Friday, July 28, 2017

Homestead National Monument, Day Ten

Today was my tenth day as an artist-in-residence at Homestead National Monument in Nebraska.  I've been blogging every day, sharing first something about this unique place.  Then, I blog about the artwork on which I'm working. So ... today ... PLANTS!

Homestead National Monument is home to lots and lots of flowers, prairie grasses, and even trees.  I've been snapping photos on every walk ... and I've been walking in the morning, during the day (especially now that it's not too hot), and especially at dusk.  Only one percent of the original tallgrass prairie still exist.  Homestead has 100 restored acres.  I have only learned the names of a few species, but there's an all-weather flip book very near the education building with lots of information ... including interesting facts like:  The Compass Plant's resin was used by native American children as chewing gum.

I've posted eleven of my favorite plantlife photos after showing the piece I finished stitching today!  Just scroll down!

(Above:  Staking Her Claim, 19" x 24".  Image transfer on fabric with both free-motion machine embroidery and hand stitching.  Buttons.)

This piece is finished ... well, almost.  The reverse still needs a few finishing touches, but it wouldn't have made it this far without help.

This is Ranger Rayma and me.  Rayma was the person who solved my dilemma over the sky area.  I knew I wanted a great phrase, something to let viewers know the image depicted a woman homesteader.  Homesteading was open to former slaves, immigrants, women, and other marginalized people.   Rayma showed me a book documenting the lives of many females on the prairie.  The title was perfect:  Staking Her Claim.  Thanks, Rayma.  (By the way, Rayma also was instrumental in finding a few answers for my Not-So Junior Ranger pamphlet.  I'm sure to get my pin tomorrow!  It is a lot harder than I thought it would be!)

This morning I finished the seed stitching around the couched letters.  I trimmed the work, ironed/blocked it, and made sure it was square.

Then I brought out a glass mixing bowl full of grey buttons and started stitching them to the edges.

It's fun to select buttons!  I like variety in size, shade, and style.

I also placed several in the foreground.

This photo was taken after the reverse was added ... but it also effectively shows the buttons added in the lower section of the quilt.

This shows the back once all the buttons were stitched in place.

I used another section of the same quilt top used for my earlier piece.  This time, however, I didn't cut the buds and put them back together again ... because this section actually lay flat from the start.  Finally, the blanket stitch attached the reverse to the quilt.  Tomorrow I will add a hanging sleeve and several doilies.  I add the doilies in order to better attach the reverse.  As shown, the reverse is only attached around the edges.  When adding other elements, I always stitch into the felt batting ... and that unites the layers.

Now ... just scroll down for the photos from the prairie!  Enjoy!

I am linking this blog post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts.


Julia Graber said...

I admire your work and commentary and enjoy following along. Thank you for sharing.

Caryquilter said...

I enjoy your blogs so I can share your adventure. Buttons are always an added joy.