So many WIPs, but finally I finished another small art quilt that I've been working on. It started as a gel print on muslin and went on to a number of manifestations. It's first manifestation was this:
After some more free motion quilting and going at it with some fabric pastels, the journey finally ended here:
It is a glorious day out there today in New England! They don't get much better than this! A great day to hang my freshly batiked fabric out on the line in the sun! It's my first batch of the season. As usual I used soy wax and 2 different Pro Chem MX blues. One, a cerulean blue and the other, an alpine blue, although they are very similar. Some will be overdyed soon, some may be painted over...who knows!
This is the very first time I've worked on a quilt without any looming deadlines and without any external factors influencing my design decisions. It's not for anyone, just me, and I cast off any of the usual inhibitors, such as "I can't afford to go get more fabric!" Actually it's to exhibit in the Lowell Quilt Show, but that's not until August so it does set the bar a bit high but, given the time, that's just as I like it, a challenge without feeling overwhelmed by it.
This time I really went and got more fabric, including another trip up to Marden's in Maine. Unfortunately I didn't realize that they close so early on weekends, but I still did some significant damage in a half hour!
Instead of having to rush, I could take my time and actually redo anything I wasn't satisfied with. Well, that turned out to be almost every single square! I have enough rejects to make another quilt!
The result is that I love every square of this quilt!
But now I have my final design decisions ahead about how to finish it so I'm hoping some of you can help me make a good decision on this one. I intend to Quilt As You Go (QAYG) this time! I've found some great tutes on this technique I'll share with you:
I'm inclined to go with Marguerita McManus' technique but I'm still open minded on this, although I did just order her book ,"Finish (almost) Any Quilt: A
Simple Guide to Adapting Quilts to Finish As You Go."
I have 2 reasons for wanting to add sashing. One is to separate each block with a solid neutral to ease the view from so much pattern but also because these blocks are painstakingly cut to 12 inch squares and once I start to FMQ on these babies there's bound to be some serious distortion, so to keep the integrity of the blocks, I want to add on a border big enough to absorb the distortion and still end up with precisely squared blocks. But what color? Of course white is usually my first choice but I already have a fair amount of white built in so I have 2 colors I'm thinking of, though not locked into:
a very light grey/beige Kaffe Fassett's shot cotton used in the quilt
a tan broadcloth not used in the quilt but seems to compliment it
Sometimes I become so immersed in what I'm doing I become unaware of much else going on around me. That's sort of where I've been this week but, of course, the outer world has forced itself into my consciousness with the insidious act of violence perpetrated on the marathon runners and innocent bystanders. I was out and about town chasing down more fabric for my most recent project when I became aware of the turmoil "in town." (That's what we, who grew up in the Boston burbs call metropolitan Boston.) My first thought was my son, Mark. I knew he must be there. And he was - right there in Copley Square - but quickly at the end of my cell phone so I knew right away that he was fine, just trying to get home. Another ten minutes and he would have been right there where it all happened. Another mother's son was not all right. Neither was she or her daughter, and then another mother and another....this is NOT ok. I hurt for them. I pray for them.
My children are safe. My family is safe. I am thankful for that!