Doors of Ireland, Block One

Today I started a project that I've really wanted to do, but I've been afraid I wouldn't be able to accomplish.  As of now, I'm feeling better about the possibility of creating my vision.  I'm not much of an artist, and while I think I'm pretty imaginative, I'm not very creative.  Does that make sense?  I can imagine all sorts of things, but I find it difficult to make my intangible visions tangible.  Maybe that's a better way of saying it.

Some of you might remember when I started an online landscape quilt class and began this project.  Actually, this was my second attempt, since my first attempt was a dismal failure.  I turned that first piece into a block that I used to experiment with different markers, and chose what I thought would be an easier photograph.  This one:

I got this far with it and then put it away.  Eventually, I was so depressed about even having it on my "in progress" list, that I removed it from the list.  For now, it hangs in the closet of my sewing room.  Sometimes I think about continuing on with it, but I never progress beyond the thinking stage.  My daughter-in-law Mae asked me about it one day.  She's an excellent artist.  "She would be able to finish it," I told myself, and I felt even more bummed about my inability to make the intangible tangible.

It's not a bad representation, but I got to the place where I needed to start thinking about adding the tree and the shadow it casts on the barn, and I couldn't take it any farther.  I haven't destroyed it, and perhaps that's the most optimistic thing I can say about it.

So with that history, I suppose it makes sense that I've been apprehensive about starting this project.  This is the first door I wanted to try for the Doors of Ireland quilt  that I envision.  This one seemed pretty straightforward, and so I decided to start there.  This photograph has been sitting on my cutting table for weeks, and today I decided there was no time like the present.

This is what I came up with.

It's not bad.  I've tried not to get too bogged down in creating every single thing that I see in the image.  Of course, I still need to add details, but I'm going to do that with thread.  I want to outline and sort of draw in the details of the lanterns on either side of the door.  Mainly I'll be outlining the applique pieces, but I'll need to draw the corner line on the left side of the house.  Already, I can see that the placement of the thin window on that side is off, but I'm not going to worry about that.  It really won't matter if it isn't exactly right. (I've figured that out by looking at quilts in quilt shows.  When I look at the work of others, I'm much more forgiving than I am when I look at my own work.  Being too self-critical is a habit I'm trying to change.  This project should give me plenty of practice.)

Also, I need to add in the panels on the door and I think I'll add the wreath that is hanging there.  I'll want to add in lines for the window panes, and I'll put some shingles on the roof.  It's not a bad start, and I'm happy with it.  I'm tired of sewing for one day, however, and so I'll quit for now and work on it some more tomorrow.  I have in mind to get some hot fix nailheads which, if you haven't seen them, are kind of like pop rivets in appearance.

They'll make good doorknobs.  The door knob in the photograph is barely visible because it's black.  I think it will dress up the quilt block if I give it a gold door knob, and I can use them for the rest of the doors as well.

Maybe if I can manage to complete the 12 blocks I have planned for this Doors of Ireland quilt, I'll feel brave enough to bring out the barn again and finish it.  Thinking about that fills me with dread though, and so I don't want to get too far into the future.  Do you have projects like that?  By "that" I mean projects that are so far down your list of UFO's that they've fallen off the page.

Sometimes I get to the end of a day and I wonder where the hours have gone.  Today I finished binding the Winged Dreams quilt, made some of Mike's favorite pickles (I blogged about those here when I made them a couple of years ago), made the back for the Bow Tie Bonanza quilt, and made this Irish door.  When I came upstairs and looked at the dirty dishes sitting on the counter, I wondered what I had been doing all day.  When I list it all out like that, it sounds like plenty.  Somehow having dirty dishes on the counter (because I've been doing things I like doing a lot more), seems to cancel out everything else.  I guess I'll have at the dishes so that the rest of the things I've done today will count for more . . . at least within the confines of my own mind.

Our weather has been crummy most of the week.  We were supposed to have some work done on our deck that was replaced a couple of years ago, but that got postponed because it needs to be done in dry weather. Last night, I took this picture of our sky at dusk.

