Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Desert Blooms Again

About two years ago, I was inspired by a fabric depicting scenery that I associate with the American southwest, to begin randomly putting pieces together towards making a full size quilt. I have warm memories of a magical time I had while in Santa Fe, and I wanted to use the colours of the fabric as a jumping off point to locate others that felt like a 'desert bloom'. I chose velvets, rayon, upholstery fabric and cotton, and added chenille squares I made. I had never put blocks together - and these ones are just simple irregularly sized block shapes - and I also wanted a haphazardly pieced look, so I was deliberately not sewing careful quarter inch seams. I wish now that the wonkiness was more pronounced, with more curved lines instead of relatively straight ones. The top two photos show design variations I was trying. Then I tried printing a photo of the emerging quilt in black and white and realized I had mostly medium values and that the size and direction of the squares and rectangles was not working out that well - I had been adding pieces without a plan, revising as I went along, but I wasn't satisfied. Then birthday and Christmas sewing took precendence and I needed to take this mostly unsewn quilt top off of the design wall to make room for others. Yesterday while tidying the studio, I came across it and felt inspired to resurrect it. I've let go of making it large and am using part of it for backing. I've added one luscious piece of Elin Noble's itajime fabric that suddenly called out it wanted to be part of the fun. Do you see it in the upper left corner? The photo directly above this text shows the top as it is now, and the one above it is the quilt backing. I've cut batting ready to make the sandwich, after I sew on the chenille.

No comments: