My Adventures in Quilting
I was outside with my dog one day and as she chased bunnies, I was watching several dragonflies flutter around (do dragonflies flutter?). I love watching things fly about and quickly found myself entranced. One of them landed on a bush near where I was standing. I had the opportunity to look at it very closely. The main thing that caught my attention were the colors of its wings. They blended from black to blue to light grey and had some yellow in them. It was beautiful and instantly inspiring. I called the dog to come inside and I ran to get my sketchbook and colored pencils.
I have been planning on doing a quilt with a design like this for some time. It took this insect to create inspiration, and once it did, it flowed. My original sketch is the only sketch I made. It came out exactly as it looked in my head and I could hardly wait to begin making it. As I looked at the sketch, I realized that it also looks like a landscape. The yellow would be the sky, the black looks like mountains, the blue would be water, and the grey like foreground/land. My original idea, before the dragonfly, was to make a landscape or sunset quilt using dyed fabrics. I like the way this one is coming out.
The colors were going to be incredibly important, if not the most important thing, specifically the yellow. The weekend prior to all of this, I had been playing with some fabric dyes. I created something that looked like it was going to be a muddy mess. I didn’t want to waste my time or fabric dying something that I would hate. But, as I poured it down the sink, I looked at it and thought, “actually, that might have been kind of cool”. Fortunately, I write down my dye recipes as I mix them, so I knew I could easily recreate it and tweak it to become something great. Once I had my sketch and decided how much fabric I would color, all I could do was wait until the weekend when I would get to dye them. I was so nervous as I went through the process. What if I can’t get the color I see in my head? What if I don’t make enough fabric? These fears were continued throughout the dying process since the color changes slightly with each step and you can really be certain until you have the finished, dried fabric. I must say, I was elated with the results. The yellow came out sort of a Kraft Mac and Cheese color, which is perfect. The grey almost looks like linen. The blue is not too light and not too dark. And the black has exactly the perfect amount of mottling.
Once I had all of my materials, I started cutting. I always like to cut all of my fabric before I sew one stitch. I got it all cut and started laying it out on the wall. With every piece I placed, I got more and more excited. This is shaping up to look really cool.
Once all of the material was cut, I started making the half square and quarter square triangles. I started placing them on the design wall and voila.
Right now, I have half of the top pieced. I actually had to force myself to stop because it was getting dark and I was getting tired.
Normally, I don’t even really think of how I’m going to quilt something until the top is almost completed, but I know exactly how I’m going to do this one. I am so excited to see the completed quilt and share it with you. I am even more excited to share it with the person who is going to be receiving this quilt when it is completed. They have no clue and I hope they enjoy it. Look for the final results in the upcoming post Dragonfly Mountains – Part 2.