Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rainbows and Sun Breaks

Life in Portland, Oregon means that for much of the year, rain is a predominant factor. So, for me, it was an easy jump from the water theme to think about Portland weather.

I once lived in Wilmington, NC and it was interesting to note that the annual rainfall was about the same. However, in Wilmington it pours buckets of rain from huge thunderstorms and occasional hurricanes.

In Portland, we have gentle, misty rain with occasional sun breaks and rainbows. So this became my theme.


Here is a detail:

I found a copyright free rainbow photo and fiddled with it in Photoshop and printed it on cotton. I then printed it on organza, but really faded the photo so that it was barely visible.

I cut the organza in strips and fused them to the background photo. I over lapped the strips and did not line up exactly with the background photo so as to give the impression of looking through misty rain. I left two parts of the background without the organza overlay — these were to be the sun breaks. I quilted rain and sun streaks. I had to add a border and a binding. I didn't want that to be too boring so I added some rainbow fabric to the binding.

Because of my trip during the month of May, I had to select a format that I could easily do with the time I had before the trip and the short time when I returned. You can read more of the saga of creating this quilt on my blog.

14 comments:

Kristin said...

Great job Gerrie! The layers and vertical rain quilting show off your concept perfectly, and the brighter quilting in the sun breaks really works.

Diane said...

I really like that you've used your rainy climate as the basis for the piece... and how beautifully the organza and stitching lines create a misty rain. Beautiful job!

Karen said...

I really like the printing on the organza, it gives the piece an etheral quality that I don't think you could achieve any other way. The stitching is perfect for this piece

Deborah said...

It's fantastic, Gerrie. I love printing on organza and using to create layers. Wonderful. I also love the rainy stitching lines. I love the rainbow pieces stitched into the binding. (I'm sorry you're not happy with the binding. It's not the rainbow pieces though, right? Just the construction? I've been there!)

Sherrill said...

Gerrie, you have captured the view and lighting from our "sleeping porch" windows on the east side of our Eugene, OR house. We appreciate the misty quality and the beautiful rainbows. From Kristin's real Mom

Gerrie said...

Deborah- the rainbow stays - my one inspired moment for this piece besides changing to the sunny stitching.

Sherrill - I almost forgot that Kristin had a real mom!! Aren't we so proud of her?

Terry said...

I love the drizzly feeling you captured here. It is so Oregon. I love those moments when you see the rain and the rainbow at the same time.

Karen said...

Gerrie, you captured that misty rain perfectly. I love how quiet the world gets in a drizzle..

StegArt said...

What a fabulous idea - adding the organza strips to achieve the look of misty rain here and none there. The addition of the stitched lines really gives the impression of rain.

Nikki said...

Your rainy days look so much more beautiful than mine! I love the stitching! It, combined with the rainbow, creates such a hopeful environment. I can see that the sun is trying to peak out and the grayness is in the process of being replaced with color.

Françoise said...

It's lovely, very subtle and delicate. And the rainbow is beautiful. I love it.

Brenda said...

I grew up in New Zealand where "four seasons in one day" can be typical. (My husband is constantly astonished at how it can possibly rain when there are blue skies above!) Your quilting lines perfectly capture the curtain of drizzle and the sunbreak and rainbow is very effective.

Helen Conway said...

This is a very atmospheric piece and evoked smells for me - that fresh smell of foliage washed by rain. I'd like to be walking in your quilt! Is the technique one you have done before/ read about/ made up on the spot?

Gerrie said...

Helen: It is a combination of techniques that I have used before - printing a photo on fabric and overlaying with organza. But, the first time I have put them together. Thanks for the nice comment.