It's cherry season out here in East Contra Costa County in California. I grew up near here and remember how every May we'd look forward to my father bringing home flats of cherries. I also remember all of us holding our breaths that we wouldn't get any rain or frost.
Of course, this year there's been a lot more rain than usual, (when they're skiing at Lake Tahoe during Memorial Day weekend....well, that's not good news for cherry farmers!). So, after I created my little cherry patch during my straightening post a couple of weeks ago I decided to make a little quilt commemorating this rainy cherry season.
In order to get the sparkly, "rain" look I wanted I used beads to outline the patches. I used a mix of lime greens for the lighter fabrics with emerald shades for the darker ones. A small clear sequin anchored by a crystal bead shows the shimmer of water on the cherries. I also randomly stitched clear seed beads all over the black and white dotted sashing. Mother of Pearl buttons were used to amplify the shimmer.
Here's another look at the pattern. Notice the buttons are not the same, I love mixing them up! I also love the look of the black and white with the red and green, and the touch of aqua. In this quilt I used the black and white prints as neutral backgrounds. I wanted to address the black in the background of the cherry inserts while still keeping the overall look of the quilt light.
Here's a detail showing the red mix of seed beeds sewn around the edge of the cherry print batik border. I also used a mix of aqua beeds around the aqua batik print interior border. If you look closely you can see small clear sequins anchored by clear seed beads interspersed in the black and white floral border. It's hard to see the effect in the photos but when it's hung up you can see the light reflect off the beads and sequins giving the quilt a raindrop spattered look.
This was such a fun quilt to do and didn't take too long, (considering I was able to finish it in less than two weeks with everything else I have going on!).
My main frustration is with the photos! I worked so hard to get this little quilt straight and when I measure it and line it up on my gridded mat it's square, but you can't tell from the photos. They're always curved in some way! It drives my crazy! My husband is a pretty good photographer but even he can't get my quilts to photograph square.
I once had a quilt photographed for an advertisement, (Fire Mountain Beads), and they sent it off to a photographer who specialized in commercial photography of all different kinds of items. They told me that he has this camera that is mounted on some kind of crane-like frame that he can move up and down over an item that's laying flat on a table. I'm not sure if that's how the quilt magazines photograph their quilts but it sounds like it would work pretty well, at least the photographs he took weren't distorted.
Speaking of which....I got some great comments about my inspiration fabric line, Tufted Tweets, in my last post. I find myself getting on my high horse about things sometimes and may have spoken too harshly about the quilt design for the fabric line. I suppose I'd have to see it close up, (I'm sure the photograph doesn't do it justice), before I can give an informed opinion.
I think that part of the reason it bugged me is that I was taught that linear patterns needed to be linear, or that their line had to be addressed in a way that made sense to the overall design. I learned most of my sewing skills via dressmaking and spent hours matching stripes and plaids and even hand setting zippers with different color threads so the line wouldn't be distrupted. There are advantages and disadvantages to having the kind of training that I have. It makes it possible for me to do more unusual and interesting things because I have the fine hand sewing skills, but it also may limit my creativity. After all, rules are rules!
As a graphic designer I work mostly with businesses and event planners that want to make sure that whatever I design is accessible to their clients. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of selling my own stuff without the filter of my client's needs. This has made me less likely to take chances that I know my clients won't go for. I've had some very cool designs turned down because the client thought it was too radical for them. Oh, the joys of art for a living!
Oh well, it'll be so much fun to see what we can make with the Tufted Tweets line. As soon as it's out in the stores I'll let you know and maybe we can get some kind of gallery going. It will be interesting to see how we all deal with it, who knows, I might surprise myself!