Monday, August 11, 2014

Depth and Texture

Notice the pattern created by the turned bales of straw

This past week saw a lot of activity on our farm and in the surrounding fields.  Wheat harvest was upon us.  Even during all the busy hub-bub of life I noticed something that is important in quilting as well as life.  Texture and depth.  Without texture or depth, a quilt will seem flat and uninteresting.  If you add texture and depth to your quilts you cause people to stop and be drawn into the beauty of your art. 

Notice the contrast of dark and light

Texture and depth can be added in several ways.  The first is fabric choice.  There needs to be contrast in colors, so that the pattern can easily be seen.  Using shades of dark and light cause depth in our quilts.  

Stars of the Past
Second is batting choice.  Even though batting is never seen on the surface of the quilt, it adds visual effects once stitching is applied through all three layers.  Some batting will lay flat, giving very little puff or definition to the quilted areas. 

My quilt, Stars of the Past, had contrast in color, but the batting I chose, gave very little depth to the quilt.  This quilt laid very flat. I opted to do this because I made this quilt to be loved to death, not to be hung on the wall as a piece of art. 

If you want to add loft and depth to your quilt, choose a batting which has a high loft (puff) or consider doubling up your batting.  Some choose to layer a wool batt with a cotton batt for added loft.

The third way texture and depth is added is by your quilting.  Notice how the stippled effect of the sand behind the feather, causes the feather to come to the fore front of your vision.  Decide whether you want your quilting to be the focal point, or do you want the quilt pattern itself to be the focal point.

It is wise to take your time when deciding how to quilt your art.  You have already put a lot of time and love into your quilt and don't want to be disappointed in the outcome do to poor choices of the quilting design.  

"Oopsy Daisy"
                This week I did catch time here and there to sew.  Several years ago my sister gave me a bundle of fat quarters for my birthday.  They were flannel, and very girly.  Not something I would have ever picked out, which is the challenge I gave her. They laid in my stash and every once in awhile I would take them out, look at them awhile, and hope some spark of an idea would strike.  This week it did.  I now have a girly baby blanket waiting for a baby shower.  It will be nice to have a gift already made!  The one thing I found out is that flannel stretches!  I should have basted a little closer before I started quilting.  However the resulting puffiness due to extra fabric between stipples, gives it a cuddly effect. I wanted the daisy to stand out.  To make this happen, I opted to quilt the petals separately and then to stipple all over the background.  

Detail of the daisy petals
Life Lesson:  Our lives also need texture and depth.  We've all met people, along the walk   of life, who are full of wisdom and depth, as well as people who are         shallow and concerned only with themselves. The people with depth in their lives are the ones who draw us into themselves.  These are the people we want to learn from.  Who we are depends on what we add to our lives.  Is it a love for people (depth) or a love of ourselves and things (flat and shallow)? 

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