Four-in-Art Quilt Challenge Reveal

Four-in-Art is a small group of quilters who hail from many different places. One member announces a yearly quilt theme. This year it's COLOR. A sub-theme was added to each quarter's challenge this year to spice it up. This quarter we had to work MUSIC into our projects. 

Visit the posts of all Four-in-Art members to see how each interpreted Color and Music for this May 1 reveal. Their links are at the bottom of my post. 

I will admit I know just a little about music (to perhaps be dangerous). As a college student studying elementary education I was required to take Music 101, where, in fact, we had to learn to play the piano in 16 one-hour sessions on our own! I was able to play songs written with only quarter notes in the chord of C. Period

I know enough about the treble cleff (I like drawing it), "Every Good Boy Does Fine," Do, Re, Me, "F-A-C-E," the counts given to various notes; but, I can't keep time, or rythm and my foot and my fingers don't work together. 

I enjoy listening to a variety of music. As an elementary teacher, I included lots of singing during classes. We had record players and then cassette players. I knew the songs by heart and children are pretty forgiving when the tune maybe not be spot on. I can sing some popular songs and am pretty sure I am flat or sharp where I shouldn't be. 

So where to begin with Color and Music?

Many ideas spun around in my head. I have told group members that I tend to be literal in interpretation on these projects (as I am with most of the quilts I make). 

I thought about a guitar applique after a quilting friend posted about the Gibson Guitar Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I even went so far as to draw a guitar in EQ7. 

Another idea was constructing the staff with black and white fabric and uappliqueing the notes in various colors. 

Then!  Out of the blue the idea came to me!


It was a rainy spring day. 

I thought of the song, "It's Raining, It's Pouring," then the Carpenters', "Rainy Days and Mondays," "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," and Gene Kelly "Singin' in the Rain." 

Well, you get the idea. An internet search indicated there are over 775 songs about rain!

The songs were popping up like mushrooms after a rain. (And that really does happen.)

RAIN would make the music. "Rain Songs" was conceived.
Blue, the color every kid uses to show water (well, there are exceptions). I had a fat quarter pack of fabrics by Anthology ranging from lights to dark (or maybe the other way around). I needed one other fabric because I thought the lightest two would be lost in the layout. I am still learning about tint and shade. I would say that these blues are tints as they get lighter, which would indicate white being added. If black were added I don't think the darkest blue would have the brightness it does. Therefore, shades are not involved in the raindrops.
I applied fusible to the back of 6" x 4" pieces of only 8 of the fabrics. Each color would represent one of the notes on the C scale, or as I remember: Do, Re, Me, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do.

Rain comes during darker weather with grey skies. Five shades of grey would be used to represent the five lines of the staff. I made wavy cuts to indicate the movement of the rain clouds. The different colors show different types of rain, light rain with soft sounds and heavy rain with thunderous downpours. Each raindrop would represent a whole note. The darker the color the lower the note. The lighter the color, the higher the note.

I divided the quilt top into sections. Twelve vertical lines would allow four whole notes to be placed in 3 measures across. 

I drew horizontal lines indicating the lines and spaces of the staff. Each raindrop note would be appliqued to its corresponding place on the staff.

There are actually three Rain Songs on this piece. The rain song on the top is a softer song, higher notes indicated by the lighter blues. The rain is softer, the storm not so strong.

The middle rain song is soft and light to begin then it becomes lower, deeper with the darker or lower notes. High notes to low notes as the grey skies deepen in shade.

The last rain song is a heavy storm, deep grey shades and dark, low notes. The storm lets up a bit, then begins to lower in sound. 

I quilted verticle lines showing the falling rain. The rings indicate the raindrops are hitting the ground, or something, making sound, vibrating outward to our ears. 
 And the back of the quilt with label attached.

The other Four-in-Art Reveals:

We also have a blog, Four-in-Art Quilts, where you can find us all.
Betty         https://www.flickr.com/photos/toot2
Janine         http://www.rainbowhare.com
Simon         http://quiltalicious.blogspot.com
Susan         http://patchworknplay.blogspot.com


Susan said...

Love the quilt and the sweet story behind it! I almost did a similar, last minute thing with 'star' songs!

Catherine said...

How lovely! The glistening raindrops and the quilted ripples are beautiful and the graduated colour is such a great idea for the brief.

lindaroo said...


OPQuilt said...

I love this, and really love the title! You are right--there are so many songs with rain in the title (my favorite is "Singing in the Rain,"with Gene Kelly dancing along in love) so I immediately was drawn into your interpretation of music and rain and raindrops. I agree with your choice of blues (I would say one of Chopin's pieces "The Raindrop Prelude" has some of that dark stormy weather in the middle--I used to play it as a teenager) and think the quilting really enhances the themes. Bravo--well done!

Rachel said...

This quilt immediately caught my eye when I was scrolling IG and I finally have a chance to sit and tell you how much I adore it. Everything about this quilt just clicks with me. I thought of so many rain songs as soon as I saw it. Blue is absolutely one of my favorite colors and this quilt just sings with it! The rain drops and the quilting are just perfect. A great quilt all around!

Camilla said...

Great Idea to link colour with tone and notes to form songs in raindrops- nice!

Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

This is so lovely. It makes me smile every time I look at it. The raindrops in all those shades of blue look wonderful against the graduations of grey and the quilting is perfect. I also enjoyed your 'story' :)

Live a Colorful Life said...

What a lovely idea. If there is something I love nearly as much as music, it is rain.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

Wow Nancy, this is really well thought out and very clever. I love it.

Betty said...

Nancy, this is such a fun piece and I especially like the movement below the raindrops! Your fabrics are spot on and your "journey story" is the best. You've made a rainy day anything but gloomy - congratulations!