Well, we're bracing here in Michigan for "Snowmageddon," as the news is calling it. Apparently we have a really big snowstorm heading our way. Yesterday, they were already talking about closing schools on Wednesday. I wonder how much of this is exaggeration! I'll let you know how it turns out. Sounds like the blowing and drifting will be the worst of it. It's supposed to start this afternoon and this evening.
Camera update: Took the camera and charger into the camera store. It worked fine! I wanted to scream! I will say that the charging action didn't start for several seconds. So maybe I just didn't leave it in long enough. I felt like an idiot. The camera store guy assured me that this happens a lot. Well, I guess it's good news.
So, are you ready for the big reveal on my Intuitive Angle Piecing challenge with Lynn, Alamosa Quilter?! (She's posting hers today, too, if you want to stop on over at her blog. I can't wait to see what she's done! Tomorrow, I'll give you the direct link to her post on this if you'd rather wait.)
Okay...the reveal will be at the bottom of the post. I'll walk you through the process, if that's okay.
First, we're working out of this book:
Or visit Jean's website and get the book and fabric rolls to start with.
We started with this assignment in the book:
I had taken this photo one day when we were out ice skating on the lake. We had fresh fallen snow (several inches of it) and skated all over the lake. The snow was pristine and all sparkly. There were no tracks anywhere. It was like skiing through powder. It was absolutely gorgeous. I turned around and saw this great image behind me (the lighting was not the greatest at the moment). I decided then that I would use this photo as the inspiration for the piece and started doing some sketching.
At the same time, Lynn had told me she's sending me some fabric scraps to work with, and she challenged me to use only those scraps. She asked did I want blues or greens? I had said greens, even before I took this photo. As I was sketching this, I thought, maybe I should have asked for blues.
This is what she sent. I loved it! But I wasn't sure the colors were quite right for this project. I thought, "Oh well. I will figure out something." As I started to work on it, I determined these were the PERFECT colors for this project. I LOVE it when serendipity works in my favor!
I started with some long, easy angles to peice a section I thought I would use for the pond/snow. (See where I had to piece the gray together to make the strip long enough? But I got to cut that seam out later! Yippee! More serendipity!) The whites and grays seemed perfect for this. I tried to grade the colors from light to dark...as things recede, they get darker.
Okay. That worked out fine.
I then had this vision of piecing angles to represent our skating tracks. This was more challenging, but not too hard. They turned out pretty close to what I had envisioned. Maybe better. I wanted it to look like these were receding into the background, so I angled the strip, and I made the tracks closer together as they went back.
Next, I made a piece that was meant to mimic the trees in the photo. I went from dark on the left to light on the right to indicate the trees getting less dense, as you see in the photo. I added some gray for the sky. After all, it's gray all the time here in the winter, and you can't tell the difference between the sky and the land most of the time.
Then, I pieced them together and trimmed it up. At this point, I was feeling really happy about how this was taking shape. I decided to really get brave and do some free-motion quilting on it. EEK! What if I ruin it??? Well, so what. Lynn reminded me this is practice...we aren't creating masterpieces. FMQ is another hurdle I need to get over this year, and this is a small, manageable piece (about 13"x13"). I should just go for it.
I used my lovely Aurifil threads to free motion quilt these trees. I'm pretty happy with how that turned out. I'm really proud of myself given my extremely limited experience on FMQing. I wish I had made the trees on the right smaller, to indicate the perspective I was hoping to achieve, but overall, I'm really happy with it.
I didn't have any Aurifil thread that looked good on the snow. So, I used this purple variegated thread for the quilting there. I was a lot less happy with my work on this. I really didn't like how it looked next to the skating trails. So, I quilted over the edges of the trails with curly cues to indicate the little mounds of snow that formed there, as indicated in the photo. Franklly, I liked this section better before I quilted it. I was hoping that when I bound it and covered up those edges I would like it better.
Here it is bound. I do like it better. I had to go buy some purple for the binding, as I didn't have enough of any of Lynn's scraps to make a binding that looked good. I couldn't find the exact right purple, but I found one that was close enough. As you can see, I also added some clear Swarovski crystals. I just threw them on and glued them where they landed (except I didn't put any on the trails). I wanted to indicate how sparkly the snow was that day. I thought it might be too much, but actually, I like it better. I am satisfied with this. (I think I might need a couple of crystals on the snow between those two right-most trails. Maybe I'll add that.)
Here is the back. I used an icy-looking batik I had in my stash for the back. I think I had good tension for my FMQing. I am not sure how I will hang this, so I added a little hanging sleeve, just in case.
Just trying to capture some of the different angles to get the crystals to sparkle. They are more subtle in person. The lighting is so bad at my house. It's dark when I leave and dark when I get home, so it's hard to get photos in natural light. It's pretty gray light anyway, even when it is light!
Well, there you have it. Our first exercise complete. It was really fun and really worthwhile. My first project completed from my own design and my own ideas. I am proud of myself. This piece will always be special to me because of that, and it really helps commemorate that special afternoon when Papa Pea, Sweet Pea, and I were skating together. I think I'll hang it up somewhere in my house. Not sure where yet.
In the style of Tracey Jay Quilts, I'm going to provide a list of what I like and don't like about the quilt/project. I like how she does that, so I'm going to do that, too:
What I like-
- I liked learning how to piece these angles intuitively. I created this design ALL BY MYSELF!
- I loved being challenged to work with Lynn's fabrics--serendipitously the colors turned out to be perfect, yet they were not at all what I would have picked.
- I love how the skating trails turned out--as good or better than I envisioned.
- As a complete piece, I am really happy that I was able to create what I envisioned and it looks, on the whole, as good or better than I thought it would.
- I really like the trees I made with the quilting.
- I love the icy fabric on the back!
- I think the crystals actually added a nice touch. It was my first time working with them.
- This got me using my sketchbook.
What I don't like or am unsure about-
- This is a fairly literal interpretation of the photo. I hope to do other little quilts that are more abstract.
- I wish I could have come up with some quilting for the snow that I liked a little better.
- I was shooting for about 12"x15", but it wanted to be 13"x13". It is what it is!
We are onto the second assignment in the book, now, which is on intuitive curve piecing. I will now learn how to intuitively cut gentle curves and piece them together. Lynn has already given me some great tips about that. I really appreciate the guidance and camaraderie she is giving me on this project. Hop on over to her blog and see what she did. If it's not there yet, it will be soon. I can't wait to see!
Until next time,