The latest challenge for our guild is called “Say It with Flowers”. The rules are that the quilt has to have words of some sort on it and has to contain 3 flower fabrics. At first I searched online for words or sayings to use and came up with things like “Be Creative” and other cutesy sayings. None of them caught my fancy!!
Then, my computer screen saver popped up a photo that I had found in my Mom’s stuff. It was a photo of an old Windmill that was on my parent’s property.
The best part of the photo were the words “No Fishing”…..my search for inspiration was complete!!!
As I drew out the pattern I decided that I wanted a more “up-to-date” windmill, so I started out just working on the background first with the idea that I would add the windmill later.
I had originally planned to make the sky collage style using a bunch of different fabrics, but when I saw this one, I decided just to make it easy, especially since I am on such a short time line.
Next was to add the ground. My initial attempt was good, but when I looked at it, I realized that good ole West Texas soil wouldn’t have that much green in it.
Michael agreed and I pulled all of it off and started over again……
This is MUCH better.
As I started to work on the trees, I first cut them out of solid green fabrics, but again, when I looked at the photo, I realized that they were Mesquite trees and very wispy. Mine were MUCH too solid.
Then I decided to try painting them and pulled out my trusty favorite sponge and started mixing green paints. I didn’t really trust myself to paint directly onto the sky fabric so instead I cut pieces of the fabric out and ironed them to freezer paper that had the tree shape drawn on it……
I was then able to cover the entire piece with paint without having to worry about the outlines…..
Now the background is complete and it was time to start on the Windmill. I got online and started looking for photos of windmills that I might want to use. I found this one…..
…. but obviously something was missing!!!
After playing around with it a bit and trying to extend the legs, I came up with this…..
It looked good but was a little TOO perfect..,…the one at my parent’s farm NEVER looked this good.
At this point I made the decision to build the windmill myself, using strips of fabric and just adding on as I wanted to….should be interesting!!!
One thing that I have learned is to use a grey Fabrico marker to make the shadows.
It works perfectly!!! I really need to buy a stack of this color since it is about the only one that I use!!
The next step was to do the mill itself….
I wanted a metallic looking fabric so started with a solid grey fabric and added a Lumiere pewter paint on top…..
I wanted the sail to look different from the blades so did the same thing but started with a print fabric….
I was so pleased with the final result…..
The last step was adding some fussy cut flowers (from 4 different fabrics)….
If I was making it again, I would make the windmill base narrower and shorter. I think that the proportion would look better.
Overall, the thing that I enjoyed most about this quilt was stepping outside of my box and trying painting the fabrics and just using the pattern as a guide and not as an exact pattern. Both of these represent personal growth for me!!!
It was finished about 45 minutes before time to leave….one of these days I will finish a challenge quilt early, but don’ hold your breath!!