Dawn in Venice was made from a photo my sister Genevieve Broun took of the Rialto Bridge at 5am. There was no one around and the dawn’s early light turned all of the white buildings blue. When I saw this picture, I wanted to see if I could recreate the reflection in the water.
The photo was slightly blurred but I put a water filter over it in Adobe Illustrator. It then took a couple of weeks to draft the 3600 piece pattern (including many 1/8th inch pieces). I did that the easy way in Illustrator by drawing it directly on the photo and printed out the pattern on my home printer.
After seven weeks of piecing and around three weeks of quilting, it was ready for our state show where it won best pictorial. I used Cynthia England’s picture piecing technique which is so much fun. It looks hard but is incredibly easy. I love this technique as it gives realistic results. It’s all straight lines and there are no Y seams. It is chain pieced.
I thought I owned every shade of blue known to man. Turns out I didn’t! It took three weeks to sew the water. It was funny choosing the colours as I would just say to myself, “Dark, medium, dark, oooh light!” After a couple of days, I’d be surprised to come across a patch of colour. The moment of excitement was short lived as I went back to dark, darker… for another couple of days again.
Getting the right colours for the bridge was hard. Going into a patchwork shop and being asked if I needed help in finding something was even harder. Being truthful, I would always say that I was looking for the ugliest grey/beige colour available. I think they were hoping I wouldn’t find it!
Here is a quick slideshow of the process going from photo to quilt.
Made in 2011. H 92.7cm x W 140.5cm