Starry struggles

Again, on my journey to improve my colour awareness, I decided to use scraps to tackle a project. I wanted to try to do an interpretation of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in a sort of colour-washy scrap quilt. It has proved a starry struggle.

starry night a1Here’s an early attempt. I’m trying to use a grey-blue for the Milky Way swirl, and some gold on black prints for the tree. Not loving it.

starry night a2In the next variation, I moved the squares from my cutting mat to my design wall. I put in a bright yellow square for the moon — too bright! At least, definitely too bright compared to the stars. I had hoped that a gold print fabric would work perfectly for the stars, but found that they didn’t really pop they way I wanted them to.

starry night quilt 1I decided I need to mellow the “moon” a bit, and use a gold fabric to pop the stars a bit more.I also worked down to the horizon, introducing some greeny-yellow-blue fabrics. I dropped the grey-blues for the Milky Way (mostly) and used a purpley-blue batik instead.

It’s growing in size, but the more I worked with fabrics, the more frustrated I felt! It doesn’t look like the picture. Okay, yes, I know it’s a colourwashy interpretation — but I keep feeling like it should be closer to the picture than it is (you can see a not-very-good print of the original painting in the bottom corner of my design wall). I think the Milky Way swirl has proven the most frustrating part. I want to convey the sense of “swirling”, but mostly it looks like a blob.

starry night 2

Next variation (and where it stands currently) I tried to fix the problem by adding more piecing. I tried adding in pinwheels (fabrics are currently just folded and pinned, not actually cut and sewn). I thought this would add a sense of movement and some colour variation. Trying to decide if I like it better this way, or if the pinwheels detract from the simplicity of the squares.

This project might be on hold for a while, so I can contemplate how to proceed.

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