Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Midsummer CQ Explained

I thought I would explain my concept for the Midsummer CQ, as I seem to have caused some confusion. The quilt is based on Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and specifically, the scene where Titania, Queen of the Fairies, is sleeping in the forest.

Here's the scene:

Imagine yourself sitting at the edge of a forest... you can see some grasses and flowers right in front of you, with some of the more unsavory forest inhabitants peeking out at you, banned from Titania's presence... everything just past that is in darkness. The moon has risen and is flooding the sky with light. Gradually, you see the trees part, as if you can see clear to the center of the forest. Why, there's Titania, asleep in the glade, light shimmering around her... the air sparkles with fairies and fairy dust as they watch over their Queen. Flowers and twining vines in all sorts of colors surround the glade and beautiful butterflys and moths flit silently about in the warm, scented air. It is a magical moment on "One Midsummer Night."

That is the feeling I'm going for. Have You ever seen the movie Legend? While it wasn't the greatest movie ever made, it has some wonderful visual contrasts between the world above full of love and happiness and the dark underworld below. That is the kind of contrast I'm going for in this quilt. Not so much the good vs evil part, but the bright and beautiful vs the dark and subdued. See what I mean?

Now, I played around and managed to come up with a rather rough picture to help illustrate how I will be approaching this quilt on a fabric and thread level. Bear with me here because this baby was started in Microsoft Excel, then marked up as a PDF and converted to a JPG. I think it gets the message across anyway.
Midsummer plan B
The outer ring of blocks in blue are the blocks I have just finished piecing... seen below:
Border blocks pieced

I'm going to place the grasses and flowers with their inhabitants directly on top of this border - embroidered and appliqued and anything else that works to get the idea across. I've been thinking that I need to do this first, before I embroider the seam treatments because if I applique, it will look funny when it goes over the embroidered seams.

The dark green border will be the edge of your view as you look into the forest. It will probably be a dark, dark green, probably with a vine entwined around it (quite obviously this idea isn't firmed up yet).

The next set of blocks, shown in light green, will be the forest glade surrounding Titania. It will be a very colorful set of crazy quilt blocks, heavily encrusted, with lots of greens and pinks and purples (I think) with the flowers and vines, fairies and fairy dust, sparkles and sprinkles, and butterflys and moths all over the place. The panel in the center will be a painted Titania that my son is finishing up this week.

So, I hope this is a good explanation of where I am going with this project. It's definitely a long term project, I'm hoping to have it done sometime next summer!!


threadspider said...

It's such an excellent idea and one of my very favourite stories.You are going to have so much fun embroidering it. Perhaps you should aim to complete it ready for unveiling next midsummer night?

Allison Ann Aller said...

Are you sure the applique would look funny over the seam treatments? Maybe a little here and there will creep in there....

I love that you have taken on such a complex project!

Jo in NZ said...

Thanks for your comments on my black CQ. I have been, and will be watching your project.
Depending on what colours you intend to do the seam treatments, I would do them first, then the applique over the top. Are you worried about bulkyness?
You might find it really tricky to get the seams to look like they flow if you add them after.

Susan said...

That outer ring looks great. In this photo, I really get the impression of the moon shining across the sky, with the shadows on the ground. So far, so good!