Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Dilemma of Skies

While I totally enjoy creating representational landscape quilts, often the hardest part for me is the sky. I have collected many, many blue fabrics that help capture the texture and tones of a cloud filled sky. Once the fabric is selected, the choice of free motion quilting is often even more problematic. I have tried various approaches. In the three examples below, I actually cut out the entire sky in the second and replaced it!

Very Subtle

Interpreting from the fabric design
Trying a pattern
My latest project is adapted from a beautiful photo of the Boundary Range in Alaska by Mark Adamus. The photo captures an arctic flow through the mountain range with the sun reflecting beautifully off the peaks. I have been having a great time creating the mountain tops. But, of course, there was the issue of the sky. Often I leave it till last, but I decided to tackle the issue early on in my design.

A blue sky simply wasn't going to cut it this time. As I searched through my stash, a piece of hand dyed cotton I acquired from Lisa Walton years ago jumped out at me. I compared the highlights in my photo with the hand-dye - I could see a relationship! I started cutting and playing with arrangement.

Not bad! I am pleased. I knew there was a reason why I was saving that piece all these years! Of course, the dilemmas of quilting still remain, but I'd rather not think about that now! :)


  1. Great choice of fabric for the sky! Your mountains look awesome!

  2. I agree -- you've selected a great piece for this sky. I find hand-dyes are the best for skies...and have learned to dye my own. I do okay with the blue ones, but have some work to do with sunsets/rises, which are a bit trickier. :-)

  3. Yes, that's a very nice piece for the sky, indeed. Quilting skies is a big choice, I agree.

  4. Painting fabric could get you just the sky you want. I think Micky Lawler has a DVD which might be helpful for you. Quilting sky is a challenge!

  5. Ditto... great choice. I can see the challenges with skies. Yet you seem to sort out the question beautifully.