Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nature Redesigns Highway One

Here is a photo of a portion of Highway One just north of where I live. Notice the jog in the road? That hasn't always been there. A few years ago that portion of the highway washed away. Which often happens on this coastal highway. After years of erosion, the soil just washes away, and without that support, the highway crumbles.

I've always been fascinated by this jog in the road. It makes this portion of the road just a little bit quirky, like some of us! And it demonstrates that nature is stronger than humans.

I've often thought of making a quilt of this scene. So I decided to do that for my guild's challenge this year, the title of which is West Coast Splendor. It's supposed to be about what we love about the west coast. Given that photo, I started out.

I made a line drawing by tracing parts of the photo, then took it to my local copy shop and had it blown up quite big. Not sure of the exact size, but this paper is maybe 4 feet by 2 1/2 feet.

Then I started choosing fabrics, and putting them in place. I decided to fuse this quilt, something I haven't done very much. But it sure goes quickly! Below you can see where I am deliberating over which fabrics to use.

And here is the finished quilt. The title is "Nature Redesigns Hwy 1."

Following are some detail shots. For part of the greenery I draped the fabric over the fusible and ironed it down leaving some wrinkles and pleats of fabric. I did cut all those little grass "zig-zags." When they refused to stay fused down (I guess it was just too little glue left on those tiny pieces of fabric), I decided that they would make a nice three-dimensional element to my quilt!

I wanted to put some flowers by the side of the road. So I got out my embellishing attachment for my Bernina. It does needle-felting on the machine, and is a lot of fun to play with.
Here I've needle felted down some pink gauzy fabrics, and then some green silk ribbons for leaves/stems.

The clouds were another area where I used my needle-felting attachment to add some three-dimensional interest. Wide, swoopy quilting added movement lines to the sky, too.


  1. I love this! Thanks for showing part of your process.

  2. This was my favorite quilt in the show! Thanks for showing us behind the scenes. GREAT interpretation.

  3. Thank you! I love that stretch of the road. It was so much fun to make a quilt of it.

  4. This is great Jan, I'd love to see it in person! :)