20" X 31"
Commercial and hand dyed cottons, hand dyed cheesecloth, embroidery thread, beads
Going through several versions of the challenge is becoming a pattern for me. I started out planning to do something like Nellie's scrapwork. I dyed cheesecloth and scrim. I had the sketch, the fabrics picked out- and it just wasn't working for me. The more I thought about it, the less I wanted to work with all the photo elements. I kept coming back to- dirt. All that dirt in the photo, and all the different soils in all the places I've lived in my life.So, I raided the stash and went for everything I had that could remotely be construed as dirt, with a wide range of values. I strip pieced it, then cut it vertically and offset the ends. I see the colors of the desert sands, the rich soil of the Midwest, the green and brown moist soil of Florida.
I studied the layers for a few days on my design wall, and I decided that it couldn't stand alone. I needed some 'messy' elements- after all, this is dirt! So I constructed a quilted 'mat' and hand stitched the strip sections to it, with pieces of the dyed cheesecloth sticking out the edges. There's also strips of cheesecloth winding its way across the strip along with irregular beads.
I will admit to having mixed feelings about this one. I like how the colors play together, but I'm not sure I achieved the feeling of texture I was going for. I think I probably went to quickly to my comfort zone, which I'm beginning to figure out is freeform strip piecing. But there you have it- Shifting Sands.