Tackling the Green Giant!

For years I have been making quilts with no more than a quick sketch for reference.  I have always had a more complete picture in my mind, but would only rough out the basics to use as a reference when I pieced the quilt.  But since David Hornung's Design and Composition class, I've been working rather differently.

I'm trying now to start my studio day with a quick collage.  Sometimes in black and white, sometimes using painted paper.  If you've taken one of David's classes, you know that he advocates the use of painted paper rather than construction paper.  With thin painted paper you can create a range of tints and tones from a few primary colors (red, yellow, blue), black, white and burnt umber.  It gives you many more choices. And I do like choices, whether I'm working with fabric or paper.

I found that initially I was cutting curves, circles, spirals and other hard to piece shapes.  They made dynamic compositions, but they were not anything I would reproduce in fabric.  I like to piece, but am not terribly fond of doing appliqué.  But the more collages I make, the more I seem to be using shapes that are angular and "pieceable."  I've made several that I think would make good quilts, including the one below.
I decided to keep the two color palette, though of course I can't seem to use just two fabrics.  So I pulled a range of yellow-greens and blacks and dark grays and got to work.  I started with the lower left hand section:
I pieced it more or less in columns.  Here I've worked my way to the top and then to the right:
This is a view of my design wall from the my sewing machine.  And you can see that the right hand column is in progress.
And then it was finished.  At least the top was finished.  And much squarer than it looks in this photo:
I loaded it onto my old Gammill Classic and quilted it in dark gray thread.
And here is the finished piece.
Galligantus, 48"w x 58"h
I've been referring to this quilt as the "green giant," but that is not what I ended up naming it. While I was piecing it I was reading The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley.  If you like mysteries, I strongly recommend the Flavia de Luce series by Bradley.  I love them.  The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag is about a puppeteer who visits the village to perform "Jack and the Beanstalk."  He calls his huge green giant puppet Galligantus.  It seems an appropriate name for this quilt.

So I finished quilting Galligantus on Sunday and once again faced an empty design wall.  I have three calls for entry that I intend (need?) to make pieces for.  But did I start working on any of them?  

No, of course not.  I decided to make a smaller version of Galligantus in teals.  
And I'm having a blast.  Though I feel slightly guilty about the other quilts I have to make.  Oh well.

I love the idea of using collages as the basis for quilts.  I've already picked the collage I want to use next.  We'll see if I have the discipline to wait until I've made those pesky "call for entry" quilts......

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Confessions of a Fiber Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!


Julierose said…
Beautiful quilt art--I love both the greens and the teal...
they are so dramatic and just lovely.
I always have doodled with pencil and often thought I should try out some in fabric--but how to piece them always has eluded me.
enjoyed this post a lot hugs, Julierose
Bill Roberts said…
This is a neat way to use the skills you learned from David. I was there this past June in Nancy's Class and it looked like a lot of fun learning going on downstairs! Looks like you dye your own fabrics?
Sam's Mom said…
Fantastic, Heather!
piecefulwendy said…
Wow, this is the first time I've visited your blog, but I'll be staying around! I love the quilt! It is fantastic!
Lynette said…
Oh! Love this play in both of the quilts. Don't let the guilt get to you - when the creative juices are flowing, you just need to follow the path! (Thanks for the series recommendation - I enjoy mysteries.)
Home Sewn By Us said…
Hi Heather,
What a fabulous quilt - well, both of them actually. I love the greens but I really LOVE the teal fabrics. So modern looking and so closely matching your drawing. I will check out that author - I've not heard of the series, but I love mysteries. ~smile~ Roseanne
Sandy Panagos said…
I really love those pieces!