Once again, you have created a masterpiece, and I thank you for sharing it!

Laura Tawney (Mar 20, 2021)

Wonderful representation of last year. I enjoyed your story and process of how you developed your theme. Very thoughtful😊 Laura

Marsha Cochrane (Mar 20, 2021)

A brilliant quilt representing 2020 Hilde! With each of us in our own bubbles, I would have been isolated completely if it weren’t for technology (especially Zoom) which has helped me stay connected to friends and family. Online classes and quilt shows have been a silver lining enabling me to nurture my creative self. Thank you for sharing your creative process, I love every element in your design and it’s an absolutely brilliant work of art!

Lisa Panaccione (Mar 20, 2021)

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this piece. You’ve captured a real sense of the topsy turvy world of 2020. Thank you for sharing. Hoping someday to take one of your classes!

Darla Schmunk (Mar 20, 2021)

Thank you so much for sharing your amazing creative process. I love your art. I will never forget taking one of your classes and feeling so happy about learning from you. I hope to someday experience that again.

Susan Cobb (Mar 20, 2021)

Beautiful work - as usual - Hilde. Thank you for sharing. Yes, it was a harrowing 2020. Looking up in 2021 - thank goodness.

Marie Diederick (Mar 20, 2021)

Marie Diederick

I love the work. You’ve created something that has meaning. We are in our own little bubbles. Thank you so much for sharing your work and your process. Great inspiration. Thank you again.

Susan Garrity (Mar 20, 2021)

Thank you, Hilde, for sharing your process. As always, it is fascinating and illuminating to see exactly how you work. Looking forward to face to face time again.

willie beaudet (Mar 20, 2021)

What a fabulous piece of art! I do so love it.

I have sent the last year making masks for friends and family and I kept my scraps to make 2020 quilt! Ive been debating how to design it and I love the circle idea! I am always inspired by your work. Thank you for another piece of eye candy! 😍.

Charlotte Key (Mar 20, 2021)

Hilde, Thank you for sharing this meaningful piece of art. You always amaze me with your artistry and design details.

Hugs, Charlotte

Marilyn Colyar (Mar 20, 2021)

I really like this, Hilde, and the story Of your process is more than interesting! Thanks for sharing this.
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