Of all my projects ever, I can safely say that this landscape has been the most frustrating, daunting, terrifying, and in the end, most satisfying, that I have ever undertaken. This is where I was at on Monday, putting the finishing touches to the hedges and trees in the distance
The annual 12 x 12 Exhibition at Midsomer Quilting takes place every year during December. This year I thought I would get off to an early start, so as to avoid a last minute rush. So back in May I chose the photo to work from, and made plans. Then I had to rethink my plans. When I finally started sewing, it was to put the focal point into position, namely the view of the hill beyond: three horizontal lines didn't look much at the time, but in the end they formed the foundation of one of my favourite parts of the picture.
The next lines to plot were outlines of the path and hedges on either side. With hindsight, I can see I haven't plotted a particular line because I couldn't make it out on the original photo. There is so much green blending from one shade to another, that I couldn't tell where the foreground ended and the middle distance started. In fact, it was only last week that I finally worked out what I was seeing on the photo, which seems pretty daft, because this is a path I regularly walk along.
Then I was ready to stitch the houses, or rather two houses and two roofs, and start filling in the fields.
The next stage was the start of the battle against rumpling. Frankly, this is where I look at the work I have in front of me and wonder why I bother. The bin is very tempting. So then I put in a few horizontal lines of colour and kidded myself I was making serious progress. A few weeks later I took the machine for a walk up the path.
The wooded hill in the distance gave me a little trouble. I needed to use a dark green, but make sure it wasn't so dark that it formed a heavy block of colour, especially as there would be a tree in the foreground that needed to stand out against it.
The grass alongside and down the middle of the path gave me a bit of a headache because the glorious May green seen in Spring doesn't exist as a thread colour.
By October I hadn't got very far, and felt like a lump of rubbish. This was when I was hoping to get to grips with this project, but a wretched virus had other plans. Then I had technical problems. Why is it that needles that have been fine for previous projects suddenly rebel? So I bought the fattest needles that I could find, put them through their paces, and got to work.
By now it was late November and I seemed to be making reasonable progress. I decided that perhaps this landscape wasn't going to end up in the bin after all and I might actually finish it. So last week I rang Chris at Midsomer Quilting.
"Hello Chris. When does the exhibition start?"
"When do the quilts need to be in?"
So I'm nearly three weeks late, and I haven't even finished. Embarrassing, especially as I had resolved to start way back in June to avoid a last minute rush.
Chris agreed to leave a gap on the wall, and I sent him a photo of what I had done so far.
Here it is. I think he was underwhelmed.
I had about a week at the most to finish, and we had a visitor with us. Fortunately our visitor is an old friend, extremely easy going, so hours of furious treadling wasn't a problem.
Last weekend the picture was fairly clear, but still had plenty of work to go. A tree, the greater part of a hedge, masses of greenery, including great clouds of hedge parsley...
Yes, I finished it. By lunchtime yesterday I was pressing out the rumples and trimming it to size, before jumping into the car to drive to Chilcompton to deliver it to Chris just in time to fill the gap on the wall before the exhibition opens this morning.
For now I have no decent pictures of the finished work, just a hastily taken photo taken on my mobile phone to send to a couple of friends who were encouraging me from a distance through the last few frantic days. Expect pictures in January. In the meantime, the 12 x 12 Exhibition runs until 21st December, and from the sneak preview I had yesterday, I can tell you there are some really fabulous quilts on display.
Finally, I have to thank Chris, De and everyone at Midsomer Quilting for their kindness and patience. It was a close shave.
Here goes for week 257:-
Many thanks to Gretchen for posting her City View quilt last time. If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.
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Linking up to Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
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