Posts Tagged ‘group quilt’

A few weekends ago, our Out of the Box group met for our December meeting. We each brought our panel, and hung the strips on Nela’s design wall. We each had worked individually at home on piecing our mountain strips. This was going to be the first time we saw them all together. IMG_7820After we lined up the tops of the panels, we matched up the individual pieces, moving and adjusting as needed, to make sure major mountain lines and horizon matched up.

IMG_7814We all used different colors to make up the mountains, but chose to use the same piece of dyed fabric for the sky. I think it it absolutely stunning, with the white clouds and specks of purple. A really dramatic sky. Sky fabric hand dyed by Cathy. Makes the mountain scene look painted!

IMG_7822After all was lined up and pinned, we stepped back and enjoyed the view. It was stunning to see it all come together. To see what we’d already done, and to imagine what the finished product might look like. We have barely begun!

IMG_7827 StitchHere’s the mountain scene as a panorama, multiple photos stitched together. I want to work on adding some snow to my mountains, and maybe changing the fabric of the bottom foothill pieces, to be more brown and tan (my panel is Mt. Humphreys to the far left).

IMG_7835Then we moved onto the foreground. We chatted about greens and how to fill in the valley floor. We discussed how to transition the horizon line from the mountains to the valley.

IMG_7840We tried out various fabrics and color schemes, chatting with our neighboring panels about possible ideas.

IMG_7836Cathy and my panel border each other. I really want to have a big cottonwood in my foreground. We discussed how the cottonwood should extend over into her panel a bit, so she’ll get some of the trunk and leaves.

IMG_7839We laid out our paper strips, and Cathy sketched us a cottonwood to use as a guide. I’ve been thinking how I want sew the trunk and leaves. Maybe brown fabric for the trunk, with stitching to add textured bark. For the leaves, somehow using netting or solvy to stitch small scraps of green, to make a tree full of leaves. How would you sew a cottonwood tree with fabric?

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A few years ago, a group formed from our quilt guild, of quilters who were interested in art quilting. We call ourselves Out of the Box, and we’ve done different projects together, learning new skills and playing with new techniques. Last year, we challenged ourselves to work in a series. This year, we decided to do a panel quilt together.

photo 1-2

In September, we met to discuss the idea, how it would work, and to share and show examples of other group quilts. We agreed we wanted to do a landscape quilt that was more realistic than abstract. We agreed we wanted to make individual panels, that when hung side by side, looked like one quilt. Each panel would reflect the individuality of the quilter. We chose a familiar landscape to anyone who has visited or lived in the Owens Valley: the mountain skyline of Mt. Tom, Basin, and Humphrey.

photo 2-2

We decided to make our panels long and skinny. The quilt would be 36″ x 70″, so each of us would make a 10″ x 36″ panel. We selected a photo to use as inspiration. Our next meeting was in October, when we came back together to sketch out the look.

photo-2Nela had sketched the mountain scene at the top of each panel, so that the horizon line stretched across the quilt. We also discussed our foreground, and what we’d liek to see there. We decided on a spring scene, with green fields and grass. We are going to put in a big cottonwood tree, a creek with iris flowers, deer and butterflies and a lizard, an old cabin, a mule, and wagon. It was fun to talk about what we think makes our home unique, and how we can portray it in our quilt.

For our November meeting, we came back together with our fabrics, to choose colors for the mountains.

IMG_7711Again, we hung our paper panels on Nela’s design board, and auditioned different fabrics.

IMG_7709When a particular mountain or portion crossed two panels, we worked together on deciding what colors to choose.

IMG_7707After selecting a fabric we’d like, like this beautiful blue sky cloud piece that Cathy hand dyed, we cut it into sections, so each person went home with a little piece.

IMG_7714We made notes on the paper panels, and attached names to the fabric to keep it all straight. Foothills, Mt. Tom, Basin, Humphrey . . .

IMG_7721My panel is on the far left, and I have Mt. Humphrey. Here’s the mountain in draft form! Next I’ll cut out the fabric into shapes, fuse, and lay onto a muslin fabric base.

IMG_7712Fabric was scattered all over the work tables as we pinned, cut, talked, visited, played, laughed, and enjoyed each other’s company. Part of what is so enjoyable about this new project is the time it takes as we work together to make the quilt. Instead of quilting being a solitary craft, we’ve now made it into a social collaborative experience.

At our next meeting in December, we’ll bring our mountain scapes together, to see how each interacts with the other. Maybe colors will need to be added, lines adjusted, or clouds added. Then it will be on to the foreground!

I do think I need to have a dye session, as I am low on greens. Maybe some ice dyeing to get multi patterned fabric. I’ll have to think about how to make it look like fields of sagebrush.

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