Walker’s Pasture

Version 2In 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.

walkers-pasture-toy-windmillI 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.

walkers-pasture-cow-closeupThen 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.

Author: Sandy Gilreath

I've stitched my way through life. Early skills in utilitarian and decorative sewing have merged with art in the world of quiltmaking. My love of journaling has now crossed into the cloth world, too. I love old songs, old souls, old words; my collections attest to my fascination with memories.

7 thoughts on “Walker’s Pasture”

  1. I love applique but I have a difficult time doing applique in tight curves and corners. I have a couple of books on applique techniques but none of them give tips on how to improve the applique technique in difficult turns. Seeing the small blades on the fan you appliqued on your Walkers Farm challenge brought this question to mind. Are there any books or websites on this topic that have helped you in your work?

    1. The best advice I can give for smooth curves is to take one stitch at the time, don’t try to turn under too much ahead of the needle. And with tight curves, i use a round toothpick to help persuade the seam allowance to turn under smoothly. There are many good appliqué books on the market, but I think Hearts and Flowers by Kathy Delaney is especially good with detailed needle-turn techniques. It’s a Kansas City Star publication.

    1. Thank you. I thought the photo was beautiful on its own, but the challenge elements of fan blocks and yellow were perfect additions to give the pasture some personality! It was fun stitching grass and wind!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *