Sunday, April 26, 2009


If you know me well, you already know that raspberries are my absolute favorite fruit. If something has raspberries in it, I am extremely likely to order it. We had a pretty large patch of them when I was growing up and I used to love to go out to pick the raspberries, probably eating close to as many as ended up in the bucket (sorry, Mom!). While I don't have space for my own patch right now, I've found an absolute heaven about an hour's drive away, where I can pick loads of raspberries each September, freezing baggies and baggies, and making many batches of jam. Ben will testify that getting me out of the raspberry patch can be something of a challenge.

So it only seemed fitting that at some point I make a quilt in honor of my favorite fruit. Here's my raspberry quilt, made for my art quilt group's meeting last week. We were working on Chapter 7: Thread Work of the Art Quilt Workbook, by Jane Davila and Elin Waterston, with a theme of "food."

The raspberry includes two different colors of reddish thread, plus a bit of white on top. I created one row of "seeds" using a straight stitch on my machine, dropping the feed dogs, and moving the fabric around under the machine. This worked well, but I ended up with some puffiness from going around and around in a semi-circular fashion that I didn't really like. I remembered that Ann Fahl had mentioned in a workshop I took last spring that she free-motioned with a zigzag stitch, so I decided to do that throughout the rest of the project, and it worked really well, filling the areas a bit better and eliminating the ridges/puffiness.

The most difficult part of the task for me was figuring out where to put the darker and lighter colors and to make the highlights. I worked from a photograph I found online and used Photoshop to convert the image to grayscale, which allowed me to see some of the contrast a bit better. I also played with adjusting the contrast of the photo so I could gain a better sense of where I needed to use the lighter and darker threads. After some study, I realized that the object was lit from both sides, which had created part of my confusion.

While it's not perfect, I think this turned out "berry" well!

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