Okay... here's what really happened. I am surrounded by water birds, and really wanted to capture them in fabric. That's a novel thought, but I had never done anything like that before, although I have been sewing for years. Not to worry, I'm a quick learner. I visited Thimble Pleasures in Chapel Hill, NC. Boy, can you get inspired there! I saw a finished quilt with the basic size and shape I wanted. I bought some batiks that represented the colors of the salt marsh during winter and set out to make the background of the quilt. It didn't turn out too badly, in fact, I was pleased. Of course I had to go back to the sewing store for a walking presser foot, pins, needles... well, lots of stuff. Next, I searched the web for heron pictures from which I could make patterns. I used the Wonder-under and then satin stitched the heron to the background. The grasses on the quilt are weeds from across the street that I just glue gunned on.
From that first heron I just kept making more and improving. I started piecing fabric in odd ways to give the illusion of a forest or water. I put sheer fabric over certain areas to give a glimmer or shimmer. Experimenting with metallic threads was great fun and the outcome really wowed people.
What have I learned since making that quilt two years ago?
- Raw edge applique really is a great way to go.
- Thread sketching really is fun and an easy way to cover mistakes.
- Small scraps of fabric can be used anywhere.
- Other quilt blogs are fabulous and loaded with ideas. (Thank God, Google knows how to find them!)
- Believe in the 3 foot rule. (most people will be admiring your work from at least three feet away and won't even notice the imperfections you're stressing about.)
- Organized fabric bins and a permanent sewing area really does matter.
- Machingers are wonderful rubber tipped white gloves for free-motion and thread sketching. (I just wish I could find mine... Yes, I do have an organized sewing area)
- Experimenting is not only fun, creative, and useful - it's how we all learn.