Sunday, August 9, 2015

"Welcome To Gualala"

My quilt guild's challenge for this year was entitled "Above and Beyond."  In my Tuesday sewing group we chose to interpret that as doing something above and beyond our previous quilting experience.  This project really was a challenge for us, a great big challenge!

In a magazine we saw some pictures of landscape quilts that were made by several different people each making one part of the scene.  We liked the idea, so we started with a photo of a scene we all knew very well, the road coming into the small town of Gualala, California.

I enlarged the photo some, and we cut it into six vertical strips.   From the enlargement I outlined the major lines of the scene with a dark marker.  Then I made a tracing to get my pattern pieces.  

I'm afraid I don't have any process photos (what was I thinking!?!), but I chose my fabrics, and used Wonder Under to appliqué the pieces on to my muslin background.  Together, we each marked the water and/or horizon lines on the muslin before we started sewing, and tried to keep as true to them as we could.

And here is the result.  (Mine is the second from the right.)  True to our human nature, we each interpreted our piece of the landscape and put our own imprint on it.  Some of us added fish, whales, etc.  Did I mention that this was a fun project!?!

Mine is the middle one here.

Amazingly, it came out somewhat close to looking like the real scene!  Most of our water and skylines matched up!

On this close-up of part of my strip, you can see where I added some tiny pieces of fabric to add some dimension, using the method I learned in the class at Asilomar where I made my "Gingko" quilt.  I added some tiny brown pieces at the edge of the water where it meets the brownish shore.  And I added some light blue pieces at the closer edge of the water.  In both cases I used a variety of browns, and a variety of light blues and placed them carefully on top of the quilt.  Then I carefully laid down some black tulle, and immediately basted it very closely with safety pins.  After I did tiny swirl free motion quilting over the tiny pieces, I very carefully trimmed away the edges of the tulle.  Then I continued to quilt some water lines.  

I used the needle felting attachment for my Bernina to add some texture.  I felted down some silk ribbon pieces to resemble plants and grasses, and some wool roving to add other texture in the shrubbery areas.  Also, some white rough-cut pieces of gauze to make clouds in the sky.

We called our quilt "Welcome to Gualala," because the scene is the road crossing the Gualala River, and then heading into town.  It gathered a lot of attention during the show because it was so unusual, and because it was a local scene.  A bonus for us is that someone bought our quilt at the Opening Night Reception!

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