Monday, May 24, 2010

The Experiment Begins


Before I share the challenge I accepted I wanted to share Rossie's idea. I'm accepting her Process Pledge. Essentially it's about sharing the process I go through to design and make my quilts. I think I do a lot of process sharing already, but I'm going to be more cognizant of trying to document that process and post about it. I think it's a great idea, mostly because we can all learn so much with a glimpse into other people's processes. I emailed Rossie this weekend and asked her if she had a process flickr group, she said I should go ahead and start one, so I did. Feel free to go here and join the 'Quilting Process' group. We'll post inspirations, sketches, in process shots, and talk about and share our process. I'm pretty excited about it.

So, on to the challenge. I received soo many good ideas, it was hard to choose where to start. I will be doing more than one of these! I'm starting with Krista's idea of using a family heirloom as my inspiration. I actually chose two items that are related. First is my grandmother's silver birch china. It's pretty special to me, first because it was my mom's and my grandmother's but also because it reminds me of my 'up north' roots. I love the birch forests of Minnesota and Canada.
I also chose this framed piece of birch bark. My husband brought it home from a trip he took to his hometown, Wausau, Wisconsin. He picked it up on a run on Rib Mountain. My hubby loves the woods, loves Wisconsin and so I framed it for him and now it hangs in his office. So, those are my inspiration pieces.
Krista also suggested beautiful scrap box colors, but I changed her challenge a bit. I chose my neutrals boxes...one is filled with grays, browns, blacks, beiges...mostly solids, but some prints too.
...and then my whites and creams. That's what I have to choose from. I'm not sure if there will be a background fabric or not.
So I started by studying my inspiration pieces. What did I love about them? What was the feeling I wanted to create? The texture and intricacy of the birch trees, especially the bark is what I kept going back to. I decided to try to create an exaggerated birch bark texture. So I started playing with some fabric.
Then I moved to the design wall and sewed a few pieces together.
I decided pretty much immediately that I didn't want any vertical pieces.
I played some more...cutting, rearranging and sewing.

This is the piece I have now. I'm not sure where I'm going with this. It may be sliced into thin trees. I think for now I'll continuing building pieces. I'm not quite satisfied with how the dark areas look. Stay tuned and have a great week.

35 comments:

r0ssie said...

I love the birch tree inspiration. Thanks for making the group, I joined up!

Jewel said...

I love it already. I really love the blue greys and how you mixed in the creamy colors.

Sue said...

This is wonderful. I am a relatively new quilter and while the technical aspects have not been that difficult, playing with the colors has been very frustrating. I almost skipped your blog today because I thought that process would be boring. Sorry. Wow, was I wrong. Thank you so much for putting this up. It will completely change the way I look at colors for my quilts. Sue

Allabitrandom said...

As more of a wannabee quilter than an actual quilter, I just love how a pile of ( lets be brutally honest) scrappy bits of fabric, is already turning into something beautiful. The only thing is, I am a natural hoarder at the best of times......now I need a bigger house! I really look forward to seeing the completed piece. Thanks for sharing this.

Alissa said...

Great post! I too will be taking that process pledge as soon as I can be back to my usual posting. Can't wait to see what this becomes!

PioneerValleyGirl said...

Love this - I love birch trees, so I'm curious to see where this goes -- and liking getting a peek into everyone's process.

Laura said...

I think this is great and I really look forward to seeing your posts on this!

Trisha said...

Very cool! I'm glad you didn't go with any vertical pieces, it really didn't look right. I think what you've got so far is awesome.

connie said...

Thank you for sharing the process. At this point with my quilting this is really good for me to see and hear about!

I too love birch trees, my parents are from Minnesota and when I was going up in Wyoming Mom always had birch logs to set in the fireplace in the summer.

holly p said...

I love this so far! Being from Upper Michigan, the birch tree inspiration reminds me of home too! :)

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

I love that plate! I spent the first 27 years of my life in Milwaukee, so I know from Wisconsin. I personally think there should be fewer of the black fabrics. The silver birch feeling is really more gray and a lot of the blacks feel jarring to me.

Quilt or Dye said...

Thanks for sharing your process and your progress on the birch trees! I too love the birch trees here in Maine.

Brenis said...

