July 24, 2011

Fen Quilt Update

Recent developments at the fen:

My friend asked if I could make the kayak smoother.  I've been interfacing everything with a super-light interfacing, just for a bit of substance in handling and to help secure the tiny tips of the shapes, but it didn't really give the charmeuse much more stiffness.  This is nice for a blouse of course, but didn't help the illusion of being a fiberglass kayak.  So, I took off the kayak and make another with a very heavy interfacing.

I added a bit more color to the embroidery on the turtle, and added a couple of water lily blossoms.

Next, I began playing with some ideas for borders.  I don't like to put solid frames on landscape quilts, because, to me, it ruins the sense of a wide vista.  On the other hand, sometimes the quilt seems to need a bit to finish it off, make it seem more complete.

Years and years and years ago, I made this quilt, called "Snowscape".  It now resides in Washington state with a friend who grew up in Illinois and misses the wide open prairie.

For "Snowscape", I made a narrow "same but different" border and then a wider border of the same fabrics as in the body of the quilt.  I decided to try to border the bog in a similar way.

First I tried a narrow border using the reverse of the quilt fabrics.  With some being paler than others, it seemed hard to tell what was going on.  Plus, my decision is somewhat constrained by the small piece of water fabric I have left, not enough to cut the narrow reversed border.  I could buy some more, but the reverse is so light, I don't think I'd like the effect anyway.

Then I tried finding a solid for each that would echo the colors in the print.  I think I'm liking this idea better.  And so does the rest of my family.  In the sky, I'm thinking of making the narrow border the same fabric as the sky itself.  The border will show up just because of the seam lines.  I think that's less distracting, and I can also make a case for it creating a light and airy effect.

I'm deciding between the two solid browns.  I think I like the darker one on the right better.  The other is a good value, but too red.

Another issue is what to do with the kayak.  

I could add another piece in the border area (it's pinned on in the above photo).  But what about the seam between the old and the new?  

I decided right away that I don't want a narrow inner border of a different fabric cutting across the kayak.  It would look very silly, plus I think having the kayak ride "over " the border would give a nice illusion of the viewer paddling into the scene.  But I really don't want to remove and replace the kayak again!  

I looked back at the photos, and saw that there is a cord that runs across the kayak just about where the edge of the extension fabric would be happening.  

I'm considering putting on a lower piece of fabric and hiding the join with this cord.  But just starting all over again again with one piece of fabric might be easier in the long run.  I hope the suspense isn't going to be terrible, as you wait for my decision!


  1. As a lover of kayaking I would like to say that adding the cord will definitely help the kayak to feel more kayaky. -MB

  2. Thanks, Jim. I made my decision last night. I already took off the kayak. Gonna make yet another one! Long enough to extend into the borders, which means it needs the cord to keep it realistic. So yes, it'll be kayaky. Nice word! Seems easier in the long run. Otherwise, I'd have to be juggling the shape and location of the seam so it ends up where the cord will go, plus still have some of the seam showing at the sides where there's no cord. Of such decisions is my life made!