One of the many activities at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR is the opportunity to bid on art work by donors for Wish Upon a Card. Here is the start of my donation quilt for this year, Windy City #2.
Each year I try to come up with a different name for my house quilts. And since I live near Chicago, Windy City seemed like the perfect name for a new series. This is a small piece (4″ x 6″) made with fused fabrics and hand embroidered. Soon it will be finished and off to the framers. Next time I see it will be in Sisters!
Today I’m experimenting with two things. First I’m experimenting with my fused fabrics and making an improvised quilt. And secondly, I’m experimenting by adding a video of the process below. Let me know if the video works for you.
I must admit I didn’t want to spend the time adding hand embroidery this little quilt. It seemed so ordinary, so plain.
Whimsy Lane #7 by Laura Wasilowski
But once I got started, it was hard to stop! It proved to be a great canvas for trying out some new stitch ideas. Here’s what I discovered. You can use the blanket stitch for field rows. The Herringbone stitch makes for interesting texture in the fields too. And crisscrossing straight stitches on the tree trunk creates a plaid pattern. It is amazing what a difference a stitch makes.
Today I am challenging myself. See that dark, foreboding fabric lurking in the background? My challenge is to use this over-dyed silk fabric and adapt my daily design to the color and patterning of the fabric.
And I’m not to happy about it.
But on occasion you have to test yourself and see if you can work within a color scheme other than your go-to color palette. I’ve surprised myself and like how this turned out. Maybe we should challenge ourselves more often, rather than going with the comfortable and easy.
And now a little history lesson: The evolution of this quilt design. It began with the fences. (Also known as left over edges from a woven fused collage.) The fences needed a purpose, so a few fields were added. The fields are near a farm house. Years ago the farmer planted 3 trees in the front yard. After years of exposure to a strong westerly wind, the trees (and house) have tilted to the east. It’s a mighty wind!
In real life, the farmer will tell you that the colors of this design are sweeter, not so dull. Care will be needed in the final photo, after hand embroidery, to get the image colors just right.
I don’t know what I’d do without my fused fabrics scraps. Like starter dough, they are the source of all my new little quilt designs in December. This one started with the left over woven collage that became the roof of the house. From there, the remaining fabric shapes just fell into place. This is what I like about improvisational design: It just happens! Can’t wait to hand stitch this one!