Monday, September 22, 2014

Travelling with an UnFinished Object (UFO)

This summer didn't yield as many finished projects as I would have hoped, but it sure was a creative one based on the projects that I started and worked on.

One revived UFO was an art quilt that I started in 2010. I took a class at Quilty Pleasures on creating an art quilt. When the teacher saw the picture that I wanted my project to be based on, her comment was:"That is very ambitious". That really should have been my first clue!
Photo of Lightning at Ayers Rock From Time Nature's Wonders

Since that photo was what I had brought, it's what I worked on. The photo is of Ayers Rock in Australia. It reminded me of the south-west of the US, which we had recently visited. Since I'm the author of my project, it's now the South-West Rock art quilt.

Creating the sky and the rock itself wasn't really difficult. The ambitious part is all of the scruffy landscape in front of it. I started working on it but it was beyond my ability, so I left it. However, every time that I would see embroideries or art quilts that resembled my foreground; I took mental notes of how I could accomplish this.

Four years later, I'm back at it. Since the beginning of the project, I've learned a few things:

  • When working on an art quilt, you want to start with the back and move forward so that you can layer and add to it;
  • You don't have to add one blade of grass, bush or flower at a time. It's possible, and probably best to give the illusion of many blades of grass etc. This is where the couching stitch comes in handy. It's essentially tacking on a thicker thread (like wool) with another thread. If you use interesting wool, it can look like many bushes or patches of vegetation.

I took out the project because I wanted embroidery work to do during very long car trips. It's amazing how quickly time flies when you embroider! Actually the first time I embroidered in the car, we were heading to North and South Dakota. It's great that this project is a result of those wonderful car trips and that I'm working on it on other trips.

I got about half of the foreground completed going back and forth to Northern Ontario this summer. I'll be working on it during my next trip - which is to China! Between the 15 hour flight and the various buses, I'm hoping to have the project finished by the time I come home.

South-West Rock Art Quilt - only the foreground and lightning to finish!


  1. That looks amazing already! I'm looking forward to seeing it finished. A trip to China - that too is exciting!!

  2. Thanks Rita. Isn't it amazing when you finally know when it's time to work on a project again? Yes, and China should be awesome.


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