Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday Work-in-Progress: Mountain Sunset

I am taking a chance that husband Charlie will not be reading my blog...I don't think he ever does unless I point something out to him. But if you away now!

Everybody else...please scroll down...

To reveal the secret project to the rest of you, I am making him a mountain sunset quilt for his 60th birthday on March 19. That is a real milestone birthday...and he is a pretty special guy. One of our favorite things to do is ride on our Gator ATV to the Christmas tree farms near our mountain cabin, drink a little wine, and watch the sunset. Here is a memorable photo with mist settling into the valleys, which I have chosen for my art quilt scene.

There was not actually a full moon over the hills...some kind of circular image appeared in the sky from moisture or who I decided to leave it out. At least for now.

And here is what I have done so far.

Once again, I have used my Babylock Embellisher to needle-punch these layers together. The base is Warm and Natural cotton batting covered with cotton fabrics. I had a piece of hand-dyed fabric in light gray and light salmon pink that worked well for the sky. But there are many, many layers of various sheers, tools, and rovings covering various areas.

The large background hills are dark green velvet. I don't know where that fabric came from, but I like it for its softness and texture. And the fraying edges look like the tops of trees. The close-up Christmas trees are mostly hand-dyed, rough-cut with scissors. The foreground is a conglomeration of cottons, silks, sheers, and silk and wool roving. I just kept adding layer upon layer until the colors and light looked about right.

I have selected a backing and have cut an additional piece of Warm and Natural to put behind. This thing has gotten very wonky and distorted from all the needle-punching, and I think it needs the extra batting to stabilize the quilt.

Should I quilt this on the Gammill, the Bernina, or both? There are pros and cons to each. On the longarm, I can stretch and baste this top without worrying about pinning. The problem is with the use of specialty threads. Grendel the Gammill does not care for thin, sparkly, metallic or rayon threads. The top might look great, but the back will not.

If I choose to machine quilt on my DSM, I will be avoiding safety pins and mashing down to prevent pleats. But I can use any thread I desire.

HMMM, maybe I will baste it on the Gammill and stitch most of it on the old faithful Bernina. With my job in the afternoons, the grandkids coming this weekend (YAY!) and another trip to the mountains next weekend, it will take some doing to get this done in time. But I will!


Judy S. said...

Beautiful, Jeanne! I'll bet he'll love it.

Vicki W said...

What a special gift that's going to be!

Cathie said...

Jeanne - you have captured the essence of the mountains and sky so beautifully already. I LOVE the moon in the background - put it in. And I would do just want you said - quilt it on the Bernina so you can use whatever thread you choose. It is going to be gorgeous!!

Anonymous said...

It is beautiful -- a quilt of my favorite place. What an amazing gift -- a true heirloom. Awesome. I think he will cry.
Love you, Katy