August 26, 2010

Progress on an Art Quilt Triptych

I am pleased to report some progress on my latest project - an art quilt in triptych form with three very large panels. This quilt is for a very special friend of mine, and I wanted it to be perfect! So of course I began struggling with the design...I knew she wanted a large tree that swirled and curved which would spread over the three panels. I decided to work on the "main character" of the scene (the tree!) first, since it would be the largest focus of attention. As you see in a previous post, I roughly sketched in my idea for the tree on batting, just to get the scale and size in my mind. I decided it would be easier to work against a wall instead of on a table, so I taped up large pieces of freezer paper to begin sketching the tree again. It was much easier to work this way, because I could stand back and analyze, then go back to the wall and work again. After almost completely rubbing off the paper side of the freezer paper with my drawing and erasing (LOL!) I finally ended up with the large, swirling tree I had envisioned. I traced over it with black sharpie marker to allow for more contrast for a photograph, as this will be my template. I plan to iron these large pieces onto fabric to use as a template for cutting. I have some gorgeous deep blue variegated silk that drapes beautifully and has a lot of texture already with its shading - this might be perfect for the tree, but we'll see! : )

I've also made progress on the background!! I was up all night one night, happily working on this project - cutting, chopping, sprinkling fabrics...but as I grew more and more tired, I grew more and more frustrated. Nothing seemed to be working - the color combinations for the backgrounds just weren't "playing nice" with each other! I kept scraping up the little pieces and rearranging them - (have you ever tried to scoop up little pieces of fabric off of batting? They simply don't *like* to move!) - but nothing was helping. Either everything seemed too choppy or too boring. Finally I was about to give up for the evening to try again the next night, and I looked out my window. I live on a 3rd floor, and my view of the sky is amazing - there was the most *gorgeous* sunrise I had ever seen. Right in front of my very eyes!! It was so colorful, intense, but somehow calming...I quickly grabbed a piece of scratch paper and some crayons, because since I'm not really gifted when it comes to drawing, I knew I had to just capture the colors and their order vertically in the sky and their scale width-wise...I scribbled and scribbled madly for about 15 minutes before the sunrise completely changed. But I managed to document at least something close to that beautiful scene!! (In retrospect, I should have grabbed my digital camera!!) Anyway - the bottom of the sky looked blueish-purplish, then in the middle there was the softest pink which blended up into the most intense bright orange-pink - then almost gold, on up to orange-yellow, finally topped off with a soft pale yellow. It was really beautiful - and felt like a personalized gift from nature - "Here is your inspiration!"

The photo you see here only shows the chopped up fabrics on batting - this is only the beginning. The tulle layer and then the many many layers of stitching and overstitching will blend them all together into one cohesive piece. But - having this part finished is a huge amount of progress - and just seeing it come this far is inspiring me to work even harder!! : )

I'll be posting more progress soon! : )


  1. this is going to be absolutely amazing!

  2. Your quilt is going to look stunning Heather and thank you for the beautiful bookmark. Annette


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