Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Quilted Landscape

Have you ever seen an image that just stops you in your tracks? That is one of the things that I love about art. A single image can be completely absorbing and inspiring at the same time. A former art teacher sent out a link to a NY Times article about Wayne Thiebaud's recent painting River Intersection. It is a distorted aerial view of the Sacramento River Delta. I was drawn in by the saturated colors, the "vibrations" in color and the unusual use of perspective. I'm sorry to say that I didn't realize Thiebaud painted these beautiful landscapes. I should have. I actually recently taught a lesson about his more famous depictions of cakes and pies and a student asked me if Thiebaud was still painting today. My reply was, "Probably." Anyway, looking at these quilt-like landscapes got me thinking....

My quilt! My unfinished quilt. Wayne Thiebaud had inspired me to finish my quilt. The one I started back in March. I completed the patchwork part a long time ago but now I'm supposed to make the "quilt sandwich" and do the actual quilting. I'm not sure where to begin. And for some reason, I'm not very excited about this part of the process. It doesn't seem as fun as doing the patchwork. I made my own template for this quilt. I was thinking about the way certain tile patterns and stone patios fit together using squares and rectangles. From the little bit I know about quilt patterns, this is a variation of a nine patch (?). I've put a lot of time in to this so far and I'm not sure why I just gave up on it. I must not be a quilter at heart. Does anyone know of any good web resources on quilting? I know that I want to machine quilt, not do it by hand. I made this quilt large- big enough for a queen size bed. Is it even possible to machine quilt this on my little cheapo Singer? I'd like to use the different thread colors pictured and just quilt a wavy horizontal pattern across but don't quite know how to go about it. This post is a little self-serving. I figured if I wrote about the quilt it would force me to finish it. :)

For more on Wayne Thiebaud and his beautiful landscapes, check out this slideshow or the article about River Intersection. On a side note: Wouldn't this be a great idea for an expert quilter? To make quilts based on works of art? I would love to have a Thiebaud quilt.


  1. Beautiful quilt top! It's definitely possible to machine quilt it, but I strongly suggest buying a walking foot for your Singer. I bought one for my Janome off ebay for about $12, though you could also check amazon. It will make getting all the layers through the machine more easily and evenly.

    My first quilt was queen size, too, and I was able to quilt it with my machine just fine. I basted the sandwich with spray adhesive (craft or fabric kind works) because that's easier for me than using safety pins or thread.

    Here's a link to my blog post about my first quilt where I link to another blog that helped me considerably with sandwiching and binding:

    Hope that helps! :)

  2. Oh one more thing. If you do decide to go with wavy quilting lines (which I think would be a little more difficult than straight lines, but still totally doable for a newbie!), mark your quilt beforehand with a water soluble fabric pen where you want the lines because once you get the quilt in your machine it's really easy to lose direction. I wash my quilts when they're finished, so the pen marks will wash out no problem.

  3. Erin,
    Thank you! This is all great advice!! Spray adhesive-- so cool. I wasn't looking forward to safety pinning. I will be checking out your blog soon. Thanks for the link.

  4. i love Wayne Thiebauds paintings, especially the ones of the highway and the cows and clouds. Good luck with your quilt, the patchwork looks fantastic!