Saturday, October 15, 2016

Art with fabric blog hop

blog hop link
I was asked by Alida to participate in the Art with Fabric blog hop. For a complete list of participants click on the link below the logo. This time you could pick a piece of artwork or song or poem as inspiration. When I was first asked I had been listening to "Sounds of Silence" and thought that I would use that as my inspiration. I even had an idea of what I would do. Then I thought of the "Raven" by Poe. I sat on those ideas for several months and did nothing. Then for some reason I decided on blue as my color palette and the poem by Robert Frost became my inspiration. Here is the poem.....

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.
So as in many of the quilts that I have made over the years I spend a lot of time thinking about and changing my plans several times before I finally decide what to do.

My idea here was to have the snowy woods as the focal point of a log cabin type block/quilt. I was determined to use a shibori dyed fabric as one of the blues. You know how it is when you are determined to use a fabric that clearly does not still insist on putting it in. Here is the original attempt with the teal shibori.

I knew something was wrong, but refused to think it was the teal shibori. I consulted my friend Sheila at Idaho Beauty as well as my daughter. I thought maybe the values were off so I changed it to gray scale. That looked perfectly fine. See next photo.

When my daughter gave me feedback she was right. She said the values were fine so it was the problem with the tyes of blues I used. The offender was the teal shibori. Sheila said the same thing. So the teal had to go. Time to look in the stash and find another blue more suited to a dark snowy night rather than Caribbean blue water. And I had so wanted to use a shibori....

"Stopping by the Woods" 43 in by 29 in

So here is the final result. I could not decide on which fabric to use for the outside borders. I had a navy Cherrywood as well as a stamped navy batik. Louise in my development quilt group suggested using the batik on the left and the Cherrywood on the right. I had never thought about using a different fabric on each end. Most of the other fabrics are my hand dyed fabrics.

 I decided to quilt this very simply using a walking foot with lines about 1/4 inch apart. I used a variegated thread by Superior threads. It is one of their rainbow threads which is a poly thread so you get a little shine from it. Also there are light segments that create vertical lines periodically that look like snow coming down. I did not know that would happen when I picked it. I just wanted a thread that would work with most of the fabrics. The snow lines was an added bonus.  I did use a light blue thread in the forest block which was quilted a little differently than the rest of the quilt.

 Some close up images so you can see the quilting. I drew lines every inch and quilted those first then went back and quilted between those lines to create 1/2 in lines and then went back again and quilted between all those lines. So now they are 1/4 in apart. I did debate about 1/8 in, but then my neck protested!
I did not manage to get this completely done. I did trim it up today and get it ready for binding or facing. I guess I still have to figure out which will work better. Right now I am leaning toward facing.  I have also debated whether it would be worth adding small seed beads or french knots as snow falling in the forest. What do you think? Sometimes I think less is more and I probably don't need to add anything else.

There is one other person sharing the blog hop with me today. Check out her blog.

Barb @ bejeweledquilts (

Thanks for reading and comments are appreciated.

Chris (Miles to go before I sleep.......)


  1. I think you're right about more is less. It looks perfect to me. What a trooper you are for ripping out seams to get the quilt just the way you wanted it. I'm not generally a fan of art quilts but this piece (and others in this blog hop) are so interpretive rather than exacting pieces, it's been a real pleasure to follow along.

  2. Sherry, thanks for your comments. I was lucky enough that I changed out the teal Shibori fabric before I sewed anything together. So there was no seam ripping to do. I did have to do some partial seam sewing based on how the blocks came together. I had never done that before.

  3. What a difference a blue Mai's! Thank you for showing the before and after. Sometimes the most beautiful fabric just does not play well with others. You're right, it will make a nice ocean quilt n the future

  4. Maybe it's because I'm tired and the thought of adding beads or knots wearies me even more, but I don't think you need either. You would have to be very judicious and sparse if you did but again, I don't think the piece lacks for not having that feature. A facing would seem the way to go here. Again, very nice job.

  5. I love your blue trees - so peaceful looking! The teal definitely had to go. I think a faced edge would be perfect.

  6. Totally amazing the difference the tea;/blue made. It is so hard to give up favorite fabrics. But worth it. I'd vote with others for facing. Not sure about snow beads--but if used, agree, very sparingly.

  7. Hi Chris, Your quilt is really great - and thanks for sharing that poem. You really got the feel for it. I vote for facing and possibly a few beads.

  8. Your quilt looks great! I don't think it needs anything more but you should follow your heart! Your interpretation of the poem is just great: it is a very calming and quiet piece, it reminds me of the silence right after a snow storm. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your talent and for joining the blog hop!!

  9. Gorgeous piece. You really nailed the feel of the poem.


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