September 28, 2011

Breaking Dawn Charity Quilt: Bella's First Hunt

There was a hint of something different, a faint trail to the east…

My eyes flashed open, but my focus was still on sharper senses as I turned and darted silently eastward. The ground sloped steeply upward almost at once, and I ran in a hunting crouch, close to the ground, taking to the trees when that was easier. I sensed rather than heard Edward with me, flowing quietly through the woods, letting me lead.

The vegetation thinned as we climbed higher; the scent of pitch and resin grew more powerful, as did the trail I followed—it was a warm scent, sharper than the smell of the elk and more appealing. A few seconds more and I could hear the muted padding of immense feet, so much subtler than the crunch of hooves. The sound was up—in the branches rather than on the ground. Automatically I darted into the boughs as well, gaining the strategic higher position, halfway up a towering silver fir.

The soft thud of paws continued stealthily beneath me now; the rich scent was very close. My eyes pinpointed the movement linked with the sound, and I saw the tawny hide of the great cat slinking along the wide branch of a spruce just down and to the left of my perch. He was big—easily four times my mass. His eyes were intent on the ground beneath; the cat hunted, too.
–Bella Cullen, Breaking Dawn, pages 421-422

Design and piecing by Beth

The image of Bella, newly-turned vampire, poised to make her first kill is one of the strongest I have from Breaking Dawn. So naturally, it was my choice to bring to fabric and thread as my addition to this quilt. As a newbie quilter, I’m most comfortable with hand-stitching and appliqué techniques from my years of embroidery experience, so I relied heavily on them when designing this square. But my education in architecture and drafting have given me a solid understanding of how paper piecing works, so I decided to attempt it for the first time.

I was able to find wood bark and pine needle fabrics to paper piece the tree branches and background. I used Snow Fairy Frost to appliqué Bella in a crouching pose (sans silver shoes which had been left back at the Cullen house). Because Bella’s senses were so sharp and clear, I chose actual blue satin for her dress and brown silk for her hair to give some sheen and vibrancy to the scene. I also made sure to show her knees when positioning her dress because she had split the material for her leap over the river. I hand-stitched lines for limb definition and her facial features, adding red French knots for her newborn vampire eyes. For the mountain lion I chose three varying shades of the same-patterned material so I could utilize them to give shading to the cat’s underside, paws and limbs. Again, hand-stitched lines define the cat’s hind quarters, slinking shoulder line and complete his facial features.

4 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Beth, great block. I love the blue satin! I also really love your 'natural elements' fabrics. This fits the description in the book to a t. Nicely done.

xo -E

Joyce said...

Beth, I think this block is awesome! I love how you found the perfect fabrics and captured the description from the book. Excellent job!!

Wanda said...

Well done! I like it so much and see your hard work.

Iris said...

ditto on the other comments. Really great visual. I think if I tried to do a mountain lion, and Bella's face it would look too cartoonish. this just looks like a photo translated to fabric. And AWESOME pine background!