Landscapes is the first quilt I ever made. Making this quilt got me interested in quilting. I had to teach myself to sew in order to make it.
I built this quilt from the bottom to top so I am going to share the details with you in that order.
This quilt is a series of three different landscapes. The bottom landscape shows a 1970s hatchback care sitting in the desert. A woman sits on the hood leaning back on the windshield and looking at the starry sky. The sunrise is just beginning behind the mountains.
I enjoyed making the starry sky. I discovered the advantages of building with strips. And since these had varied colorings all my weak sewing skills hid the puckers and crooked lines.
But it was making the sunrise where I really discovered what it means to make something beautiful – something that sings – YES. That was what really hooked me on this art form. Never before had I achieved beauty with art. That moment opened the door for me to learn to become an artist.
The middle landscape shows a midwestern summer day. The grassy play area has a hammock hung between trees, a swing set and an empty baseball diamond.
A sandy beach borders the park complete with beach towels and umbrellas. The lake water laps at the beach.
This middle panel provided me with the most challenges. Since I have no drawing skills, lacking the skill to draw and design in perspective made doing this landscape a living hell. I rebuilt this from scratch at least 4 times. In the end, I decided that I like the water and beach and the rest is just going to have to be good enough.
The top landscape is a view of Theodore Roosevelt Island in the Potomac River as seen from the shore behind the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
In the foreground a woman rides a bike along the shoreline. The variegated blue water surrounds the island. The trees stand tall like sentinels against the Virginia skyline.
This top landscape was both the easiest and most enjoyable to make. I am a water baby. I liked the challenge of creating a water-scape of river water that was different from the lake water in the middle landscape.
I spent a summer in Washington, DC and visited both the island and the shoreline behind the Kennedy Center often. I infused this landscape with my warm memories of those muggy summer light-filled nights, shoreline picnics and long walks.