Thursday, April 8, 2010
I know it's spring and I'm certainly not trying to make time go any faster, but I just finished up a piece that I started last fall and that I titled "Fall" as well. This piece actually began at a guild tea last September, where I was one of the lucky winners of a door prize. Most, perhaps all, of the door prizes were fat quarters and there nestled under many tiny florals and civil war reproductions was this piece of obviously hand-dyed fabric. I still have not figured out who donated it, but it must have been created by a guild member. It was filled with wonderful splotches of deep reds and greens and browns.
As I was on my way home I was already planning to use it to make some kind of autumn tree. It soon merged with an idea I had put in my sketchbook about using the Robbing Peter to Pay Paul block, otherwise known as the Drunkard's Path, to give the idea of the crown of a tree. But I only had a fat quarter so I was not sure it would work. I settled on three-inch blocks and hoped my rough calculations were correct enough and I would end up with enough blocks to make a suitably sized tree crown. And sure enough I made it stretch, with just enough left over for some colorful leaf litter on the "ground."
I decided on a split background of gold and yellow from my own hand-dyes to give that golden autumn glow. But the first big experiment on this piece was the trunk. I set myself the task of creating some trunklike fabric with some texture to it. So I began by ironing Mistyfuse to the back of a grey and a darker brown hand-dye, slicing them up into thin undulating strips, then weaving them loosely together and ironing them to a brown. And you can see the result.
The other big experiment was the amount of quilting on this piece. I had decided to do diagonal lines, but felt that straight lines would be a bit too static. So I decided to practice my FMQ and quilt lines close together that danced a bit here and there. The result was little puffs of fabric sprinkled over the background.
I ended up adding some pearl cotton quilting at the base of the tree:
The whole quilt measures 30" x 27". And now, aside from the label, it is finished in the 78 degree heat of this April day. And if you're still with me, thanks for the company.