Friday, June 19, 2020

the edge of autumn

In late summer, I love seeing how the greens darken in the woods and the light begins to take on that golden hue of September. What a magical time this is. My quilt "the edge of autumn" seeks to capture this journey into the change of the seasons. Of course it is part of my "thinking about tomorrow" series.

the edge of autumn--quilt--Ann Brauer 2020
Making it is basically very simple. First I design the basic outline of the quilt either on paper or in my mind. This is based on the concept of the quilt and the elements I want to portray. Then I begin sewing many thin strips of cotton fabric going through the cotton batting onto the back. I always tell myself to start with something I know.

detail--the edge of autumn--quilt--Ann Brauer 2020

Sounds simple doesn't it. The trick though is to get the colors just right. In this case I wanted a golden green hue and so I chose fabric that included that overall element. Don't you love that hint of sun peeking through the clouds? I also began adding just a hint of purple that will come later.

detail--the edge of autumn--quilt--Ann Brauer 2020

As you can see I am gradually making the shift to a darker palette. Still I incorporate hints of gold and yellow to break it up. Creating the quilt is simple but also not easy since I do have to balance the colors and fabrics. I don't want it to be too busy but I do want there to be life in the piece. Many fabrics are used only once or twice. Luckily I have a lot of fabrics and because this is what I do, I know what may be in my stash.

detail--the edge of tomorrow--quilt--Ann Brauer 2020

And gradually I go into the darker colors. Because these are commercially available fabrics I don't always have the  colors that I dream about. There are not that many browns with blues for instance. So I have to improvise. That is what color blending is all about. And no I don't use batiks--in case you were going to ask. While they are lovely, they have a stiffer texture and a different sheen so I don't find they blend as well although feel free to experiment.

So how do you start? My suggestion is to make something. Maybe a smaller quilt or even a pillow. Get to know the fabric and try. I often make potholders with a fabric that is new to me to understand all its tones and depth. After you have made one--or even as you are making one--pin it to your design board and see what you think. When you are done, look at it. Is it what you want? Did you find any surprises? What went right and what could you do better? Then make another. And another and another until you begin to teach yourself to create the colors you want.

See--I said the method is simple but the process is not easy. And most importantly, have fun!!!

I have more detailed images on my Etsy shop if you are curious or maybe you want to browse through the detailed images of other quilts I have made.

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