Elizabeth Barton’s Design Master Class-Oct-“Pre Dawn”
I walk Basset Boy early in the morning during the hot summer months. It’s so early that both night and morning people are sleeping. The stars are usually bright and visible. I LOVE that hour: all is still-even air conditioners, there are no cars, no pedestrians and the whole earth is shrouded in peacefulness and quiet. There is virtually no color and I see most things in silhouette. It’s beautiful.
When Elizabeth gave us our Sept assignment and asked us to work with “lost edges” I was, well, lost. I wrote about part of the process here. I am fairly happy with my finished piece:
I let the ombre fabric do the work for me and used a thread that almost disappears on the bottom yet shows well at the top. I think I captured the lost edges concept well in this piece. It definitely sets a mood! DH said it looked grim and somber. I see the peacefulness of pre-dawn in it but I’ll be curious to see the reactions of others.
There are a few things of note about this piece. The process I use to create these pieces is to heavily quilt the background in light gray super skinny 100 wt silk thread. That creates the line and shadow which I love. I enjoy the energy created by the background. Then I lay the design on top of that background.
You can see here I am almost done stitching the background. What is of note is the basting method I used. That unquilted area would have been a problem had I used a typical method like pin baste or a larger grid based method. That central area would have accumulated all the “snow plow” of puff from the whole piece and it would have been very difficult to quilt without tucks.
Instead I Misty Fused my wool batting to the front and back. As a result I can quilt like this and not have a problem with excess billowing fabric. Notice there are no pins there? It is such a joy to be able to romp across the surface without any concerns about snow plowing!
Also, the addition of the bugs really made the piece. It was a little too tranquil without them-try to imagine it without them. It was a little too calm. And besides, they are up and buzzing around when I’m walking.
I love the little bit of whimsy it adds to the piece as well as a bit of realism. And it also allows me to draw your eye through the piece. I am thinking that I have learned that sort of thing as a result of this class.
Elizabeth liked the piece and thought it smart to let the fabric do the work. She thought I did a good job with perspective, mood, flow, balance and focal area (with the bugs).
I worked hard on getting those grasses to lean but not make the piece unbalanced and she noted that was a difficult thing to achieve. I’m pretty happy with September’s work. I don’t have a title yet besides the working title “Pre-Dawn”-any ideas?
So two posts in one week-unusual for me. Now I am heading into the Houston Prep Zone and I may not be posting as much. I just know I have a LOT to do to prepare for my students!
On Friday I will link up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday here-there are always some really cool links there.
Janet Becker says
Just love this one Jenny!
I discovered Misty Fuse a couple of years ago and use it on my “wearables” because of the softness. I can fuse away… and you can’t feel the fusing at all! Additionally… when I’m fusing net or mesh over fabric… the Misty Fuse completely disappears. Magic!
Really-net or mesh and the MF disappears?! i have never used it in wearables. Thanks for the info-I hope to return to wearables soon and I’ll try it there. I love how it does not alter the hand of the fabric!
Jenny – this is quilt is just stunning. I think, of all your quilts I’ve seen so far, this is my absolute favorite. The work is wonderful and the mood that it expresses really touches me, although I see it as somber. I see it more like the “pre-dawn” you describe. Peaceful. Reflective. Restorative. Possible title? Restoration of the Soul, or perhaps just Restoration. Great job. Thanks for sharing.
I like your thoughts on title and thank you for such kind words Schatzi. That time of day is very inspiring for me.
Oops – the comment above should have said that I DON’T see it as somber.
Yeah, I figured that Schatzi, giggle!
Roxane Lessa says
Really cool piece! I think it is a bit somber, but that’s ok. I would have been tempted to add a few silver stars here and there, but maybe that would be too literal.
Thank you Roxane. I thought about stars (of course there are lots out at that hour) but somehow that seemed like a different message. But your comment makes me think I will have to plop some “stars” down atop it to see if they add or detract. And I get that it can look somber and agree, somber is good too! It doesn’t always have to be about goodness and beauty.
Judy Warner says
I immediately thought of a walk in moon light – sort of the other end of the time period you were thinking of. The grasses are beautiful and the bugs are a great touch. Congrats on a successful quilt!
