Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The River of Dreams

I went to a wedding dressed as the Salmon River. Here is the story. My friends are river guides whose theme for their recent wedding was the confluence of rivers. They got married on the bank of the Salmon River, and even arrived and left the ceremony in a drift boat. They served salmon for the wedding dinner. Their wedding cake was the image of the river.

As an artist and seamstress, I thought I should make a dress that reflected the wedding theme. Having just made a salmon quilt, and with leftover fabric strips, I designed this fun dress to wear to the wedding.  It has a big steelhead, and even river rocks at the bottom.



Now back to the quilt. I was asked to make a salmon quilt by an aunt whose nephew is doing salmon research in Alaska. She is unable to sew at this point, and seeing my fish quilt, she thought I could make her dream of a salmon quilt come true. So she sent me her collection of batiks, 15 yards in all, and said I could keep whatever I didn't use... talk about a dream come true!

I color set the fabrics first. Blues like to bleed. I prefer synthropol to set the dyes.


Then I laid out the fabrics in gradations of color, and cut 3" wide strips. I sewed them together, then pressed and cut them into panels which I staggered. I used big pieces of the batiks for the back of the quilt. I had a panel from another project with animals from Alaska. It really added to the overall richness of the Alaska story.




I thought a sockeye salmon would look artsy. Using the pattern I had drawn for my steelhead trout quilt, and an image from the internet, I came up with a big spawning sockeye.


The client asked me to put a label with a photo of her nephew (the researcher) and some sentiments on the back  of the quilt.


I quilted the quilt on my domestic machine. Wavy lines are my current favorite. Then I applied a flanged binding by machine. What a fun way to frame the quilt. Dark blue with a flange of salmon pink.


I tried a new method to photograph the entire quilt, draped in the shade in my yard. I was thrilled with the finish, and so was the client.  Here is what she said: "Jane, the quilt made it here and it is spectacular! I'm so glad you could make it...and it is way beyond anything I envisioned. Max will love it." 



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