Last night I stayed very late to finish piecing and sewing the background so that the next layer could be created today. Each piece was seamed to the next, which took lots of easing with the curves. I also learned that you can't cut all the pieces out first because the pieced curves change with the loss of seams. Jeanette told me and demonstrated this but it didn't sink in until I was actually doing it. So there was a little adjusting as I went along and learning through doing.
I started this morning by creating a strip of punchy fabrics to represent the curving plant stem of my original idea. The striped fabric helps define the new element as plant, I think.
My tendency is to make art more complex than it needs to be, and my goal in taking this workshop was to simplify my ideas--to learn how much could be removed without losing the design idea. After laying in the curved strip, I realized I had achieved abstraction, and instead of endeavoring to make the quilt look just like my design, let it take on a life of its own.
Here I've added another branch to what's beginning to look like a desert tree or Saguaro. Since I've traveled the desert Southwest, I feel comfortable with this transformation. My next step will be to hand applique this to the base before quilting and adding decorative hand stitches.
In the morning we will have a critique before we all disband.