Last fall, on our way home from the Mancuso show in October, we stopped at the Grand Canyon and met two of our daughters and one of the their partners for four days of sightseeing, relaxing and hiking. The original thought was to hike Bright Angel Trail to the bottom, but we couldn’t get a camping permit, which was probably just as well, because we probably would have had difficulty making it all the way. However, we did do a day hike down to the first rest stop and back, and that was great.
Of course, we took lots of photos, except that my battery went out just as we started down the trail, so all the photos I have of below the rim were shared by the kids. I discovered that I was fascinated by the tree skeletons. I was inspired by Charlotte Zeibarth’s book Secrets of Digital Quilting (on our website) and wanted to try some of her techniques, so I decided to do a Grand Canyon quilt with the trees. I found out something very interesting about myself in the process. I can’t work the same way she does. More recently, I read Barbara Olson’s Journey of an Art Quilter (not on our website) where she talks about styles of creating, and now I understand a little more of why I can’t.
At any rate, I used the three photos above: the rock image as a background and the trees as overlay layers. I played with them in Photoshop as a small image, then printed the entire image in enlarged sections (eight total, quilt measures 48″ x 36″). I continued trying out the bamboo batting (which I decided I love, by the way), and began to quilt.
Holy cow! This quilt demanded a LOT of quilting. I’d guess I quilted about every quarter inch. The trees are just outline quilted, to make them stand out, but the background is fully quilted. I used about 10 colors of thread, some of the variegated, some machine embroidery, and some very fine polyester. It was really a matter of playing, and seeing what worked. I am happy with the final result, though, and it has been accepted into the Trees exhibit at the NQA show this month. (We’ll also have a booth there, more info on the website.)
The finished quilt is pictured below. The next time I post, I’ll tell you how I faced the edge of the quilt and figured out how to deal with the sleeve.