Friday, February 1, 2019

Route 78 - A Finished Quilt

I've lived on the northwestern border of New Jersey for the past 20 years (since elementary school). It has its positives and negatives, but one giant negative is that generally, it takes an hour or more to get almost anywhere I need to go, in every direction. I'm sure it could be worse, but for someone who doesn't enjoy driving or cars or anything related, it can be quite the burden - especially when Interstate Route 78 here is a treacherous and busy road with many accidents (I watch a Facebook group specifically dedicated to NJ/PA 78 updates nearly every day; the sheer number of commuters and trucks is unbelievable).

However, I have found something positive about my constant commutes over the years. Driving home on Route 78 West towards my town takes me over a (somewhat scary) mountain, but the views are astounding. And if I hit that spot right around sunset, it's always worthwhile. Several mountains are surrounded by the most astonishing color spectacle.

I'm always the one driving when this happens and thus have never been able to take a photo, but I did catch the infamous sunset over mountains when I pulled up to Shoprite one night. It's a bit more drastic and mountain-y from the highway, but hopefully you get the idea! I see sunsets like this all year round. Who would have thought - New Jersey, amiright? (Please note: I am a Jersey girl. I love NJ). :)

This quilt (72" x 78") was made over several months of 2018, using lots of special scraps and brick by brick improvisation, which I used to teach. It was all about creating a seamless transition between each color. When you look at the sky, do you ever wonder how those color change? I do, constantly!

So, each block has pieces of the colors surrounding it, which makes it have a pixelated look. What I LOVE about planned improvisation is that there's always a plan, but I never know exactly what the quilt will look like when it's done. I also quilted each color differently (and into the next color) to further emphasize the transition. It was fun coming up with the various motifs and pairing up Aurifil threads: 1320, 4020, 1133, 2600, 1243, 1135, and 2605.

The gray mountains were appliqued on after I pieced the sky. I wanted them to switch from light to dark gray, as if the sun was still lighting up part of the mountaintops. That's not really what I typically see from the highway, but this creates more interest. :) The binding also transitions between colors.

This quilt is really special. Whenever I brought it to lectures last year and mentioned the name, people in this surrounding area seemed to know exactly what I was talking about. Fun fact: there's only one diagonal seam in the whole quilt (besides the mountains), and it's in the above picture!

I'm trying to decide on another landscape quilt to start this year - to use up my scraps and make something once again that completely enthralls me in the process. Isn't that what it's all about? What natural scene would you/have you recreate(d) in fabric?

Linking up to From Bolt To Beauty


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