Moonrise quilt The design of Moonrise was inspired by the great horned owl. They live in Florida but I haven’t seen one yet. .
Moonrise sketch
This is the sketch I started with. It is loosely based on what the real owl looks like with extra lines added. The stylized line work looks similar to cloisonné jewelry or stained glass.
The basic technique for making the top is the same as described for Discovered. The light magenta color snuck in unintentionally at first… I was painting the outlines on black fabric and wanted a dark purplish color on the tree branch. It dried a bright purply pink which seemed out of place at first. But rather than paint over it, I decided to work it into the design and repeated the color on the edge of the clouds and in the pieced border. One of my artist friends commented on it right away, so it turned out to be one of those “happy accidents.”

The moon started as a mottled gray fabric, but it needed to “glow.” I sponged on some pearlescent white Setacolor paint which worked nicely to bounce light back. The moon’s quilting is smoothly rippled to echo its round shape. I now use my sewing machine to do the quilting instead of hand stitching it as on Discovered.

The burgundy inner border plays hide and seek with the branch, clouds, and moon. I just thought it would be fun to try it that way, (though it was a little confusing to do.)

The sky was pretty blah until the beads were added near the end of the process. I love beads and have zillions of them, ready to jump into action when needed.

The pieced border gave me a chance to repeat many of the fabrics used in the main image, and incorporate a few additional harmonious colors as well.

I found out while quilting this piece that sewing short straight lines takes a lot longer than making curvy shapes. In the detail you can see the short angular lines in the sky and on the border. But, sometimes only straight lines will do.

The process looks weird at the beginning, just painted lines on black fabric (or whatever color it is.) Click here to see just the painted lines on a different quilt. By the end, the work is transformed with the addition of a full range of colors and values. One of my main motivations as an artist is to explore how colors interact. By using fabric as a medium, multiple patterns and textures get thrown into the mix as well… it’s endlessly fascinating!

Moonrise detail
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