After 15 hours of travel, we arrived in Florence, Italy, and after dropping our bags in our room, of course we headed out exploring. Just a half-block away, we turned a corner, and saw this.
Florence was a perfect introduction to Europe, and that photo of the Duomo came to mind as I read about this month's Mighty Lucky Quilting Club challenge: Using a Personal Photo as Inspiration for Piecing with Alison Glass [alisonglass].
I shared much of my beginning process in a previous post, but I'll back up just a bit to tell about the materials I chose to use. Fabrics for the front were mostly shot cottons from stash and one scrap of Essex. I loved the feel and bit of sheen, and had the perfect colors for the dome of Duomo. For backing, I thought a print from Angela Walters' Drift was the perfect choice, and reminded me of so many windows we'd seen in Italy.
I knew when I chose the shot cottons that they would be really lovely to quilt up. I used five Aurifil 50wt threads - 2000 (light sand), 2250 (red), 2314 (beige), 2600 (dove), 2730 (delft blue) - each to emphasis an element of my 'fabric photo'. And I went out on a limb and chose to free-motion quilt this one - totally not my norm, but in this case seemed worth the stretch.
I attempted to add more of the photo's detailing, and overall I think that worked. I especially like how the dome turned out, and the 'windows' on the right side. I'm a little disappointed with what I did in the sky portion, but I was on a roll, and while I was quilting away with those feed-dogs down, I figured I should practice something other than straight lines. So there ya go.
Overall, I found this project to be very challenging improv-wise - not the curves, but the 'corners'! But I think I learned something important in my decision to 'crop' my photo for the final quilt, which is only 17" square. I actually think the lack of detailed piecing in the buildings allowed that dome to remain the focal point and the overall piece, an uncluttered look. It seems in the challenges so far, there is the obvious stated challenge, but always something more to learn, and I think that's my been my favorite part.