In 2010, my photographer husband Jim captured a magical moment at sunrise with cows in the mist. I was captivated by the photo from the moment I saw it and immediately framed and hung an 8” x 10” print in our house.
Later, when I wanted to experiment with the online service Spoonflower, a business that prints photos on fabric, this image was one of the first I chose to upload. The print on cotton fabric measures 14” x 19”. This has been on my design wall for several months waiting for me to be inspired as to what I wanted to do with it.
Our guild’s challenge for 2016 in our guild was “fans”, not my favorite traditional block. The completed quilt had to be 36” square, contain at least 3 fan blocks, and have yellow in it somewhere.
While researching fan blocks online, I saw a modern interpretation that looked a lot like a windmill to me. Oh, a windmill. I just happened to have a pasture waiting for a windmill.
I pieced four fan blocks (paper foundation piecing because they are tiny – 2” blocks) to create the windmill. To create the base, I photographed a toy windmill I have as part of my decor (complete with cows on my hutch in the breakfast room) and printed it in various sizes to test the scale. Using that photo as a pattern, I painted the windmill base using India ink, appliquéd the fan unit (the windmill) and was ready to quilt.
Then I remembered “yellow” requirement. Yellow, like the sun. Got it. The photo was taken at sunrise. So, a rising sun was appliquéd, then the quilting came into play. Green grass, blue wind, and continuous curves in the outer border all were quilted with 100 weight silk thread. Now I’m a fan of fans.