Monday, September 23, 2013

A Patchwork Canada

"Prairie Palettes"

"Stitchery" is truly an exciting medium for those of us inclined that way. We really can't help ourselves, nor stop ourselves. When my hands are not engaged in some form of "stitchcraft", my mind is whirling with ideas for the next project (or more then likely, projects) to be started. The idea of making a landscape quilt has been floating around in the back of my brain for the last 8 years or so, but something has always taken priority. So now, the time has come to experiment a little with a landscape design. It will be a simple little wall quilt, but it will give me the opportunity to experiment with and learn to use some of the different techniques and resources that are available.

The last part of our travels this past summer was a road trip from Winnipeg, in the heart of the Canadian prairies, to our home in Vancouver, on the Pacific coast of Canada. The opportunity to take endless number of photos has become possible because of digital cameras, and because of this repetition, I started to see the uniqueness and the beauty of my country with fresh eyes. Through the lens of my camera, I discovered that the quiet, unassuming prairie landscape can be as varied and as beautiful as the majestically chiseled mountain peaks further west. From this plethora of photos now in my files came the idea of playing with a landscape project.

Never having designed a landscape quilt before, the first step for me is to single out some of the elements in the photo. Using Photoshop Elements, I enjoyed a little play time transforming the original image using different textural effects.

Photo#1: Prairie landscape: Original photo

Photoshop Image: noise. Emphasis on detail.

PS Image: Crystallize. Simplified, but with interest in the edges.

PS Image: Palette Knife. Very basic.

Photo#2: Original

PS Image: Cutout. Simplifies the colours.

PS Image: Stained Glass. A tad dizzying, but shows good colour separation.

PS Image: Patchwork. Hmmm... .Too many little pieces for a "quick" patchwork!

Photo#3: Original

PS Image: Cutout. I like this one for the simplified landscape and colour separation.

PS Image: Stylize.

PS Image: Accented Edges

The next step will be to choose one of these 3 original photos, or maybe even a combination of them, and using the simplified images produced in photoshop, work out the basic design of the piece.

Another priority for this project is to use only fabrics from my stash. The colour choices may have to adapt a little to what's available. (Is that what they mean by artistic license?!? I somehow doubt it!)


  1. What a creative endeavor! I love the second image, where you used the "noise" filter. While it would likely take forever to make a quilt this way, hexies would be perfect for this project. I can't wait to see what you decide on. xoxo

    1. I like the noise filter as well. It shows a lot of the floral detail, which I hope to include. Hexies would be the perfect way to piece these colours, and I have thought about it, but it is supposed to be a "quickie"!!! (As though that's even possible when it comes to quilting!)

  2. I like the strong contrast in photo 1, but I also really like the thin lines of pink and purple in photo 2. It will be fun to watch your progress!

    1. Out of the literally hundreds of photos I took on this trip, these 3 were my favourites of the prairie landscape. I have a feeling that I may include something from all of them on the final design. The second photo was included because of the purples and pinks on the horizon line and would add interest to the greens and gold. Still working on it.