Monday, November 29, 2010

Somewhat Eccentric- Beverly

Somewhat Eccentric, 20" X 26"
Hand dyed, painted and commercial cottons, fused applique, thread painting, machine quilted

Nellie went for understated, I went for the whole enchilada.  Something told me that if there was ever a time for me to try to render a realistic quilt, this was it.  Along the journey, however, something else happened.  As I was searching the stash for the perfect gray/taupe for the door and chair, and coming up empty handed, it occurred to me- Why?  Why does my door have to be weather-beaten gray?  Why does my chair have to be nondescript taupe?  What if some wildly eccentric musician or writer occupied this charming cottage- what might it look like then?

You can see how I answered that question- it would have a purple door and a chartreuse chair, of course!  And the brick would be a brighter red- no missing this home from the street!  I found some wonderful buttons that worked great for the medallion hanging over the door- when I get tired of Bacchus, I can sub a lovely art deco woman or a Roman profile.

I'm not actually done with this- I want to find the perfect 'thing' to hang on the door.  I just haven't found it yet.  And I don't know if this eccentric resident is a gardener or not, so I don't know if the pitchfork will find its way here or not.  I toyed with placing a guitar against the door instead of the pitchfork, I'm still thinking on that one.

As I got close to finishing the piece, I decided to border it like it had a heavy, dark wood frame.  I like the look this adds to a somewhat tongue in cheek rendering of the photo.

As for my success at pulling off realistic, I'm mostly happy with this.  My steps aren't perfect, but work better than I'd originally thought.  Here's some closeups of the brickwork and plants.  

Every brick was laid by hand, individually, on a variegated gray fabric I found.  Three plants were created with fabric confetti on water soluble stabilizer, the others were thread painted and the red 'flowers' were beaded.  (I wanted to do French knots, but wasn't successful with that one!)  And the ironwork on the window is black crochet cotton couched with invisible thread.

I must say I had fun with this one- and it provoked a lot of thinking while I was doing it.  For that, you'll have to read my blog.


  1. A variety of techniques that all work well together!

  2. You did it! This is realistic but has your own spin on it with the color changes that you made.
    I particularly like how you were able to get the vines on the wall to look like the sun it shining through them. Your little pots of flowers are charming and I am heading to your blog to read more!

  3. Totally terrific and spunky!

    Your approach reminds me of all those American Gothic interpretations you see. When you finish it, I hope it has a guitar!

  4. I love this! Hooray for you. After mine was finished, I had the thought: What if it were a Chagall door or a Van Gogh door and colored accordingly? But you thought of it earlier and DID it! Beautiful work all around.

  5. WOW! I loooooove your spunky interpretation. You've captured just enough realism in the various elements plus sunlight and shadows. I, too, hope there's a guitar in the future if you decide to do more. It looks wonderful the way it is, though.

    Now, I too, am off to read your blog to find out more ;-)

  6. I have to say that this is just the sort of attitude that I am looking for-why not? What if? Great job and why can't the door be purple? Stick that guitar in there too while you are at it. Good for you for putting so much of yourself into the piece.

  7. I now want a chartreuse chair - just the thing for a modern garden room! Wonderful work capturing the plant life. I especially like the frame - making your realistic interpretation picture perfect! Well done.

  8. Thank you all so much for the nice words- I'm rather giddy with delight over this one!

  9. Someone said spunky!! Indeed! Such a happy place. Great work!


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