Sunday, November 19, 2006

Longview Quilt Top

view from the road

A little quilt top. The colors are just so perfect for this project, but I didn't put 2 and 2 together until this whiplash comp.

A few years ago I made a large quilt that had both white and dark blue in it. I was afraid that the blue was going to run into the white, so I bought some special laundry sheets designed to catch dye. They worked, and the laundry sheets came out blue-ish. Cool, I thought, a blue sheet, and I saved it. I've been using those sheets on all my suspect loads for a while now, always saving the resulting colored sheet. They have a fiber make up that feels somewhere in between paper and cotton. Sometimes I am totally surprised by the color that comes out of my clothes. Sometimes (as with the new hot pink beach towels), I wait excitedly to see how bright the sheet will turn. Now, I have many different colored sheets in three basic color groups: yellow, blue, and red. I used these for the quilt.

my sheets and WIPs

I've wanted to make this quilt for months--since the little corn and soy seedling starting sprouting up on the farms the line the highway. The flat, farm landscape that surrounds me is more incredibly beautiful than I ever thought it could be. The lack of topographical features brings smaller details to the landscape's foreground, and as I drive by I am in love with the colors the different plant stalks turn when the sun hits them. The gray and blue and purple of the sky against the golds are greens of the fields always amazes me. More than that, it amazes me that it is so amazing because I thought that in the midwest I'd find nothing but flat and brown. It's totally beautiful, and it changes with each season the same way that a forest would.

Anyway, I thought I would make this design a much bigger quilt, say maybe 3 feet by 4 feet, but I was never able to find just the right colors. When I sat down with my laundry sheets to begin the whiplash project, I was thinking that I would make a traditional quilt block, but use this material instead of cotton cloth. A quick errand in the next town over via a country road reminded me of the quilt I wanted to make, and I quickly realized that my laundry sheets were the perfect colors. They are a beautiful assortment of subtly varied golds, blues, and grays. Sometimes stuff just works.

I'm very happy with it, and I'm very happy here.


Blogger kweaver said...

What a fantastic idea!

11:14 PM  
Anonymous mo said...

You are amazing!

11:48 PM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

I love it!
And I have to agree with you about the midwest, your description of how it's minimalist beauty strikes is great. It is actually Juan's favorite kind of landscape...similar to the Pampas.

6:47 AM  
Blogger jess said...

great color choices and composition. what a neat series this would make!

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great way to use the sheets. The colors are great. I remember once seeing on Ripley's Believe it or Not (or some similar show) a story about a woman who created paintings from the lint in her dryer. What an idea!

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Manda said...

wonderful idea! And beautiful quilt!

12:09 PM  
Anonymous P said...

sigh! that is stunningly gorgeous

12:33 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I love pulling out eh dye catcher and seeing what color I get. I got one the other day from greens with one brown and it's a weird brownish green color!!

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I love your quilt and it's story and I love your interpretation of alternative craft. Unexpected materials is exactly the tact I would've taken if I'd been able to participate this month. It's fun to see someone experimenting with a similar approach to the one I'd have taken myself but in a completely different medium than those that I work it.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Wow! Love the idea of reusing fabric sheets...and they came out so interesting in color. Beautiful quilt top, too! :)

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

simple and pretty! love it!

3:10 PM  
Anonymous blair said...

totally gorgeous. I love your photos, the way you've shown your steps through the process. I agree that its all a fantastic idea!

9:19 AM  
Anonymous kristin said...

congratulations Dorie!!! how great to win the whip-lash competition!! what a beautiful piece and i have to agree that you are a creative genious for the unique idea...well done!! :)

10:29 AM  

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