Early works

I’ve been busy making things I can’t show you yet.  I’m sure you know how that goes.  Some of it won’t be long now.  In the meantime, I thought I’d go back and share some of my early works.  I have shared this quilt on my blog before, but it was nearly two years ago, so I figure a large percentage of you weren’t reading about my quilting adventures at that time.

Midnight Dance was an early quilt design.  Making this quilt was pure joy.  It was 2008 and I had already decided I wanted to be a serious quilter, but I didn’t have a blog, didn’t have any patterns, didn’t have anything published in magazines, didn’t have any deadlines and wasn’t really sure where my quilting journey would take me.  It was just me, my idea and “The Secret Life of Bees” (the book on CD I listened to while sewing).

The plan for this quilt was expanded from a row I made for a Row Robin quilt with my hand dyeing group.  Sorry, but I can’t find any pictures – that may have been pre-digital for me.  The row included the curves and the daisy-style flowers.  My idea to expand it to a bed sized quilt included large monochromatic blocks of color – large like 10″ x 20″.  I cut a few of those and quickly downsized the plan.  Such large blocks were visually distracting and did not blend together well.  The basic background blocks ended up finishing at 2″ and 3″ by 9 1/2″.  The key to the backgrounds was to get enough variation in color and value to make the background interesting, but not so much as to make it distracting.  I couldn’t help adding a few contrasting squares down the left side and across the bottom too.

Cutting the curve at the horizon was a scary thing!  After I had sewn enough background fabrics together to make the quilt big enough, I layered the sky part over the grass part, both right side up and drew the curves.  Then I cut through both layers, flipped it right sides together and sewed the seam.  There were a few spots that needed adjusting, but it went more smoothly than I had feared.

After that, the applique was pretty straightforward using fusible and satin stitching around the edges.  I did forget that my original plan called for one of the flowers to go off the edge of the quilt.  For the quilting, I sectioned off the green areas in sweeping curves like you might see in a landscape and quilted lines about one inch apart echoing the curves.  The sky has a colorless moon with quilting echoing that as well.  The daisies have quilting in their petals and a spiral in their centers.  At 88″ x 97″, this quilt is the largest one I’ve made.

I still love this quilt and have enjoyed this little trip down memory lane 🙂  Have you looked back at some of your earlier works recently?  Do you still like them?

  • cinzia
    Posted at 00:05h, 18 May Reply

    lovely post, debbie! it's nice to look back and see how far you've come! And blogging is a great way to document the journey. I get to see my early quilts everyday. it's what the family uses to wrap ourselves in while watching tv. those quilts are so different from what i'm making today (they are all made by hand!), but they are used and worn and loved!

  • sew katie did
    Posted at 16:06h, 09 May Reply

    My favorite colors. It's been a long time since I've done some applique.

  • Ethne
    Posted at 19:10h, 06 May Reply

    I like this, but can't wait to see what you are keeping under wraps at the moment

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