Thursday, September 15, 2011
This lovely small quilt got finished at 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 15, and was the last iteration of several "Harmony" themes I had running around in my head. If you could see my studio right now, you'd see all the pieces / parts of the other versions ! I didn't intentionally wait 'til the last minute...but life challenges were abundant, not the least of which was getting the studio finished ! Cabinet makers, painters, and installers were in and out for a long period of time; I had great difficulty finding any of my materials and products; and just sitting down for quiet periods of 'think' time were best found in the wee hours of the morning.
In thinking about the design for Harmony, I thought about the ideal of World Harmony, the harmony of the color wheel, the harmony of black and white, the harmony of opposite shapes (circles and squares) and ended up putting all of those together in one design. I am sure I completely overthought the whole thing.
I started with some onasburg that I stained with tsukineko fabric ink. I used the cool colors of blues, purples and greens. The background came out more muted than I thought it would but I decided I liked that effect. I then used thread painting to color my shapes using many warm colors of threads. The quilting was done with a blue/purple/green variegated thread.
I was excited to try the cutting machine, so I put an inexpensive blended roll of batiks into the chopper to get numerous triangles and many squares of two sizes. In creating the quilt. I limited myself to only what was available in this particular stash cutting.
This is my Harmony Quilt "Renewed at Crystal Lake, N. H.". I was inspired by the crystal clear waters and serene nature of the lake. I have gone for many summers to Crystal Lake since I was a little girl. I was on my kayak and paddling through a small cove which was covered with blooming pond lillies. When I did a close of the lily, there were little black bugs hanging out and enjoying the flora as I was. I felt like we were all in sync with nature. (Actually, I might have been bothering them).
I did machine applique, free-motion quilting, and added crystal beads. I added some shimmer with netting.
Harmony brings thoughts of relaxation, joy, peace and calm. Silk is a soothing fabric and circles are harmony in a complete unit.
I did not do any sketching for this quilt since I’ve never worked that way. That is something I am working on to change. I started playing with the silk fabrics and cutting out circles. When I looked at what I had, it just started to come to life. They looked like wind chimes and when the red tulle was added, it was as if the wind chimes and a curtain were gently blowing in a breeze.
I normally use a tiny zig-zag to stitch my fused appliquéd pieces down, but the circles looked wrong with that technique. I free motion quilted around them and also the squiggly lines to make the quilt flow better.
To bind the quilt I put “Misty Fuse” fusible web on the back of some of the green fabric and used the pinking rotary blade to cut 1” wide strips. Then I fused the strips on top of the quilt one side at a time. Before I would go to the next side I turned the ends under and fused the strip in place on the back. I sometimes stitch along the edge to give it a “binding” look, but this one doesn’t seem to need that.
When we moved to Texas we stayed with friends until we found a place to rent. They had wind chimes that were soothing and pleasant which is what I needed at that time. This is what the quilt reminded me of.