Rainy Days in the Studio

It is so suddenly GREEN here that it is like living in the Emerald City in The Land of OZ! And so many kinds of green. There has been nothing but dramatic weather… wind, rain and tornadoes (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!) Several neighbors just over the hill had many trees uprooted and snapped in half. I am constantly reminded of the persistant power of nature.

Yesterday morning it was rumbling and the sky to the south look ominous as we hopped in the car to visit the Hosta Fest in Fontana, Wisconsin. We packed our cameras and a big umbrella. The clouds followed us there and a light rain began as we arrived. But the rain only made the greens brighter and the devoted hosta fans were not deterred. Acres of hostas! It was fabulous! A wonderful study in GREEN.

It was pouring rain when we left the arboretum, so I headed straight to the studio upon our return. It was so dark that I had to turn on the overhead lights, which I rarely have to do in the daytime. But a rainy day in the studio is a heavenly day! I had been working on two new quilt tops in the Garden Diva fabric based on simple 6″ squares, so I jumped back into production.

This quilt is a simple check or 9 patch design. The blocks have been fussy cut and arranged to create a plaid pattern with alternating light and dark rows. The dragonfly block is the glue that binds it all together. Instead of focusing the block on the dragonfly moon, I chose to crop the design to concentrate on the negative space between the characters. This black space makes a big X, which in turn creates diagonal lines, which isolate the new motif that appears.

Here you can see the individual squares, 6″ finished. It is always satisfying to discover a new and dynamic pattern with such basic shapes. The fabrics are so different in design, yet combined so successfully. I love it when this happens!

Here we go again! When I am on a roll it is hard to stop so I kept on with that 6″ square. This time the squares are on point and the composition radiates from the center. Red and yellow are one of my favorite color combinations, so I started with blocks of the Exotic colorway of the Zinnia fabric. From there I tried to blend the colors with each new row of fabric. A red and gold square next to a blue patch with a bit of red and gold, then blue squares with gold and pink next to a pink patch with a tad of yellow. The pink and red checks signal the transition to a border and the border echoes the movement and color in the body of the quilt. The corners are mitered to continue the diagonal movement.

The blocks are easier to see in this close-up. This piece is so wild that I had my doubts during the process. “Jane, you are over the edge here! Are you really going to put those wild fabrics next to each other?” But luckily, I listened to the fabric instead of my doubt and the piece turned out great.

Today the sun is shining and it is already hot and humid. The corn will be pleased and I am happy to spend the holiday cleaning the studio and making space for the next project.

6 Responses to “Rainy Days in the Studio”

  1. Melissa P says:

    I’m loving these simple six inch blocks. So much drama in a small space.

  2. kateuk says:

    That second quilt is a stunner, really exciting the way the fabrics and colours work into eachother.
    I don’t think I have ever seen so many hostas in one place as in your photo!

  3. Laurie says:

    WOW…I just love your fabrics and had never thought to do something like both of the quilts in this post! GORGEOUS!

  4. Letterpress says:

    Lovely-just lovely. I need to get playing with the fabrics. So much can come with a concentrated session with fabric and design. Thanks, always, for the inspiration.

  5. Joanna Price says:

    Two of your photos in this post look like candidates for a quilt design: the 2nd photo of HOSTAS and the last one, of a PLOWED FIELD. Were they taken with that thought in mind?

  6. Carol says:

    Love Love Love these quilts! Will the patterns be available?

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