Sunday, October 22, 2006

My Butterfly Obsession

Suddenly I realize time is flying and I'll never know if the Monarch Migration quilt will be at all acceptable if I don't get the monarchs made and at least pinned in place. I need twenty or so and maybe a few "friends" of theirs as well. I made over 30 butterfly postcards so this is not an impossible task, albeit I want to do much more hand embroidery. I'm doing a lot of fancy cutting of the pieces for the monarchs, I want no two to have exactly the same fabic combination. -- I didn't know during the last couple of years when I've had an unusual urge to buy oranges [which I used to hate] that I would want them for monarchs.
Strict realism is not foremost, although I will try to use the color balance Bea Oglesby shows in her book which is my guide. I love most about quilts the way different commercial prints and colors combine. So, lots of time is spent making choices and then making a tissue paper pattern of the parts [freezer paper doesn't do it for me], drawing and careful cutting, fabric gluing, lightly, then raw edge zigzag stitching. I am going to make the monarchs individually and then applique them to the quilt; they'll have an extra layer of batting behind them so they'll be a tad three-dimensional. I could NEVER do this all by hand. I would go insane.

Talk about labor intensive! I see articles and books "fast and easy quilts. Quilt in a weekend""! I understand the appeal of the quick and dirty, slam-bam, thank you ma'am approach. But I'm drawn to the slow and complex. Once I get the 20 or so monarchs cut out and ready for the serious sewing part, I want to add probably half a dozen other butterflies from Bea's book. Some are complex and I felt too difficult if reduced to post card size, to do at all well. They are mostly sizable, which worries me a little because I don't want to detract from the dominance of the monarchs. Possibly I'll get the monarchs made and decide they're enough and then do the other butterflies -- which I definitely want to do before I but this obessession on the shelf --and put them on some other quilt. We will see.

I have no design wall, but I can hang works in progress on the wall in the living room where I ordinarly hang a finished quilt. Then I can get a good ten or twelve feet away to contemplate 'what hath June wrought?" A tip I've often thought of sending in to some magazine is that for people who are myopic as I've been most of my life, taking off my glasses and standing back from something blurs the details and lets me judge the balance of colors and placement of patches, or, in this case, butterflies. So, time's a-fleeting and I'll stop blogging and get back to sorting, choosing, cutting, pinning, etc.

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