|"Sunshine and Picnics", February 2014|
Back in November, the Latitude Quilters had their reveal for their "Escape" challenge, but I didn't post anything. You may recall that in November I suffered a fractured tailbone, making any sort of art-related work out of the question. With my family difficulties at the start of this year, I haven't been making art for a few months.
I've finally been able to get back into the studio and, pressed for time, I changed course. My original idea for "Escape" was very cool, but would have taken more time than I felt appropriate; I didn't want to continue to keep my fellow members waiting for me to finish. As a result, I decided to piece a small quilt reminiscent of one of my favorite summer "escape" activities: picnics. Piecing seems to reflect best those days when picnics are a special treat, with a homemade cloth spread out on the lawn. I love picnics on gentle summer days with puffy clouds, so yellow and white became the color palette. Piecing also took me back to the beginning of my quilting days when I made baby quilts for everyone (except my own children -- sorry, kids!). I'd forgotten how much I enjoy piecing.
In my hope to get the quilt done quickly I didn't take as much care as I should have; I pieced one section backwards. Rather than take the section apart and resew it, I chose to cover up the error and I'm so proud of myself! Sometimes, it is the right decision to take something apart (or even to start over), but I'm glad I gave myself the opportunity to consider another alternative. Now there's grass peeking up along the edge of the quilt, just like it might at a picnic. (I have to wonder if I wasn't also influenced by the bit of green I've spied alongside mounds of melting snow.) As it turns out, I think the quilt has a bit more charm now.
You'll note that the quilt has more quilting than my usual work does. One of the challenges I gave myself this year was to decide how I liked quilting -- not as a medium, but as one of my art-making tools. Not surprisingly, I figured I was done after I had quilted in the ditch then stitched a few diagonal lines through nine-patches.... but no, I really wasn't. The open squares puckered a bit due to lack of quilting and the quilt looked a little forlorn. After mulling it over a bit (what design to use? do I really want to take the time?), I decided I needed to do something. I think the quilt looks better with the swirly, loopy quilting and the open squares don't look sloppy any longer. I chose to try out Aurifil linen thread that Alex Veronelli sent to me when I volunteered to experiment with some threads. I LOVE the line this thread makes. It's the perfect thread to use if you have a motif that needs to stand out and "fill the space", so to speak. I don't know if this is the right thread to use in the background as a filler; I'm inclined to think it's better on center stage. The few colors I saw are lovely, too.
Now that this project is off my plate and my quilting mojo is somewhat back on track, I can work -- very quickly -- on some projects that have rather immediate deadlines. Hopefully I'll have new work to show you SOON.
|If you peek through the grass, you can see that I pieced the half square triangles|
in the wrong direction; they were supposed to go the other way
to mimic rays of sunshine, as on the top of the quilt.
|Simple swirly, loopy motif for the empty squares, stitched with Aurifil linen thread. |
(The diagonal lines and in-the-ditch quilting was also done with
the same Aurifil linen thread; even the straight lines pop!)