Playing in the Swamp is the name I affectionately gave this quilt when it was started nearly 4 years ago. February 2012 are when the first photos of me strip piecing the center star. I took a few days in August 2014 to assemble the units into 2 large pieces (minus the mitered borders), but nothing has been touched in nearly 1-1/2 years. A couple weeks ago I sold a top I made around the same time, in an attempt to clear out the clutter of my studio. I figured if I hadn't quilted it yet, it probably wasn't happening. While I considered selling this one too, as my interests have more turned to the silk quilts rather than batik, I knew it would be a hard sell to make if it were in pieces. Last week, when I finished the Ladies of the Sea quilt and was waiting on fabric to arrive for something else...while I was cleaning up pot after pot of 11-yr old barf every hour, I decided to try to get this together. I managed to assemble the pieces and borders, and then something clicked. It was really pretty interesting. But if I was going to bother to quilt it, it would have to have the points of 16 intersections fixed. That was my Thursday.
Via Facebook, I queried folks on what color diamond points would be best between a red, teal and blue. Almost unanimously, the response was red. So I went with my first instinct - royal blue. While I am intrigued to hear what others will do, I felt that the blue drew the eye to the center of the quilt best. Finding visual center is an important goal for every quilt.
Here's a picture from a dragonfly I used on a recent silk whole cloth. I pulled out the pattern, and scaled it up a little to make it better sized for this space. The one below is painted to increase it's visibility, but I don't think that will be necessary on the Swamp quilt.
I traced the outline onto template plastic, and cut it out. I will need to make 8 of them and this is the easiest way to get them all the same. A lightbox isn't really possible because the background is so dark.
I uploaded a shot of this quilt to Photoshop and drew away yesterday. This is 1-2 hours of sketch time -- about all I really plan to devote to this quilt! The dragonflies will be stitched in the corners.
I have a couple more templates to cut for the butterfly blocks. Someone asked me a month or so ago about my Press-n-Seal method. This is it... Place Press-n-Seal on a block you like, and trace the design with a Sharpie pen (very carefully so as not to mark the fabric). Now place this on a piece of cardstock. I use file folders or used cereal boxes. Cut out the piece you need a template for - in my case, I wanted this scrolly thing that represents the flight of the butterfly. The cardstock is easy to trace onto the quilt with chalk.