Quilt for Two Rivers – Reawakening the Whychus

May 1, 2012 at 4:08 am Leave a comment

Fiber artists collaborating on the Quilt for Two Rivers are blogging about their quilt panels for the 40-foot masterpiece-in-progress which honors Sisters, Oregon’s Treasured Landscapes.  Featured this week:

“REAWAKENING THE WHYCHUS”

I feel honored to have been asked to participate in this amazing project along with 20 “Master Quilters” from Central Oregon.  When we first got together and were taken on a hike along the creek, my eyes were opened to the important and demanding work of river restoration groups in bringing back the beauty and functionality of Whychus Creek.  I took many photos and began to imagine my quilt piece.

Whychus Creek as interpreted by Mary Stiewig for the Quilt for Two Rivers

I love to work with fiber in unusual ways.  I am fascinated with nature with its ever-flowing lines.  Most of my fiber art is representational of real life.  I find myself on a journey with fiber, enjoying the mystery of the process.  Often a finished piece becomes totally different from my original conception.

Several of my photos showed the creek flowing behind a very large ponderosa pine tree.  I began by placing the tree in the foreground along with several large rocks.  To help the river “flow” I used twisted fabrics, painted cheesecloth and shimmery pieces to create movement.  Two big things I strive for in my pieces are texture and dimension.  To achieve these I used purchased and hand-painted fabrics, with many embellishments such as yarns, wools, painted clouds, and sparkling tulle.  I stuffed the rocks to show dimension.  I sprinkled snippets of brightly-colored cloth and even used small pieces of raffia.

This has been an enlightening journey, both in contributing to such a worthy cause, and in enabling me to add to my quilting experience.

–Mary Stiewig

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