I am so tickled with Rossie's idea/pledge! We learn soo much from each other, when we are allowed to peek into one another's thought processes! I think we learn a ton from ourselves as well, when being forced to put things into words that are just intuition based! I too am taking the pledge, with my next quilt. My current one is giving me massive fits - i suppose that's part of the insight also, eh? LOL
LOVING your start on the birch tree inspiration!!

Sarah D. said...

I love it already. The china is a wonderful inspiration piece.

Cheryl Arkison said...

I can see the forest already.

Rebekah said...

I love seeing your birch inspiration so far!

live a colorful life said...

I think the Process Pledge is going to be amazing! I took the pledge myself. Birch trees. Brilliant! BTW, do you originally come from Minnesota? My husband does. Beautiful state. Just wondering...

elle said...

The Canadian Birch, my favorite tree. The plate, it evokes home. And the neutrals, well, they are the icing on the cup cake. Luv it!

The Calico Cat said...

neat... I was going to ask a question about your verticle comment - then I realized that what I was seeing was horizontal - not vertical. DUH!
Good thing I looked & thought twice...

audreypawdrey said...

I can't wait to see your next step! I love the idea of the process pledge. I really enjoyed seeing your process, and it is a really neat way to look at how we all think creatively.

Q said...

Oh geez, you're flying blind almost on this one. I can't wait to see what you come out with in the end. Great exciting :).

Caroline ~ TrilliumDesign said...

I love it!! It's looking pretty amazing already.

Jenna Z said...

Wow, I'm not sure if I've made this connection before but my hubby is from Wausau as well! :) I love going up there, SO many trees! (I'm from central IL where there are only trees around the houses, otherwise a fast flat plain.

Me said...

Nice idea! I'd take up your challenge and run with my strawberries but I don't have red scraps so it's on the back burner.

arajane said...

wow, i love this! looking at your inspiration in those birch trees i had no idea how one would capture that feeling, but i really do love how you got the texture and horizontal lines with those neutrals/blacks. for me it absolutely sings out birch trees. can't wait to see where this goes!

amandajean said...

It's going to be very fun to watch this develop from the sidelines.

piecemealquilts said...

The birch tree is a great inspiration. As you began describing it, I started visualizing how I would use a birch for inspiration. Funny how hearing someone else's ideas trigger your own! I also live in Wisconsin, and love birches. I'm really looking forward to watching this quilt develop.

Poppyprint said...

How fun! I am thrilled Jacquie, to see my wee inspiration suggestion grow into something so beautiful. The best part? Well, I'm from Canada, and the birch is a wonder for me...from my early days as a Girl Guild using fallen bark as a natural firestarter, to writing postcards on the back of birchbark to send home from the Yukon as a young geologist in the field. This couldn't be more perfect!!! Lots of amazing quilt karma going around these days. I am happy.

Sarah Craig said...

Interesting to see your process from the very beginning! I'm excited to see how it progresses. And your "birch bark" looks wonderful so far!

MightyMom said...

Cool idea but I couldn't do a process challenge as I have no process!! Quilts are given to me as complete pictures then I
make the picture a reality. Not much playing or fiddling to show.

Marit said...

Jacquie, you are off to a good start here - just love the looks of this. Thank you for starting the flickr group. This is so exciting!
; )

Esch House Quilts said...

I love how this is turning out so far! All the neutrals are fantastic and the mix of prints and solids increases the feeling of texture.

Marjorie said...

You may solve a problem for me with this quilt. I'm on the 3rd variation of an aspen quilt design and still not happy. I look forward to seeing how this evolves.

Victoria said...

Thanks for the long and wonderful goose chase!...

I first clicked on this post a few hours ago, and by the end of the first sentence, immediately went to Rossie's blog... and by the end of her first sentence I went directly to Cheryl's blog... and then, (after breaking for a snack and my own posting) I finally backtracked my way back to you! And lo and behold as I read down your post, I find that you write exactly what I think is most important... "What did I love about them? What was the feeling I wanted to create?"

I think that is what is so important to the process... Not just blindly creating something, but looking at what inspires us, and asking why... what about it do we love? What about it resonates with us?

Also, your grandmother's birch china is beautiful, and the framed piece of bark... wonderful!

Miss Sews-it-all said...

I love the idea of a Process Pledge and am excited to see more!

The birch is great inspiration, and what LOVELY birchwood china!