Sometimes a project starts with one plan and ends up in a very different place. I’m there throughout the creation process, but the results really can be baffling. Case in point, my latest finish.
I take casual photos of scenes, objects, etc., that catch my eye. Occasionally, I decide to base a quilt on a photo. When I saw the setup below on the props table backstage at the theater I was intrigued. I had no idea why the lighting was red and blue, but I loved the hanging row of canteens.
I knew I couldn’t capture the reflections of light off the metal to my satisfaction, but I had hopes of the lighting and the twisted straps. I actually worked up a drawing.
A trawl through my fabric hoard made me realize that the original background color scheme would have to be changed. No problem, I had an intriguing yard of gradient I bought from Vicki Welsh that I wanted to use.
To go with the change in background color I chose various complementary solid color fabrics for the straps and an old (2012) piece of hand dyed fabric I thought looked like a plaid for the canteens. The other bits of fabric were various hand dyed or printed scraps.
I cut off the blackest edge of my background fabric and inserted it in horizontal strips along with another hand dye. I added the straps and bits of “paper” and then quilted all that before I sewed on the canteens. To prevent the background quilting from showing through I backed the canteens with flannel and quilted them individually before I sewed them to the main piece.
The result doesn’t look at all like what I had envisioned. I had hoped for a mysterious effect, but ended up with more of a mildewed canvas tent effect. So, I rolled with it and called it “Camp Memories,” in honor of those nasty childhood treks into the woods with canvas equipment that left my belongings smelling sour for a long time.
One irritating technical aspect of this project was how much some of the solid fabrics in the straps raveled. I used fused raw edge applique and finished the edges with a zigzag, but that didn’t stop the problem. I recall those fabrics were the Craftsy (now Bluprint) house brand, so maybe there was a reason they cost less than name brands. They’re fine for piecing, just not so much for raw edge work. I guess the rough edges contribute to the overall shabby effect. I’m linking to Off the Wall Fridays.