Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Leaving my comfort zone

"Winter Closing In," by Sherrie Spangler
I just finished this quilt in response to an art show challenge:

"Outside Your Comfort Zone."

My comfort zone is bright, cheerful, colors that remind me of a sunny summer day or the clear desert skies. My discomfort zone is gray, black and anything else that reminds me of a dark, rainy day.

These are some shots of Tacoma and Gig Harbor in the winter. NOT inspiring for me. In fact, I normally can't bear the thought of working in grays and black, unless I use them to accentuate bright colors.

That's not the sun. It's a window reflection.
So I decided to dive into my scraps and pull out dark colors.

I played around with them, arranging them on a black fleecy piece of fabric instead of batting. They stuck nicely to it, which made the quilting easy. The arrangement is how I feel much of the winter when the days here are so dark and rainy. I'm trying to not let it bother me so much, but it's a challenge.

Since there were so many little loose pieces, I covered the whole thing with Sulky Solvy and basted it with safety pins, then took it to the machine and did vertical black lines of quilting. I've had trouble in the past with the Solvy sticking to the foot, but since we've been having dry weather that wasn't a problem. (See how to cope with sticky Solvy in my post here:

Normally, you would dissolve the Sulky Solvy by immersing the piece in water. I like to tear it off in strips as I go because it's so exciting to see the colors revealed. Cheap thrills! If you've ever had a snake as a pet, it's like watching the snake shed its papery whitish old skin and revealing shiny bright new colors.

I've torn off the Solvy from the right side after quilting.

Here's how I justified using shots of orange and green in my winter quilt. This is by my house:

And there you have it! A quilt that's definitely outside my comfort zone.

Have a more colorful day


Judy Ferguson said...

A very interesting conceptual piece. Congratulations.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Well! You left a ray of hope in there, didn't you? A silver lining or two...;-) Was wondering about those bright colors but I guess I'm one of the ones always telling you that they are there even on the gloomiest days. Congrats on facing this challenge - now back to your comfort zone!

Julia said...

This reminds me of windows lit up in a house surrounded by trees and rain in the winter.

Vivian Helena said...

love the grays and muted colors.. Gig Harbor looks beautiful.. Have never been up that way... but think there must be lots of Grays and wet days.

Thank you for stopping by my blog, will be posting more murals next week.. It was a wonderful retreat.
thank you.... hugs, vivian

Ladybug said...

Love hearing/seeing your process. The end result says it all - really lovely, with that speck of brightness struggling to hang on against all the gray and rain. I certainly identify with it...