It was the strangest sky . . . yellow in color with a rainbow, even though there had only been a few sprinkles.  There wasn't a breath of wind, and the wind turbine was completely still.  There were thunderstorm advisories on the radio yesterday, and we did get a little bit of thunder and lightning.  Then we got a good soaking rain last night.  I know that many of you are praying for rain, but here in Oregon where we haven't had much of a summer, it isn't particularly welcome.  We're promised better weather for the weekend and beyond.  If I could send the rain your way, believe me, I would happily do it.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Debbie said...

Your landscape is good.....don't get so bogged down in exact details, and you can get thru it.
Love the door! Develop the details that are important to you and let some go. Thread sketching and thread painting, prismacolor pencils or markers are great cheats for details.
I have an article from Quilting Arts on doors....will send it along via email.

Astrid said...

Landscape quilting is something I have wanted to do for a very long time, but I always believe I'll mess it up - lol. Yes, we tend to be very critical to ourself... Your landscape looks great and so far the house/door too.

WoolenSails said...

That is a great start on your new piece, I love the fun colors you are using. Art is interpretive, it is what you see and feel. Love your rainbow shot, eerie looking but beautiful.


Pieces to Love said...

I love your landscape quilt. Don't stress over the shadow of the tree, add your shadow in your quilting by using a darker thread there to accent it. You can do it.

Teresa in Music City said...

I was surprised that you dislike your landscape so much! It really only needs the details to give it more life. You have all the bones of it there and they look pretty good to me! Of course, it is YOU who has to be happy with it :*) I'm going to really enjoy watching your Doors quilt blocks come alive! Your first block is off to a wonderful start!!!

Kate said...

The Irish door block looks great, you've definitely got the feel of the picture in the block. You are just letting the barn landscape simmer a bit. You've done far more with it than I would have ever attempted to do.

Jackie/Jake said...

I think your landscape is great. The Irish door is wonderful and with some sewing it will be fantastic. Can't wait to see the other doors.
That is an amazing rainbow picture. Being in the city we don't manage to get many rainbow photos.
I'm sorry you are having a rainy summer but up here we are dying for some rain. Everything is so shriveled and brown in my gardens.

Dana Gaffney said...

I think you're door is perfect, I've never done anything like that, but I think at some point you need to put the picture aside and just do what feels right to you.
Yellow sky here means something bad is coming, the sky looks sick and it's time to get inside.

Diane Wild said...

Your door block is looking good. You have the dimensional appearance down perfectly. This is going to turn into a fun project for you. I'll be on tenterhooks to see more in the future.

Needled Mom said...

I would be terrible with that technique. It will be fun to see the details along the way.

greelyrita said...

I had a flash about the barn. What if you took dark brown wool and zigzagged it on for the tree. The problem with the tree is that you have to go from thick trunk to thin branches. You want that wood texture too. Then when you get to the very tips of the tree, that would be machine stitching with brown thread. Wouldn't that do it?

I think it's lovely so far.

I'd like to know about the wind turbine. Is it yours? If so, how much electricity does it produce? It looks very tall. Do you worry the blades might come off? Does it make noise that is annoying? Does it kill birds, like people think?

LethargicLass said...

I am exactly the same way (imagination v.s. tangible outcome) and you said it perfectly... it can be disheartening at times for sure, but when I make something work I feel amazing :)

quiltzyx said...

I'm always surprised when I make an art quilt & it ends up looking something like what I had in mind! But I haven't tried to make one that really looked like one of my photos.
I think both your barn/scape & the Irish Door are looking great! Unless you're planning to post the photo RIGHT NEXT to their respective quilt or block, no one would know they weren't EXACTLY like their inspiration piece. NOT EVEN YOU! Honest, it really does work that way. I think I got over some of my perfection problems the first time I did quilting demos at the LA County Fair. Walking around the entries, I saw a 9-Patch quilt with a ribbon on it, and the corners weren't even close to matching. After that, I just didn't worry about it quite so much! lol