Last year I signed up for an online art quilt group, The Endeavourers.
Our first reveal date is coming up on February 1st, and our first theme is Nature.
That is such a huge theme and one that is so important to me. I am just overwhelmed with ideas and choices!
In 2014 I made two large quilted wall hangings (which I have shown here before), running my own photos through filters in Photoshop Elements® to make them look more like paintings, and then using an inkjet printer to print them on fabric. I bring those along when I volunteer at nature festivals, and they have served as a good conversation starter. I would have liked to make more quilts like that, but I haven’t done so yet. I have also done some smaller nature-themed pieces as technique experiments.
So here are some of the ideas I have had for this project:
1. Taking patterns found in plants and translating them into quilt blocks. These are plant cross sections from an old book, but it would also be interesting to do this with seed shapes or pollen grain patterns.
2. Going further with intricate old scientific drawings. Anything from the 1904 Kunstformen der Natur would be phenomenal.Okay, who am I kidding? The only way I would ever produce something like that is if I had it printed on fabric and then just stitched around the outlines.
3. Sticking with this basic idea but moving back into the realm of possibility, I could take a simpler science illustration and computer edit it to create a piecing blueprint.
4. I could take one of my own photos, even a bad one, and use it as a starting point for a nice abstract.
5. Another option is to not even worry about the subject matter, but to focus on using materials from nature, or re-using manmade materials, with the goal of keeping a small amount out of a landfill for a few more years.
Time has flown by since I signed up, and I am not going to get any of these wonderful projects done this time, although I will have a little something. But I have really enjoyed thinking up possibilities.
Here are all the members of the Endeavourers:
Catherine – http://www.knottedcotton.com @knottedcotton
Janine – https://rainbowhare.com/
Nancy – http://www.patchworkbreeze.blogspot.com/
Carol – http://beadsandbirds.blogspot.com/
Barbara – https://theflashingscissors.blogspot.co.uk/
Ruth – http://benandcharlyscorner.blogspot.co.uk/
Gwen – https://textileranger.com/
Martha – www.weekenddoings.com
Julie – www.pinkdoxies.com
Maureen – https://josephinaballerina.com/
Tonia – http://allthingzsewn.blogspot.com
Kay – http://thecraftyyak.wordpress.com
Soma – http://www.whimsandfancies.com/
Fiona – http://celticthistlestitches.blogspot.co.uk/
The second image would make wonderful fabric.
Wow, what fun! I’m impressed with all the ideas you’ve generated already. I have a similar challenge coming at me. I am going to barter for some work with a friend, and my payment to her will be a quilt. She would like a “green man” quilt. hmm…. I have a pretty good idea of how to design the face, but then executing it is the next step! It is unrealistic to think I would applique it, which takes me to what you said: “The only way I would ever produce something like that is if I had it printed on fabric and then just stitched around the outlines.” Well, of course you CAN have it printed on fabric! Lots of things to learn with this, and it sounds like you’re having fun with that step. I’m looking forward to seeing how you meet the challenge!
Yes, I have spent a little time on Spoonflower playing with designs, but I am never happy with them and I always do it last thing at night when I am tired, so I give up. But ONE DAY I will learn how to get the design in my head to look right with their constraints. 🙂
I haven’t spent time there, so I guess I’ll need to take a look at that. Thanks.
Joanna has played around at a few of those print-on-demand companies, and wrote some helpful posts about them. Here is one: https://snarkyquilter.com/2016/05/27/im-a-fabric-designer/
I love the butterfly on your first quilt! It looks like a frog staring at you!
The gray one on the right hand side with the eye spots? That’s a Buckeye, and they show up here all year long! So I really like them too. I never noticed the frog face effect until you mentioned it!
The stained glass effect looks intriguing, though I think I’d go with fusible applique for it, and maybe fewer pieces? Possibly only part of a butterfly for an intriguing perspective. You’ve gotten far more into Photoshop Elements than I have so far, though I do like some of the effects I’ve gotten with posterizing/abstracting.
Yes, I would definitely do fewer pieces! And I would not center it.
After 14 years with Photoshop Elements, I just upgraded to the real Photoshop! I had some free e-books with tutorials showing things you can’t do in Elements, and I succumbed. I had to make the most of those free books! 🙂 We shall see if I make the most of it or just stay with what I’ve been doing.
I look forward to seeing your project!
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I have included your blog in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
Thank you, Chris
I’m so glad you had fun thinking of all the possibilities – that’s my favourite bit! I loved your final quilt – the techniques you used were so adventurous and the result was beautiful.