Thursday, October 28, 2010

hidden lake--creating the promise

Have you noticed that sometimes a quilt just seems to happen. This time, I was finishing prairie hills. You may remember the soft colors of this piece. Based on fabrics that reminded me of feed sack cloth.
Check out this blog post. The sewing together of a quilt always takes forever. I want to see it done. Finished.

I woke up early one morning and had a dream of the next quilt. It was so clear. A large mountain--all encompassing. A field going into the distance. Where the field and the mountain met, water. Was it a stream? A lake? Clearly something I wanted to approach. The mountain a deep vivid green going up to the sky. A sunny day. Warm. The colors bright and pure. A counterpart to the dusty colors of prairie hills.

Was this from the movie A River Runs Through It? Or maybe it was in the White Mountains where my DH and I vacation? Did it matter? No--I just needed to start the piece. A few blocks of the dark brown. The green fabric was needed to keep me focused.

But how to create the feeling of water. I could see it glistening in my mental picture. I pin up some strips of fabric.

Not quite right. The color too blue. Too obvious. I remember a hike this summer to a waterfall. At first you of glimpses of the stream. Occasionally if the wind was right, you might hear it. But basically you were hiking up to a promise.

How would this look? I keep piecing. The mountain must be BIG. Not the small mountains around here. I don't have as many greens as I would like--but I don't want to stop and buy more. I search the studio. Fold and refold fabric hunting for those tiny strips of green that will be just right.

The quilt grows. I wonder if there should be sky at the top of the mountain. Or will that be too much design. Too realistic.

I decide to add just a hint of blue--teal maybe. It is a cloudy day and I am too busy working to want to get the light right for the picture. This quilt is impelling me to just sew.

But I am not sure the water is quite right. Too much red. I would not hike to that. Hmm. How disappointing. What if my idea was wrong after all that work? Should I have thought this quilt through more. I go home disappointed. Then the next morning I wonder if I should just add more blue here.
I pin up a piece.

Yes. Alas another fuzzy image. But this is just what I want. I take out just a bit of the blocks. Add a couple more pieces of blue. I do want the lake to be just glimpsed. A secret lake.

Wow--it is amazing what a simple tweak can do. Yes, that promise. The right blue--warm, summer. Just what I wanted. What do you think? Would you hike to this lake? Have you ever had a project where a simple tweak or two can change everything?

Now I must work hard and sew it together. After all I am doing The Washington Craft Show in November. Yikes!!!

1 comment:

  1. I have had that experience too, often going from "this is totally simplistic" to "wow -- that's it!" Sometimes the change even comes from covering over a mistake, and then, ah! Sometimes it comes from my lovely husband who points to something and says "what if...". The changes are slight, the results just right.