Beth Markel

“AUTUMN” is almost complete!

Posted on September 30, 2020 by Beth Markel

I’M ALMOST DONE with a piece I have worked on for slightly over 2 years! Other pieces have been completed during this time, but only because I could not do this work every day. Working with pieces that are 3/4″ finished gets tedious after a while, and with such precise cutting, I would actually have to rest my wrest to prevent carpel tunnel, but persistently coming back to this has been rewarding – challenging – but also rewarding. This quilt has been like putting thousands and thousands of puzzle pieces together.

Last Saturday, however, I finally finished the “rocks” that a hiker would be standing on when looking out at the Shenandoah Valley in autumn. While living in Virginia, hiking became a regular event, and there are few things as beautiful in nature as autumn in the mountains.  The trees put on their showy and vibrant colors, depending on the type of tree they are. Stunning reds, oranges, golds, yellows, anchored by blocks of Pine trees, Blue Spruce, and Evergreens paint an unbelievable vista. It is honestly enough to take your breath away!

So…the “rocks” were laid out on plastic in my backyard, and I mixed dye in a number of small batches, then used small brushes to just flick the dye on in a random pattern.  Because…rocks. Not perfect, no pattern, no plan, as nature just weathers what it finds, and in this neck of the woods, you will find Old Rag granite. This means some different shades of gray, deep shadows, rounded corners, weather marks made over centuries.

Granite rocks in Shenandoah National Park

Granite rocks in Shenandoah National Park

Once “painted” they were sewn to the bottom of the last set of trees. Blocking will have to take place, as the shadowed areas are very densely quilted, but I like the perspective. It’s unexpected if you are not a hiker, but breathtaking and brilliant once you make the climb. Lots of blocking!

View from the edge, still in 2 large pieces, but ready to be sewn together

View from the edge, still in 2 large pieces, but ready to be sewn together

I’m not entirely sure I shouldn’t made the whole thing wider…

Make something beautiful today!





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