In the Studio: Cotswolds Sunset

After two months, I went back into the studio. Holiday travel, work schedules and lack of motivation conspired to extend this hiatus from my studio for more weeks than I would have liked. It seemed normal to not be in the studio. For me, this felt very wrong. 

Cotswolds Sunset, Kona cotton, 10” square, February, 2019.

Even if I was not sitting in front of my sewing machine or cutting mat, I was thinking about the sunset photo I wrote about in the article British Landscapes. The day dreaming revolved around the colors where the shadows in the grass field made the landscape appear dark brown and the sky had about 1,000 shades of lavender, pink and magenta. How do I turn this into fabric art?

I really had no answers when I walked into the studio but knew I had procrastinated enough when I called the cable company and the repair man for our blinds. Time was up. Why DO people procrastinate doing things they really DO want to do? So I got myself into the studio.

First, I got out my fabric bins and looked at the sunset photo for inspiration. I selected 3 pinks, light, dark and medium. The grassy field colors were trickier. This was a fallow field where sheep had grazed. In other words, some dirt and some grass left over from the sheep uneaten. I selected an olive, a dark green and a color called raisin which is like a dark purple. Again, a light, medium and dark color. 

For the design, I wanted a horizon line and a lighter color on top of the line to represent the setting sun. As for the rest, these three colors for the sky and ground need to be interrelated but not horizontal lines. The old trick of sewing wedges of fabric together to make a rectangle appeared out of nowhere in my mind. 

Then I started cutting wedges and sewed them together alternating the colors for above and below the horizon.  Last step, sew the sky to the land.

One of my friends who reads these articles asked me once, “Why don’t you ever tell us how to sew together a project?” Reading the article makes her want to sew something but she doesn’t know how. A long time ago, I decided I would not write tutorials or step by step guides. I wanted to write articles to inspire people to create their own way in their own style. However, if you are looking for a sewing project that is fun to make, this could be it. I love process based projects. So I have outlined the process I used below.

  •  Pick your fabric - at least 3 colors, light, medium and dark colored fabrics for two groups. One group of 3 for the upper section and one group of 3 for the lower section.

  • Cut wedges of fabric- length can be whatever you want. I used 13” for the length and then the wedges vary from 2-4 “ wide. I do not measure but cut intuitively.

  • Sew 2 wedges together- stagger the wedges and sew the smaller side to the wider side so it makes a rectangle.  

  • Sew the pairs of strips together- make your project as big as you want.  

  • Get ready to display the final project-wrap it around a stretched canvas and staple or put in a frame.  

    Let me know if you try this at home.  😄

Upper Left to Right: Fabric bins, Wedges for fields, Sewing wedges together, Sewing groups of wedges together.

Lower section: Sky and land cut to 13” and ready to sew together at the horizon.