Monday, September 26, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival: The Salt Marsh Near First Encounter Beach

For the last five years, I have been exploring the tuning fork motif.  I love to interlock them, elongate them, scrunch them up, flip them around, explode them....OK, I admit, I'm obsessed.  The latest finished product of my obsession is "The Salt Marsh Near First Encounter Beach," which will be on display in the Art:Abstract - Large category at International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.
The Salt Marsh at First Encounter Beach (Tuning Fork #29),  54"w x 64"h)
I usually start with a rather vague format in mind.  This time, I decided to start with a photograph.  I took this photo in September 2015 at the salt marsh near my father-in-law's house on Cape Cod.
I started by searching through my stash and pulling out fabrics for the sand, the grasses, the trees, the clouds and the sky.  I cut narrow strips, cut the strips into rectangles, and started making small "tuning fork" units.
Each tuning fork is crafted individually.  No strip piecing involved. Here is the basic unit.
I make literally thousands of these tiny little buggers, each approximately  2" x 4".  No exact measurements -- I don't use a ruler and I don't care if they are the same size.  And then I start placing them on the design wall.  Below, you can see the lower right hand corner of the photo coming together:
 I added some darker greens along the top edge of the dune:
 And started adding lighter, limier greens:
 And then a few golds and rusts:
 It grew and became the monster that took over my design wall:
I added the tree line on the other side of the marsh.  And it needed some sky.  It had to be moody -- it was a very gray day when I took the picture:
And then I started sewing it together.  I don't necessarily sew it together in straight lines.  I usually choose a section and start making it all fit together.  Like a jigsaw puzzle.  It's the part of quilt making that I like the best.  In this photo, I've put the lower right together:
I always have to make more tuning fork units as I go along.  And I do move things around a bit as I sew.  Creative editing.  Here it is almost together:
I quilted it in long vertical lines, less than 1/8" apart.  And I used lime green thread.  Here's a closeup of the quilting:
A closeup of the quilting
I've very proud to tell you all that this quilt has won a prize at Houston International Quilt Festival this year.  I won't know what I've won until the awards ceremony on November 1.

I'm sharing this post in the Blogger's Quilt Festival Art Quilt category.  Click HERE to see all the quilts and to vote for your favorite quilt!


Shannon said...

Your work is lovely as always! I was immediately struck when I saw this piece by the warmth of the green. I typically think of green as a cool color, and you really managed to make it feel very warm and foreground-y in this piece. Such successful color selections I think. As I scrolled down to your inspiration picture, I thought of course the green is warm! It looks like the picture was actually an east coast salt marsh, but I feel like the plains of eastern new mexico and west texas often have that exact same color, and often even a little warmer. Every time I drive from OKC to my folks in southern new mexico I'm struck by that look in the plains and am madly trying to capture it in iphone pictures without pulling over too often. I'll look forward to seeing your quilt in person at Houston!

Poppyprint said...

I always enjoy seeing your work and this quilt is a stunner. Congratulations on the award, whatever it may be, I am not at all surprised! Your work is refreshing and completely original. Plus, anyone that can make green look that good deserves a medal ; )

Hilacha (loose strand) said...

This is art! and though abstract, also reminiscent of the landscape. I like it very much, and also how you made it. Good luck at Houston!

desertskyquilts said...

I love this. It reminds me so much of Monet. I voted for yours.

shaka said...

What a beautiful quilt! I'm so fascinated by your process -- I love learning about artists' process.

Tu-Na Quilts said...

Very nice! I can see why it won an award already and hope it does on the Bloggers Quilt Festival too.

Tu-Na Quilts said...

I was going to also say that your quilt reminds me of paintings by Monet. And I love Monet!

Amy - Amy's Creative Side said...

It's stunning! Congratulations - your ribbon is well earned!

LA Paylor said...

we visited the cape for the first time this year. It felt like coming home for me, and you've captured the feel of it. So exciting to win at Houston!!

Amy Art Quilter & Fyber Cafe said...

Thanks for showing the progress of the quilt, as you added each section. I like the feeling as you added in the different colors and created the whole. Congrats on winning at Houston.

Janis Doucette said...

This is a wonderful piece!

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