I went to a four day Art Quilting Retreat on the Oregon Coast for 4 days. 5 of us went and had a great time, sewing and creating and visiting some good restaurants and quilt shops. I continued to sew circles to the background using my hand dyed fabrics. Since we had a big design wall to pin to, we tried to decide if we liked it vertical or horizontal. I am calling it Marble Madness, as the elementary school I drove school bus for had a Marble season, when the kids all played with marbles and collected them.
I decided to do a second one with some of the printed fabric I had made. They are all resist dyed fabrics, some soy wax, some potato starch, and other resists we tried at a dye class. I had a commercial batik to use for the background, and decided to wait and dye some indigo instead. That way I can say it is all hand dyed. I wanted to plan this one a little bit better, the 1st was just random, select fabrics as I went. So I set out the fabrics I wanted to use, and rough cut them into circles, lay out was more important, as I wanted the darker ones to recede and the brighter ones to be smaller and in the foreground. So we played around with arranging them for a while.
At the retreat one of the ladies wanted to do "Happy Villages" like some of us did last year. I had wanted to do another with the Emerald City as my theme. I took along an assortment of green fabrics, many of them had metallic gold on the printing. It was hard to limit the selection of fabric to 12 instead of 8 to 10. The lay out went quicker as I had experience doing it last year, but it still took hours. After dinner I added windows, doors and turrets.
The next morning I started on the yellow brick road, I had to sketch it several times, trying to get the perspective right. I began with the bottom, larger bricks, in a bright yellow "Fairy Frost" fabric on a brown batik. As I got higher and wanted to change the angle, we had a whole dialog about perspective, angles, vanishing points and horizon lines. It took us awhile to decide on the right way to get it done, and make it look good.
With the yellow brick road leading into the castle, everyone thought it pulled you right into the design. It took an immense amount of work. I did not want it to look cartoony, but not too realistic either, as the castle is not "Realistic." I did the bottom one brick at a time and as I went up I began cutting strips and will put the lines in with the thread painting.
I had gotten some grass fat quarters down stairs at Forget-Me-Knot quilt shop, each was a different height scale. I probably have them all already, but had not thought that far a head to bring them. I fussy cut the greener pieces from the fabric and as I progressed down I did not mind adding in more yellow tones and tan. I stopped at this point because I know at home I have several more grass fabrics that are the right scale and color. I plan on appliqueing some red/orange poppies at the bottom and adding the tips of some ruby slippers at the very bottom. It was very fun to do and see it grow. It took most of 2 1/2 days to get this far. You can get so much done at a retreat with out phone interruptions and spouse demanding attention. Two other ladies worked on their villages too, I will post them on the Fyber Café blog. I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click here to check out what other textile artists are doing this week.