|River of Life|
It has been a long long time since I blogged! Like a month? Two months!? Something like that. A lot has happened and I'm about to leave for 3 weeks to teach and vacation in the Southwest. I hardly know where to begin to tell you what's been going on in my life...
This is a good place. I got a puppy.
|Cathy and Lexy (though hubby wants to call her Diva...)|
You know I love my 'newish' dog Mischief, well we decided that one 'life style changer' wasn't enough. When this little gal came back from her first owner sick and skinny we decided we must have her. She was only 13 weeks old and we've had her about a month now. Happily, she's mostly potty trained now! That's the good news. The bad is that I haven't slept through the night for a month and I'm tired! Tired! Tired!
|The face that launched one thousand ships - a thousand Geier ships anyway!|
|"You HAD to get a puppy..." Poor Mischief, she has her paws full!|
|This is a shot of the triptych, the 3 panels are ready to be quilted now.|
I thought I'd show you some closeups.
|Foreground stream and rock strips with ferns|
|Positioning the distant trees|
Last blog I showed you how I made these free motion embroidered trees - they are easy peasy! I attached them with a little Elmer's glue and then will stitch them in place before I quilt. I used markers to lighten and shade them and to add a bit of extra color.
|Tree tops and a few straggling red leaves|
|Stitching down the trees - I used monofilament thread|
|I love the smell of batiks when they are pressed!! This is my backing fabric.|
|Gathering quilting threads|
I pretty much only quilt with variegated threads and I love the Rainbow and Fantastico lines by Superior Thread. I use Bottom Line in my bobbin and Warm and Plush for my batting. (It's a nice firm solid batting and after I block my quilt, it will hang nicely on the wall with minimal ripples.)
|I started quilting from the bottom and worked my way up. Since I do a LOT of horizontal quilting these things really shrink height wise. I stippled the rocks and quilted long wavy horizontals in the water.|
|Close up of the water after quilting -|
I do sew over previous quilting, I will add in areas of lighter threads and area's of darker thread to 'shade' a bit near the shore.
|Maybe you can see it better here?|
The quilt is wet and it looks much darker than it really is. I should have washed the backing before adding it as it bled a tiny tiny bit - luckily it didn't bled into the light areas of the sky! Ugh. I really should be careful about this - some fabrics bleed and either you have to prewash, or when you block your quilts you shouldn't soak them, you should just use a lot of steam.
|Another quilting closeup|
|And another - I stippled the green meadow.|
|Closeup of the ferns|
I had originally been thinking of calling this quilt Living Water because these are words God the Father and His Son Jesus use to describe Themselves and their work in our lives. Other ideas began to solidify though and as I was working on it, a quilting friend shared that she is dying. She's been going through hell with chemo and radiation and she's in a great deal of pain. She's chosen to let go of this life and follow the river to the next.
The other theme I had on my mind was the theme of Hope. We live in dark times, David called it the 'valley of the shadow of death'. Though we are passing through this valley, we are on our way to a better place and we should have great hope for the future! We should not live in fear and despair. He's given us abundant life and joy; even in hard times we can feel joy! I know this personally - my husband went through cancer and chemo when I was a young mom with 3 small children. His presence with me was a tangible thing and in the midst of chaos and fear of the possible outcomes, I experienced the joy of knowing Him.
River of Life reminds my husband of the last chapter in the book of the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. That last chapter is called Farewell to the Shadowlands. He sees the scene in my quilt as if we are coming out of a dark forest to a new place; a new kingdom where there is joy and peace.
Anyway, thanks for listening. The quilt is called The River of Life and I hope it will touch you in some way.