Thank you Judy! Oh I love that, early darkness in the moonlight-that works too. I am getting the feeling that there is a bit of an opening for interpretation for what this piece is about-a pleasant surprise.
Ann Grundler says
This is a mature work of art. Nice to share how you used Misty Fuse. Ann
Wow, high compliment Ann-thank you! Misty Fuse rocks.
This lovely piece speaks beach grass to me, possibly by moonlight. I think the “ridges” resemble the grooves left in sand by wind and waves. And the bugs are certainly omni present at the beach.
Ah yes, beach grass-I get that! Now that you mention it the whole grooves thing is more reminiscent of sand than the terrain I walk through. How funny!
I love it! For me, this is not a somber piece. I drive to work in the early morn, and have seen many a glorious sunrise. However, this time of year, I am driving to work in the predawn…it is still quite dark. This morning, I was treated to a clear, starry sky and a full moon. The moonlight was reflected upon the surface of a glimmering river. I am so blessed!
Oh a fellow early riser-you get this, I can tell by your lovely description-thank you Laura! Blessed indeed!
Jenny, I love the piece and the composition. I recently made a communion stole with wheat and found that I could somewhat balance the curves using the leaves that are usually part way up the stem. I helped to have something pointing the opposite direction.
Oh I can’t wait to see that Helen! I am learning this whole design thing but now my eyes see it and if they can see it then I’ll probably be able to figure out how to fix it. I can just see the wheat and the leaves balancing off of each other-lots of direction there. Thank you!
suzanne guthrie says
What a wonderful piece, The bugs are great, the fabric choice really seems to hit the mark too. Thanks, also for your comments to encourage us in our quilting adventures.
Thank you Suzanne! Oh my heart skips a beat to think that anything I do can encourage others on their quilting journey. This is not rocket science, it’s just plugging along every day or so and learning as you go.
“Sea Breezes”. It reminds me of the grasses along the ocean beaches that wave as the air currents blow through them. Lovely and, yes, serene!!!!! “Tranquility”??
Ah yes, I see that too! Like “tranquility” also. Thank you Doreen!
glen in louisiana says
Wow! Is all I can say.
Why thank you Glen!
Hilary Florence says
Sombre is about the last word I would have thought for this piece. I am a great fan of your style of quilting and I love the rhythm and movement it gives. You can almost hear the wind whispering in the grasses in this piece and the sound of the bugs. That made me think of a title that reflected sound such as ‘Dawn whisper’ or ‘Dawn duet’ or ‘Dawn’s Approach’…
Anyway, the piece is gorgeous.
Thank you Hilary! I have to say my favorite now is “Dawn Whisper”-maybe “Dawn’s Whisper”. Great name and captures the peace that I want to convey!
I’ve used MistyFuse for raw edge appliqué. Love it. Just never thought to give it a go for basting my quilt sandwich. Just ordered 10 yards! Thanks for the tip.
Your quilt is a stunner. If we lived closer you wouldn’t be alone in your walk. It truly is a magical time to be up. On Wednesday I was treated to the lunar eclipse during my run. Now there is an image for disappearing edges.
Oh I’d like to meet you Gwyned! And you’re running at that hour no less! It is indeed a magical hour. See what you think of Misty Fuse. I am still in the experimental stage. I think I like it but I have to try it more before I go and recommend it. Thank you!
Oh, Jenny, I love this piece! I do not think that it is gloomy or dark or grim or somber. It makes me think about my DH and my early mornings on our sailboat when it was living in the CA Delta. Maybe not quite as early as your dog walks, but close, as the cranes were still sleeping in the cottonwood trees along the banks. I am impressed with the way you handled what could have been what you called “snow plowing”, which I have had happen, also [and haven’t we all!]. Though I have some of the MistyFuse, I would not have thought of using it for that! Thanks for the new use for it. And by the way, I have learned so much from your descriptions of the classes you take – thanks so much!!
Wow, thank you so much for your comment-it encourages me! Ah, early mornings on a boat on the Delta-done that too and oh how peaceful and lovely. I’m doing more research on Misty Fuse by talking with Iris, who designed the product so I may learn more to pass on.
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