Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I have an idea

Habitat fabric
Designed by Jay McCarroll, first winner of Project Runway

I am a member of the Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild. We are doing a design challenge using the Habitat fabric line by Jay McCarroll, the first winner of Project Runway. We had a choice of 3 fat quarters or 6 fat eighths from the large assortment of beautiful fabrics that were provided. I chose 3 fat quarters: log cabin looking print, color splash and a mini-dot. We could create anything we wanted, adding only solid colored fabrics of our own choosing.

Reminds me of log cabins

Measuring tape around a cabin

Habitat is a living space. One idea was that the log cabin fabric could be used to create houses. Then I thought of a birdhouse—it’s a habitat, though a manmade one at that. My idea is to try to put a bird inside a birdhouse, which is see-through. I’d like his head to peek outside, and maybe part of his tail.

Seven bird sketches--may be hard to see
Drawn by my daughter-in-law Laurie on tracing paper

I don’t draw, really, but my daughter-in-law Laurie does and she gladly agreed to draw some birds for me. I gave her the log cabin fabric so she could refer to it for scale, some tracing paper to place over the log cabin as she drew. Laurie created 7 great birds for me to choose from. She was a little worried that the one I really wanted might not be facing the correct direction, but I told her I could always flip the paper over and use the mirror image.

Bird sketch over the log cabin

Dark fabric is for the bird

Bird placed over the color splash fabric

I plan to use the dark color splash fabric for the bird. There is enough value difference for the bird to show through the birdhouse. I probably need to enlarge my chosen bird as the two I’m thinking about seem a little small for the space. The bird will be in silhouette so I won’t have to worry about feathers or any of that kind of detail. Laurie suggested maybe using one of the splashes of color to represent the bird’s eye. It’s a great idea; I’ll play and see what happens.

For construction, I'm planning to fuse the backs of the two fabrics. I can avoid a lot of fancy sewing that way. I’ll need to cut through the “open” spaces between the logs. I may use the dotted fabric for the background to replace the cutout areas of solid aqua, or I may go with a solid from my own stash.

There will need to be an opening for the bird to go in and out of the birdhouse. I think I can do that by creating shadow. One idea is to use a pencil to darken the fabric that represents the inside of the house. I’m still trying to work that out in my head. Some trial sketches are in order.

I have a really close deadline, so I need to get going on this project.

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