Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Crest Trail- Finished

I finished this quilt just in time for and end-of-January entry deadline, and delayed showing the final quilt lest I jinx it!  In the end it didn't get into that show, but I recently found out that it has been accepted into Fiberworks 2016, a show here in Oklahoma City.  For any locals, please join us for the opening, next Friday (July 15) from 6-9 at the IAO gallery at 706 W. Sheridan.

It's been a while since I talked about this quilt; I designed it to depict my favorite section of my favorite childhood hiking trail, Crest Trail #25, from Monjeau (which falls more or less at the top right/northeast) to the base of Ski Apache (which falls on the bottom left/southwest).  Each layer of fabric coordinates to a 160 ft elevation topo line from the USGS maps of the White Mountain Wilderness in New Mexico.

I talked before, here in detail about how I painted the fabric and cut and assembled the pieces.  But for anyone who is just checking in, all the fabric was hand painted, after cutting but before assembling.  The background (with front-batting-backing) was free motion quilted first, and then painted and used as the base on which all the layers were assembled.

Topography #2: Crest Trail, c. Shannon Conley, 2016, 42 x 28 x 4
Each of those funny spots that looks like a big stitch on the front is a place where the wire comes through all the layers.   Between each layer a pony bead is strung on the wire to prevent the layers collapsing on themselves.  Many thanks to Mike for taking the final pictures.

So this is my tribute to one of my very very favorite places in the whole world.   The number of memories I have hiking this trail is too many to count.  The colors, while obviously not realistic are meant to capture the transitions this trail goes through- many forested areas with either old growth or new growth forest, as well as open, treeless saddle areas where the green grass quite quickly turns to golden yellow in our dry New Mexico climate.  Unfortunately, the area was devastated by a forest fire a couple years back, and now looks very different.

Making this was both a technical challenge and a wonderful mental and emotional exercise.  I love the way it turned out and wish I could spend more time there.  I hope that some of you can get out to see the show at IAO, Fiberworks is always great.  It features tons of different types of fiber art, not just art quilts.

Linking up with the fabulous Nina-Marie as always!


  1. Interesting and creative work! Lookin' good!

  2. Congrats on your show acceptance. It's a fabulous piece!

  3. Congratulations on getting into the show, I'm so glad you showed us the finished piece. I can see why technically it was challenging, great idea using the pony beads between the layers. Great job.

  4. I love the technique and the colors. I think SAQA has a call out on Layers....have you considered entering it in that?

  5. Love this! Very inspiring. I have been thinking of doing something from a topographical map on lakes. But I haven't even found the map yet :-)