I live in the heart of wine country in Northern California where balloon rides are quite common. In the early morning, when we go out running at one of our local parks, we can see them rising up one by one.
Of course, I had my trusty camera with me to take a few photos of the balloons dotting the sky.
Floating toward the rising sun
Pretty much all of my quilt patterns are inspired by life around me, and photography is a huge part of that. As you know, I love it enough to be taking one photo for every day of the year. I am hosting the monthly Wandering Camera event around that. I also love to paint those pictures with paper piecing. Once I had taken these photos, I just had to make a hot air balloon quilt pattern.
I started off with one large balloon above the mountains for a vertical wall hanging. Then I decided to add another, smaller balloon in the distance.
The two balloons and the mountains are standalone pieces in the pattern. They can therefore be made individually for different projects, or together. I drew the mountains in a way that I could make multiple copies and join them together to get one continuous piece.
I played with a few colourways after drawing the initial design.
The whole piece was very easy and quick to sew. The pattern is in shop if you would like to get a copy for yourself. Floating At Dawn finishes at 24″ x 20″.
I am outside around dawn so I can run in the cool morning air. That’s why I chose an early morning theme in the end.
After picking out a pale pink fabric for the sky, I got a bright red fabric for the up-close balloon and a faded blue for the one further away.
At that time the distant mountains in the east are still in the shades of greys and blues. We call them “Misty Mountains” and we hope never to encounter any nasty creatures. I randomly quilted zigzag lines around them.
For the sky, the quilting had to be a wavy air stream. ( I have gotten a little addicted to wavy quilting ever since I quilted The Dancing Wind that way. )
I was a little stumped about the binding. Finally I ended up using a starry sky fabric, as if the dawn is spreading out into the surrounding dark sky.
The design was completely inspired by photography. I am not a morning person, so this will serve as a good reminder to get up and enjoy the morning hours.