Friday, July 21, 2017

Homestead National Monument, Day Four

 (Above:  Homestead National Park volunteer quilters.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

DAY FOUR at Homestead National Monument in Nebraska!  As promised, I'm daily blogging my experiences at this unique art residency.  First, I share something about this special place.  Then, I share the artwork I accomplished during the day. 

Homestead National Monument has a lot of "friends" ... as in a a 501C3 non-profit called Friends of Homestead National Monument. This organization works exclusively for the education, scientific and charitable purposes to support, preserve, and develop the Monument.  There are many types of memberships, donors, and ways to volunteer ... including quilting!  Every Friday afternoon, "friends" quilt together on a commissioned work.  They complete approximately three quilts per year.  They are paid for their efforts, and every cent goes to the Friends of Homestead National Monument.  

The quilt we worked on today was one of three a woman intended as gifts for her three sons.  She passed away after piecing the second quilt.  Her husband commissioned the completion of the second and also this third quilt.  It is nearly finished.  I thought the group met from  1 PM until 4 PM.  I was told they arrive around 12:30.  So, I went at 12:30.  One lady was already working.  Generally this group has five or six people attend ... but it is oppressively hot outside.  Many just can't bear the drive in this heat and others are on summer vacation.  We stitched and stitched ... and talked and talked ... until 5:00 PM!  Time just flew by!  This group generally meets from 1 - 4 "in the winter".  During the summer they stitch until 5 PM!  It was great fun and a wonderful way to give back to this National Monument.  I'll do it again next Friday.

Speaking of quilts!  Homestead National Park has quilt blocks posted all over the place ... along the trails, in the visitor's center, in the farm implement exhibition, in the log cabin and the brick school house.  These are the one's I've photographed.

Because many of these signs are exposed to full sun all day long, the colors have faded.

Not to worry!  There is already a plan to replace them!

Because I created collages of my photos, I began to realize something about the way I capture images.  I tend to place the object on the left ... at an angle.  I never knew this about myself ... but it seems to be true! LOL!

So ... I spent four-and-a-half hours quilting today.  That's a lot of stitching but it was only half of my day!

I spent the other half ... drum roll please ... hand stitching, of course!

On my my first full day here at Homestead, I basted several pieces.  Each was a public domain image transferred to fabric by Spoonflower.   I ordered these unique pieces of fabric a month ago.  This one is the Palmer-Epard log cabin behind a bank of yellow prairie flowers.  It measures 18" x 24".  On my third day, I did the free motion machine stitching on the lower half.

Here's a detail of the stitching.  I used a variegated thread.

Here's another detail of the machine work.  I plan to add a few yellow buttons to the foreground.

In order to balance the surface with the buttons to the otherwise "empty" sky, I decided to hand stitch the surface entirely in random straight stitches ... also called "seeding".  I am using DMC embroidery floss, just 2ply. I got quite a bit finished ... likely half of it.  Thankfully, I could stitch all day ... and I did!

Please note that the slight puckers seen before the hand stitching are gone.  This always happens when one section of a textile piece is densely stitched beside a section that isn't stitched.  Stitching pulls the layer and fabric together ... slightly shrinking it.  Once I added the handwork, the sections flattened perfectly!  Check back tomorrow.  Who knows?  I might finish this one!


Linda Sweek said...

I really like your stitching. It will be interesting to see how you add the buttons.


Margaret said...

How lovely to join the Friends' quilting bee. :-) And your stitched photo -- being so close to the landscape that inspires me here -- is delightful. I really like the seed stitch in the sky!