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The Bus at the Beach.

I started with a strip quilt for the sky, ocean, sunset reflection, sand and parking lot.

Very few things scream Southern California beach culture like an old VW bus.  Especially with a surfboard strapped to the top. I know they came from Germany and originated with no thought of the hippie life, but here, they are nostalgic and look their best with a peace sign wheel cover on the front up against an ocean backdrop. We used to have a white one and though we got tired of repairing it on a regular basis, I do miss roadtripping in it.  This quilt was inspired by all the times I’ve seen one, often with the baby blue accents, parked at a beach while a surfer gets ready to head out to catch some waves.  I designed it so you would only see half of the classic front end, with it’s signature circle headlights, the old 1960’s split window and of course, a surfboard leaning up against it.  You can see the parking lot and posts and in the background, the beautiful California sunset coming to an end.  This surfer is heading out for a famous sunset surfing session to relax after a day of work.

I have an awesome homemade frame I use to stretch my quilts out so I can create the appliqué design while being able to step back and look at it vertically. Next, I added the sun and the bus.

The background is a strip quilt and I gradated the colors to capture the darkening sky at dusk and the sunset reflecting off the water. I pieced together the strips and the parking lot colors.  The sun, posts and bus are all appliqué. I love the contrasting colors, the larger, rounder shapes of the sun and the bus against the angular lines of the sunset. My backgrounds are often a little impressionistic while the appliqué details clarify what you need to know about the scene. This quilt didn’t last long, and I truly think it is because it’s such a classic, nostalgic image.  If you’ve been here in San Diego for any length of time, you’ve seen this play out in person. It still makes me smile.

Next, I added the fun details on the VW bus. The bumper, headlight, peace sign, and the surf board.
The back is a fun stylized sun batik. always love to see the stitching on the backs of my quilts.
A little close-up so you can see the stitching from the back a little better.
My quilts have a thin layer of all cotton batting so they are nice and warm, but light enough to fold up and carry with you.

 

 

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