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Karen Thatcher

All my quilts have an idea or theme, hiking, fishing, sailing and are started with a roll of brown paper and a fat black felt pen both found at the local $1 store. I usually have a bunch of inspirational photos around...stuff I like, places I've been and paintings either masters, magazines or locals. I decide what kind of trees and where they should go...maybe a mountain behind. If I've seen a picture I particularly liked, maybe the layout or color catches my attention I might use that information. The original rough drawing is the size of the finished quilt and is much like a child's drawing. All of the artistic bits are figured out as I work. My work table accommodates a 4'x7' and everything fits flat on that and I try for less than 44" width for obvious reasons. I work as large as I can and then cut back after the quilting is complete.

I attack the piece in two ways.  I often start with drawing a rough design on fusible batting and migrate color chunks right to the batting following the drawing lines. Sometimes I migrate chunks of color to precut pattern pieces. These pieces are cut from pellon and then transfered to regular batting. Usually this is determined solely on the piece and what supplies I have. Once the background is complete, I add the shapes, layering things farthest away to closest. Deciding to add or not to add is always the best part.  Most times the placement has less to do with the original plan but how the background worked out. I finish with whatever ever needs to be done, extra leaves, branches and even the occasional house might be added. Rarely is the finished piece similar to the original.

 

Karen Thatcher
 
Karen Thatcher
 
Karen Thatcher