Words for Grey, Part 6 (and Finished!)

Words for Grey is complete!

And just in time for those blustery Fall days, complete with wind and rain, to make their annual appearance.

This piece of art was the product of too many days spent looking out the window at dark, grey skies and exhaust colored snow last winter.  I found myself contemplating words — synonyms — for “grey” in an attempt to take my mind off the fact that Spring was taking its sweet time in arriving.  It was mid-April and still snowing.  The native Mid-westerners were in agreement that the 2013 – 2014 winter was one of the longest, snowiest, and most abysmal in recent history.

All those synonyms turned into a poem (link below), then the poem turned into a sketch for a quilt.  The quilt includes the spots of color that were missing from the dark days of winter.

I am pleased the finished piece so closely resembles the original sketch.

What do you do when Winter drags on?


Words for Grey (link to poem)


GREY - Detailed Sketch
Original sketch
Grey - Finished
Finished art piece. The warp comes from the grey strips. I should have alternated ends when stitching strips together – lesson learned. But I like the warp; it gives this life. The world isn’t flat.
Grey - Poem Label
The poem label
Grey - Sunlit
I laid this on the bed while I was preparing to hang* it for its first photo opp. When I saw the sun fall across the scene, I had to take a photo. More light on a grey day.

*Hang = tape to wall with painter’s tape, scramble to take picture for record and blog post before art falls to floor.  I really need a better system when my art is finished and ready for its close up.


Next up: A Mariner’s Compass quilt from a pattern for the technique lesson.  Come back in two weeks and see how it’s going.

Words for Grey, Part 5

Apparently I’m part of the slow quilting movement, if there is such a thing.

Over the last two weeks, the quilting has begun.  The only piece that still needs to be quilted is the tree and then I can move on to binding and finishing Words for Grey.

Few words this post – mostly photos.  Hope you enjoy.

GREY - Quilted Leaves
The leaves were cut free hand and fusible appliqued to the background
GREY - Quilted House
The house was quilted “stitch in the ditch” to maintain the “siding” effect
GREY - Quilted
The rain keeps coming down

Please come back soon to see the finished art.

Is there such a thing as the “slow quilting movement”?

Words for Grey, Part 4

Over the last two weeks, I’ve built the quilt sandwich and begun quilting.

In my mind, in the poem, the rain isn’t heavy, but it’s steady and it takes quite a bit of time to produce all the streams.

GREY - Quilting 01
Making it rain (quilt back is on the right)
GREY - Quilting 02
Closeup of the rain falling through the branches

There’s plenty more quilting to do, so please come back next week to see.

Do you consider the quilting part of the art, or just the means to hold it all together?

Words for Grey, Part 3

This is a slow going piece of art (I believe it will end up artful – I was filled with that skepticism that often arises at the mid-point of a project until the leaves were added).

The tree has been planted.  Leaves have bloomed and drifted to ground in the rain storm.

The tree is hand-dyed wool; the leaves are hand-dyed silk.  Both pieces of fabric were purchased.

GREY - Top
I’m loving this with the leaves.

This completes the top.

Next up: I’ll select a backing fabric (in grey), make a quilt sandwich, and start quilting, followed by binding, printing the poem on fabric, and hand stitching the poetry label to the back.

If you come back next week, I’ll share whatever progress has been made.

Do you ever question the art you’re making?

Words for Grey, Part 2

I spent the best part of the week creating the “canvas” for Words for Grey, so this is going to be a short post because there’s not a lot of status, or work, to report.

(By “best part”, I mean the random time available after day job, exercise, chores, errands, meals, etc.  You know, life.  Long weekend does not necessarily equal more free time.)

Anyway, the “canvas” is five strips each of 10 different greys, 1″ wide, and sewn together on the 1/4″.  Once completed, it had a warp to it that gives off the illusion of 3-D.

GREY Canvas
I love bright colors so I wasn’t sure I’d love a grey canvas, but it seems to shimmer and who doesn’t like a good shimmer?
GREY Canvas Closeup
The shimmer shows a little better here

I like it.

I’m sure there’s some neat trick one can use when strip piecing so the finished product lays flat but I’m not sure I want to know said trick.  I like the life this has as it buckles.  Rain doesn’t fall straight and true.  Why should this?

I still need to square off the top and bottom, but I want to finish the layout first.

The cabin is made of five strips each of four brick-reds, cut 1″ wide, folded in half, wrong sides together, then stitched with a slight overlap to create “siding”.

The cabin strips warped to an even greater degree than the grey, which demanded the roof go on at a jaunty angle, turning the piece into a fun little redwood log cabin.

GREY House Closeup
See the siding? See the warp? It’s like the cabin is planning to climb the wall.
GREY House
I love the whimsy.

Once I plant a tree and it sprouts a few leaves, this quilt top will be complete.  Please come back next week and I’ll show you.

Do you want to know the tricks or do you prefer when work has quirks?

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