Sometimes, I just have to stitch.
By stitch, I mean quilt. I layer batting between two pieces of fabric, lower the feed dogs, and just go. No pattern, no plan. No specific project in mind. Free form designs emerge from my fingertips, kind of like doodling with fabric and thread. The stitched lines may be a little jerky at first, but eventually, I settle into a rhythm, and just have fun. The worries of the day fade away.
Batiks and mottled hand-dyed fabrics are wonderful for this sort of stitching. Sometimes I outline odd shapes, or stipple in certain areas, taking cues from color changes in the fabric. Variegated threads seem to fade in and out of like-colored fabrics. I like to use plain muslin on the back. The resulting designs are wonderful bits of stitching.
The finished pieces can be used for almost anything. I’ve made totes, small handbags, and tiny little quilts. The leftovers from those pieces are sometimes satin stitched together in a patchwork of pretty stitches.