Sunday, February 5, 2012

Whimsy? maybe not for me

I signed up for the President's Challenge from my Reston guild this year, which was called, "How Does Your Garden Grow?" We were asked to include each of these two fabrics....

...rick-rack, and a button in a small format quilt. The fabric on the right is more bright pink-coral than it appears in this fabric scan.

The rick-rack and button to me automatically make this a "whimsical" quilt. I always admire these when I see one, so I thought I'd give whimsical a try.

In my mind, I missed whimsy by quite a bit. It's not an awful quilt, and I met the challenge requirements. It will no doubt be very different from the other members' work. That's part of the fun of the challenge, when they display all the quilts and you see how different quilters interpreted the theme.

My garden is really a forest, so I made the quilt using this photo, taken on a crisp October morning, for the background. I traced the lines of the mountains for my pattern.

The trees were made by tracing and repeating one tree from a different photo. Although fabulous sunsets are not really what we have here, a hand-dyed fabric gives a sunset look that pulls in the required fabrics' colors. Violet belongs in my "garden" only by virtue of the native rhododendron, and there's really no place for the pinky coral.

Perhaps I should have made my own whimsical bear instead of using this realistic one.

The rick-rack is visible in the photo above, separating the mountain view from the stylized American beech leaves. I put each leaf on a larger coral or violet leaf shape to repeat the idea I used with the trees, where the required fabrics make the trees glow with the evening light. I have pink on the left and upper part of each tree's left-hand branches, violet on the right and the lower part of the right-hand branches.

The owl button I found and the windy sky quilting are the truly whimsical elements. I might try it again some day, or maybe I just give up on whimsy.


Sherrye said...

Whimsy may not be your thing, but I like this quilt because of the way you used the colors to make the "reflections" of the sunset. It's perfect in that way!! Like a painting.

Anna Banana said...

Looks like North Carolina mountain whimsy to me! I like how you used the coral to pick up the light, and the row of leaves is a nice design touch. I think you wimped out on the rick-rack, though. Of course, maybe in person it adds a nice layer of texture. And, the quilting, of course, is wonderful. How cute is that owl button!?

Marjorie said...

Love the way you did the lavender and coral on the trees and the leaves and your button is perfect. I have to agree that the rick rack is hard to find. But I especially like the way you did the mountains. Having grown up at the foot of those mountains, this piece warms my heart.