I have just finished my monthly abstract miniature quilt. The theme of the month was "country" - not as in Canada, but country as in rural or countryside. The images/words that come to my mind when I think of country are: trees and earth, peaceful, calm, empty space, lonely...
I made some initial sketches...I always doodle about 6 design ideas to start and go from there. I got carried away with the house on the hill in the left sketch ...inspired by a card I had recently received. But then I didn't like all the detail and found myself wanting to make a swing set and a family, and became defocused from the theme.
This quilt turned out to be a little larger than postcard size and I should have sewn something stiffer (cardboard) on the back, but I like the backing fabric, so I left it. The base is my hand painted fabric overlaid with painted cheesecloth. The trees were made using one of my favorite techniques...scrap bits under Solvy. If you read my post on March 31st - click here - there is a picture of my cupboard and my collection of tiny bits of fabric in jars (sitting on the bottom shelf), which I call "Quilter's Jelly"...I really do use these up! I am teaching another class on this in May, so I am thinking about more ways to use this method.
I like to quilt everything to death, and I had a difficult time resisting the desire to heavily machine quilt my country. I knew that this theme required minimal quilting, so I left it hanging on my design wall for a couple of weeks, while the quilt and I debated the issue! Yes...we debated...out loud! Well, I guess I was talking out loud, but the quilt talked very quietly! That's why I have to stay in the basement, so noone knows how crazy I am and that I talk to my quilts!! Here is one of my sketches on the right working out the issues of how many trees and how much quilting.
I made a few attempts to quilt some different things in the blank space, but it just made the quilt seem busy and it started looking too active and frenetic...more "city-like". So I ripped those stitches out. Then I couched a course, brown, twine-looking fibre around the outside edges.
Again, I let it sit for a while, asking it...""are you sure that's all you want"??
I am still resisting the desire to add beads and more quilting.
It looks so plain, so empty, so calm. Just like the country.
Mission accomplished...walk away!
Now April has arrived and I have a different topic to divert my attention, so luckily for this country mini, I will call it "finished" and move on. The new topic is "orange" and I have lots of orange beads!