Thursday, June 24, 2021

Custom Art Quilt "Serenity"

"Serenity," 69" x 49", made by Pam Geisel, June 2021

I was contacted by someone who saw my art quilts at Village Artisans and liked my style. They had recently moved and had a large wall in their bedroom that they wanted a custom piece made of something similar to the view out their window of a field with a barn, sun, clouds, a cow, a horse, and a dog (specifically a labrador). They were looking for something approximately 4 feet by 6 feet.

They also mentioned which of my quilts they were specifically drawn to, and you might see some of those echoed here: the sky, ground, and barn from "Early Morning Nine Patch" and the sun and clouds from "Lavender Mountains." So in some ways this quilt feels like my "greatest hits."

I didn't have any of the blue fabric that I used for "Early Morning Nine Patch" but I did have a  wonderful blue batik fabric that had little silver stars printed on it, which is the top fabric in the photo above, and the back of the fabric, without the stars, is right below it. I used both sides of that fabric for the custom piece I made at the end of last year "Touching the Sky" (the back for the lake and the part with the stars for some accent pieces on the lake). The third fabric shown above is a denim-blue fabric with some silver sparkles on it, which I've had for awhile but hadn't yet found a use for.

One of the lighter blue fabrics (not shown) was also used in "Touching the Sky" and before that in the "Dayton Landmarks: Skyline" slice quilt.

I couched some twill yarn that I got from my friend Bette between every other seam line. There was a dark blue, a medium blue (both shown above), plus a light gray/blue which was couched with the lighter blue fabrics, and a lavender (which I used under the clouds).

The sun is made with a commercial yellow fabric with extra batting to give it some dimension and a layer of yellow tulle to make it sparkle. It has some funky yarn couched around the edge with the yellow part around the bottom and the pink and orange part going around the top. I used the same yarn around the sun in "Lavender Mountains" but that sun was much smaller so I was able to only use the yellow part on that one.

The cloud is made with a sheer blue and white print fabric (also from Bette), some purple tulle with sparkles on it in the middle (in this photo it's only on the left of the sun), and a layer of light purple tulle on top of the cloud. (The middle fabric with the sparkles I've also had awhile and I used it last year in the "All Saints' Corpus Christi Stained Glass Window" art quilt.) Since it's layers of sheer fabric, the sun can be seen behind it. There is a blue yarn that had white and silver angel hairs twined together that I got from my friend Carol, which I couched around the cloud shape and also through it. I find clouds hard to make but these are probably my favorite clouds that I've made.

This is the same barn (only larger) that I used in "Early Morning Nine Patch," but without the quilt square. It's even the same fabrics. The darker red fabric is titled "Barn" on the selvedge edge, which is why I picked it in the first place. It has a piece of lime green yarn couched around the bottom like grass to visually anchor it to the background.

The tree line in the background is made with two different dark green fabrics. One piece goes all the way across and the other was cut into smaller, organic shapes, then I couched a funky green varigated yarn in arched and swirls. I've used this yarn in several pieces including "Mermaid Haiku," "In Search of the Yellow Submarine," and "High Line in New York City."

I couched some ladder ribbon that was variegated yellow to green to blue at some of the seams. This was some of the sewing notions that I got when my friend Sue passed away. 

While I've made a few small pieces with zebras ("Rainbow Zebra" and "Effervescent Zebra"), this is the first horse that I've made. I used a brown batik fabric that I used for the center of the sunflowers in "Sunflowers at Whitehall Farm." There is a piece of the lime green grass yarn under his hooves.

When I made "Quilt Encounters of the Thread Kind," my husband thought that there needed to be a cow in the tractor beam. It would have been a very small cow on that piece, less than an inch tall. His friend wanted a baby quilt made with the Quilt Encounters image and the cow so I digitally added a cow, had the fabric printed, and quilted the baby quilt ("Why the Cow Jumped Over the Moon.") This is the same cow, but in a size that was reasonable to actually make with fabric.

I hadn't planned on using a wood-grained printed fabric for the fences but when I pulled it out it was just the right scale, and the right length, so that was decided. I also got some brown yarn from Bette that was also just the right color and amount, so I outlined the fence pieces with it.

I originally had a darker brown fabric that I was going to use for the dog but I was afraid it would look too dark and the customer's dog is brown. So I looked through my brown fabrics and found this piece that I'd used on "Inside a Dog," so again another fabric decision already made. Both the dog and the cow have some of the yarn that is in the tree line/bushes under them. All of the animal's eyes were cut out of a fabric that had black and white jungle animals, which I used for a baby quilt called "Black & White & Loved All Over."

You can click on any of the photos to see them larger.

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