Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Be Still

At last months NC Quilt Symposium I worked on a second painted piece in my class by Hollis Chatelain based upon a photo I took last fall in the NC mountains.

We spent several hiking days in the Blowing Rock area and I took tons of photos. This is one of my favorites.  I call it Be Still because you can only catch these moments if you are still and look for the little things along the trail.

I was ran out of time in the class and had to bring dye home to finish the background - and it wasn't quite the same color blue so it has a bit of a mottled effect.

I added some watercolor pencil work in the thistle.

After that I did a bit of thread sketching both on the thistle and the butterfly.

Then I layered it for quilting using wool batting.  I did an non-square edge treatment to help get rid of some of the blue that just didn't work and started quilting.

I learned lots in the class and I think this is the first class in a long time in which I came home and actually finished the projects started in class!  Can't wait to do some more dye painting.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

An Old Plant and a New Quilt

When I was growing up, my grandparents lived in Florida in a magical place - on a lake, in the middle of an orange grove and with lots of places to explore.  My grandfather was a builder and every time they ran out of room - he would build another building.  There was a main house, two cottages, a barn and a bomb shelter built during the height of the cold war.  At the entrance to the main house was a court yard growing all sorts of plants that a Colorado girl like me had only seen inside at home.  Grandmother grew enormous Crotons and Dieffanbacias as well as others that I don't know the names of.

Years ago (more that 30!)  we potted up a few of the Crotons and the Dieffanbacias and I still have some.  They have suffered some through the years - with moves and dry climates - and there was at least once when my Croton was nothing but a stick. Everyone said it was a lost cause but with a little TLC it recovered and now is beautiful.  I think being able to live on the screened in porch in the SC humidity for six months of the year has really helped it flourish.

In May, I attended the NC Quilt Symposium and took a class with Hollis Chatelain.  I have been wanted to take a class from her for ever.  It was wonderful.  We needed to bring a few drawings to use for our painting and I decided that Grandma's Croton was one of them.

When I returned home and rinsed out the extra dye this is what the piece looked like:

I like uneven edges so created a couple of shadow leaves in the background and did an envelope finish.  I used wool batting for the first time and am in love.  I really like how it quilted and how it does not have a memory like cotton.

Next, I quilted the shadow leaves:

Then I quilted the main leaves using a red thread and a variegated yellow/orange.

I was very please how the pieced turned out and now have a croton that will survive even if the plant does not.

I am linking up to Nina Marie Sayre's Off the Wall Friday.  Next week I hope to get back on my Marsh quilt after a long hiatus.