modern quilt · Music · quilting


A beginner’s look at music

Glissando – from the French word glisser “to slip, slide, fall flat”.

Venturing into the world of music at a ripe old age can be fun and challenging. Probably more challenging than fun, but I love a good challenge.

My family is way ahead of me on this score. They converse in major/minor cords, diminished/dominant chords, jazz workings, classical pieces, ideas on music composition, and the intricacies of various instruments and equipment.  I thought I’d join  in on the conversation and started studying the violin.


Trying to gain control of the placement of left hand fingers on the strings along with the right hand bowing movement is complicated (the death grip I have on both is not helpful). The arch of the bridge fouls me up constantly.


Then there’s the sheet music. Those tiny markings scattered about the page, the notations to keep track of, key signatures, flats, sharps, notes for emphasis, notes that may actually go down but my bow stroke continues to go up, and the rhythm. Geesh.

All this can lead to some confusion during the playing of the song.  The sound can be awkward, stiff and  stilted, almost brick like, causing the music to fall apart and in my imagination, leaving the notes no other choice but to abandon the page in sheer disgust at the total destruction of what otherwise would be a lovely piece of music, and fall into piles about my feet.

Abandon ship!

Learning to master anything at any age takes time. Learning to master the violin, or music itself, requires many years of study and great patience. I’ve been secretly hoping that I could find some magical shortcuts, but there are no shortcuts. Aside from all the work, it has been fun to learn something new each week and be able to share those discoveries with my family.


The yellow and red at the bottom of the quilt are to remind me to slow down, to take my time and realize that when things fall flat it’s time take a break. Glissando, in musical terms, means to slide either up OR down. Some days will be good and some will be, well, scratches on the blackboard bad. (Good reason for why I practice when no one else is home) But for the moments that I finally put the pieces together and pretty musical notes come from my instrument, it makes it all worth while.

Music in Me fabric for the binding (how appropriate!)

Keep striving for more and mastery will come. Ok, maybe not mastery. Maybe the better goal is gaining the ability to share in the language of music. Yes, I’ll stick to that.

Words of encouragement

Kona cotton for the solids, Benartex fabric for the binding, Aurifil 50wt. thread for piecing and quilting (guys, it never fails me!), Windham fabric for the backing, and Hobbs 80/20 for the batting.

Thanks for stopping by and happy quilting!


2 thoughts on “Glissando

  1. Caroline, this is SO good! The quilt AND your write up. (How did I not know you had a blog?) Excellent quilting decision! I can’t wait to see it in person. Congratulations on another wonderful finish!

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