Palais de l'Isle 15" x 17"
Machine pieced and quilted
I chose to focus on the Palais de l'Isle, the medieval castle in the center of the picture. I stripped away all the modern detail, and tried to emphasize its strength and solidity, the stern, forbidding quality that it might have had in the twelfth century. There's no sign of a town left at all, just the river with a stone bridge, and a suggestion of the surrounding mountains.
This photo was a joy for me; for some time I have been wanting to try a more complicated piece using Ruth McDowell's piecing technique, and this was a perfect subject. In addition, at the beginning of July I was taking an on-line class from Elizabeth Barton, who suggests overlaying a shape with triangles to simplify and abstract it. The two techniques fit together perfectly to create a pattern for the building. (For someone who can't draw, the Layers tools in Photoshop worked wonderfully for outlining the shape and the pieces.)
I printed the sketch, enlarged it, and planned the piecing order to make a master pattern.
The really tedious part is tracing this master pattern onto freezer paper and labeling each piece. The piecing itself went smoothly; any small problems I had were due to marking less carefully than I should have. I chose tone on tone fabrics because I didn't want the impressionistic quality given by batiks, but a very solid, architectural style. When choosing fabrics, I used Photoshop again to make a print with the saturation increased by 25%, making it easier to see the slight color and value variations in this monochromatic picture. In the end though, I was less interested in accuracy than in a pleasing combination of neutrals to contrast with the blues.
The quilting adds some details of the stones and the roof.
Although there are some things I'd have done differently, I'm happy with this piece. Thanks for giving me the opportunity, Beverly.