Today I started quilting my charity quilt and finally got to start putting together my Denali landscape quilt.
Here's a shot of the center medallion I worked on quilting today and some zooms on the various components. I am basically just doing a fancy-looking echo. Right now the sections are so small there isn't much more I can do, but as we move outward the designs get larger and thus so will my quilting space! I also realized I can't make the July meeting since it's in the morning, so this isn't due for me until August, which is a relief.
Now...prepare for a long section about this landscape quilt.
Ever since I visited PIQF last year I have wanted to do a landscape quilt. They are just gorgeous and so creative and fun! Recently, once the rest of my projects-in-progress were out of the way, I decided it was time to start. I bought/borrowed many different books on landscape quilts to get ideas, including Luscious Landscapes and Beautifully Embellished Landscapes by Joyce Becker, Photo-Inspired Art Quilts by Leni Weiner, Landscape Quilts by Nancy Zeiman and Natalie Sewell, Fabric + Paint + Thread = Fabulous by Pat Durham, and Exploring Embellishments by Rose Hughes. In addition I took an embellishments class.
I have found Joyce Becker's books to be the most helpful in giving inspiration and real step-by-step instructions for the type of quilt I want to do.
My first step, a few weeks ago, was to pick a design. I was incredibly intimidated by trying to work off a photo...how do you narrow it down to a few simple lines and colors? So instead I decided to work off an existing piece of artwork that shows a scene of Denali split into a few basic lines and color (imagine those vintage posters). I then spent a few weeks trying to get permission to use it. I am excited to have been granted permission, but as previously mentioned I'm not really supposed to be showing images of it so I'll have to be vague about it. I figure I'll show shots that don't give away what the design is.
My first step was to pop the image into photoshop, blow it up to the size I wanted, and convert it to a line drawing.
Then I traced over that on a clear sheet (eg a bunch of page protectors that I taped together) to give me an overlay to work under.
I also created my first-ever design wall, which you can see under the clear overlay. I just took a piece of foam board and taped some spare batting onto it. It's small, but big enough for this project which is all I need for now.
And here is the design wall testing my color ideas! This was before I got my new giant bundle of batiks from Fat Quarter shop, so I have many more suitable colors in stock now.
So....today it finally same time to start. First I had to spray starch things, which I haven't really done before. I ended up buying some spray starch because when I tried to make my own last time I think I read tsp as Tbs and ended up with a pot full of very thick goop!
Below are the fabrics that will go into my snow-covered mountain:
Now I wasn't really sure how to go about actually cutting and assembling the pieces. I ended up going with what I know, which is the technique you use for fusible web applique. It probably wasn't best for this project.
First, I cut the pieces out of paper and numbered them.
Then I pinned them to the fabric and cut it in their shape. This is really easy to do with fusible web because it makes the fabric all stiff, not so easy with paper just pinned on. I think I would have needed many more applications of spray starch to keep the fabric from slipping around my scissors.
Then I sprayed all the pieces with spray adhesive and laid them out on that white bg piece. Pro tip: don't spray it on your hands. I was trying to hold down the tiny pieces while I sprayed and ended up with fingers so sticky that I had to use acetone to clean them!
Can you see the beginnings of a snowy mountain range? It will need some embroidery to show the actual outlines of the peaks, but it's coming along okay.
Now, I really want to use this piece as a sampler of sorts, and experiment with many types of embellishment and styles of making art quilts. Joyce Becker uses a lot of overlays, which I find really cool. So I experimented with tons of overlays for these peaks. I bought a white, very shiny/iridescent piece of organza that was just too crazy. I also tried a lavender because I think snow looks blue from far away, but it dulled the white down too much, and I really wanted that bright, bright white that snow has. I also had an iridescent purple that was also too crazy.
So today I went to Joanns with my mountain fabrics in hand and ended up with this wrinkled organza. Pretty cool, huh? I hope it works as planned, but in my mind it emphasized the craggy nature of mountains. Also I want this row of mountains to be a little hazy because they are way off in the distance.
So that's what I've accomplished today! And the night is still young, I think I will try using nylon thread for the first time to invisible baste down all of these pieces. :)