Oro Sunrise is art quilt number three of the four I am showcasing this week.
Back at the end of February I was off to Asilomar for another Empty Spools Seminar. The class was with Gloria Loughman again. Yes, I am a bit of a groupie but you see my friends from Yellowknife were in the class and I wanted to spend as much time with them as I could. If I had taken another class then I would not have seen much of them.
This time I went to class knowing exactly what I was going to create. My father -in-law had taken this photo of a gorgeous red/purple sunrise from his house one morning here in Sugarbush, in Oro-Medonte, Ontario.
This past winter was quite grey so having an actual sunrise was a bonus. And an even bigger bonus was that the photo was just perfect for a quilt.
Knowing what I was working on made it easier to take fabrics with me especially since I knew what colours I needed. I packed up a few pieces of red, purple and black into my suitcase along with the necessary tools and set out for a great week of quilting. Of course, I didn’t have enough variety of reds and purples so I had to go shopping at the on site shop The Cotton Patch and in Pacific Grove at Back Porch Fabrics.
To begin I sketched the piece out on paper trying to mimic the lines in the sky where the colours changed and merged. There were so many different lines in the sky that I did simplify it some to make construction easier.
Being the Bargello queen, I had to have some Bargello within the piece, of course. After making several different colour runs I put the sewing machine to good use. I have to say that the Bernina 550 is a sweet little machine and if didn’t already have 2 at home I would have been very tempted to purchase this one. It took me two days to sew the runs into Bargello pieces and everyone in class was waiting eagerly to see what I was going to do with them.
Day 4 of class arrived and I didn’t really have much to show other than some lovely Bargellos. It was time to get down to some serious designing and creating on the design wall.Selecting fabric for each section was next and auditioning them out on the design wall. My table mates were great to bounce ideas off of and receive valuable feedback from. Gradually, as the day moved on, the piece came together. I went to bed very satisfied with the day’s work.
Day 5 was spent tweaking the sections and adding in fabrics to highlight certain areas of the sunrise. The Bargellos were used where the sunrise showed other light colours peaking through amongst the heavy reds and purple of the sky. The piece was pinned to tear away stabilizer and ready for the walk about at the end of the day. Nothing was stitched down so once again a quilt came home needing to be stitched together.
This time when it arrived home the piece was not put away into a drawer but rather placed on the design wall waiting its turn to be stitched together. I knew that this piece would be one to go in my gallery show.
To piece it together I didn’t want to fiddle with turning edges under and using the blind hem stitch so I straight stitched everything together just in from the raw edge of the top piece of the section and worked my way from the bottom up. All of this was done on tear away stabilizer to give everything some stability.
Once together as one piece I free motioned zigzagged all of the raw edges down to prevent any fraying of the fabrics. I used several different threads including Rainbows by Superior, Robison-Anton and Tutti and Dazzle by Wonderfil. I wanted the stitching to stand out and sparkle so several of the threads had a shine to them being either a high sheen polyester or rayon thread.
Extra free motion stitching was then done in each section. Whether it was just curved lines accentuating the piece or further zigzag to highlight certain appliquéd areas. It was wonderful to watch this piece take on new perspective with each stitch sewn.
This piece highlights my love for bright, bold colours and the illusion of movement within the sunrise.