I’ve taken too long to write a new post. This past month has had its lows and highs.
My uncle Betterton passed a week and a half ago. He was 91 and was two years younger than my mom. I had five aunts and six uncles on my mom’s side and one aunt on my Dad’s side and all are gone now, as well as my parents. Uncle Betterton was one of my favorite uncles. He was always close with my mom and someone everyone could rely on for help. He had various tough illnesses the last several years, mild dementia, and is now no longer suffering. He was a strong Christian. Like my father, he was a civil engineer, both served in WWII, and he and Dad enjoyed a strong friendship. My memories of him are sweet and dear and the pain of losing him is softened by his wonderful long giving life and his final release from the difficulties of his last few years.
Sew what’s going on in my studio these days? My “apprentice” Anita and I finished the church banner celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The church members apparently love it, and I was really pleased with how it looks. I have still not gotten a good photo of it, but I will share as soon as I do. The big community celebration is next Sunday. I guess this tells you that I attend a Lutheran church. I do. It’s five minutes drive from my house and the it’s a lovely church with services not far in liturgical style from the Episcopal church. I grew up an Episcopalian. For many years I drove down to Georgetown to go to the historic St John’s Episcopal in Georgetown where Marvin and I both were very active and sang in the choir. After Marvin passed, I moved to Ashburn, Virginia, and the drive to Georgetown got even longer, so I looked for somewhere closer. Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church is in my neighborhood…now that’s a luxury I had not had for decades.
I have gotten a start on my next show quilt. I’m not sure I would call them “show quilts” any longer, except that’s a term many understand. I like to show them, but my primary goal for these quilts is to make wonderful art, and hopefully sell most of them in the long run. Everything I make I hope to meet show quilt level, but sometimes show judges don’t seem to understand why the techniques I choose are done the way they are, or how difficult they really are. Sometimes they seem to see things and remark on them that I simply cannot see, and sometimes I think they don’t see something about my quilts that I think is especially unique and interesting. Maybe I need new glasses, a flashlight, and a better magnifying glass. Or maybe I need a microscope. LOL So I have found a lot of freedom in reaching for creating beautiful art the best way I can make it and not worrying too much about what a judge might see or not see. Competition can be rough on one’s ego. He-he-he
Anyway, back to my latest project. It’s based on the art piece I bought the rights for one art quilt from the Disney artist Joel Christopher Payne. It’s set in the Bayou and has interesting trees, and two rather rundown homes with light peaking out through the cracks in the boards. One is a houseboat, and the other is a shack built on stilts on a platform. The scene is at night and there is a little pale light filtering through the trees in a way that suggests a heart shape, and there are fireflies. This is a huge challenge for me, but really, I am enjoying myself so far.
I have the houseboat “built” and the shack about half done. Yesterday I did a little low and high lighting with Neocolor II pigment crayons. When you use them with fabric, you can just color it on and then brush it with water to blend it onto the fabric and then heat set it for a permanent color. Sometimes when I heat set it, it gets lighter so I have to go back and add more color, but it’s a wonderful way to over color an existing fabric pattern to add shadows and lights where you need them or “correct” colors. In this case, I have three different wood print fabrics that I have backed with Steam-a-Seam II light and cut into board shapes. I am using these to “build” the shack and the houseboat.
The picture has really big trees that also have some Spanish moss hanging from them. I have five different tree bark prints that I will use to make the tree appliqués. They, too will need to be overpainted to get the right look and color, I am planning on thread painting the Spanish moss on, and probably it will be more than Joel put in his picture because this is a fabric and threads interpretation of his wonderful art piece.
I have obtained some glow in the dark paints and threads to make the fireflies with, and the paint has some additional pigment so it will look good in light too. I may add crystals to the fireflies for added dimension.
The biggest challenge as I see it is the light that is getting the back light that is coming through the trees and reflecting across the water right. I am thinking this will have to be done with paint, but I’m still thinking about it.
Sew I hope you all have a wonderful week. Try something new and push to get it as well done as possible. I have a lot going on in my studio besides this new quilt, so I hope I will get back to my weekly blogs for a while. Cheers!