Saturday, August 6, 2016

For ME Friday: Trenton Makes

I always try to take Friday's to work on my own projects.  I have to, if not, I would never get a chance to work on my own stuff.  As much as I love stitching on client quilts, I also love creating my own pieces (although sometimes I get to a spot of dislike).

So today I worked on my bridge project as it is due in November.  My Journeys Thru Art challenge for this year is bridges.  I am doing the Trenton Makes Bridge - also known as the Lower Trenton Bridge as well as the Warren Street Bridge.  It is a truss bridge that crosses the Delaware River between Trenton, NJ and Morrisville, PA.  Why did I choose it?  It's a part of me, my history - you all know I'm originally from Trenton, NJ right, besides, it is a really cool bridge (especially at night when the words are lit).

So awhile back I had asked my good friend's brother (a pro-photographer) to get a fantastic pic of the bridge for me -- since I'm way down here in SoFlo.  There are a million photos on the internet but I wanted something special and also didn't want to deal with tracking down sources and rights and attempting to obtain permissions (and yes, I do have Robert's permission for use).  Here's the photo that Robert took:
Photo credit: Robert Bruschini Images, LLC
It is an awesome photo but, it comes with a story...
Robert and his wife wanted to get the sunrise behind this bridge.  So they woke up super early to get over to the PA side of the bridge to get the sun rising on the NJ side.  It was awesome, right?  BUT... did you know that they shut down the neon letters in the wee hours of the morning?  Nope, neither did they, so Robert did a little photoshopping to add the neon back into the awesome pic.

It is truly an awesome photo but, I needed to crop it down to be more bridge less scene to keep with the guidelines of our challenge.  So here is the cropped version:
Photo credit: Robert Bruschini Images, LLC
I still wanted to keep those intense blues in the first picture, so I commissioned Cindy Lohbeck of Hands on Hand Dyes to dye up awesome fabrics.  And she did!  She dyed up a few samples and sent me a bundle of goodies to choose from -- hahaha, choose, I wanted them all - just look at them!

Only two made it into the bridge project, but I will definitely find a use for all the others!  So here is the sky (sapphire blue) and the water (sapphire blue & black - Arashi shibori).  I had to piece the water on the diagonal to get the ripples going the right direction.  The background is much wider than my design board, which is why there is so much drape on the side -- the master copy I'm working from is about 65x36.  And, of course, the lighting isn't perfect (it was late):

So then came the steel work.  Hmm... all I can say is it was frustrating.  The master copy is black and white and trying to find the lines within the pattern was confusing and difficult.  I finally realized that it would have to be constructed in two layers.  Once I figured that out, the rest was just a lot of tracing to get my pattern pieces:

So that's where I'm at -- today I'll finish cutting out the pattern pieces and decide on a bridge structure fabric.  The bridge is that weird green, what I call Statue-of-Liberty green, but at night and with the glow of the lights and neon it turns into an even stranger golden-green-grey -- yeah, I'm sure I'll find fabric like that, or... paint!

So happy Saturday quilty peeps - hope your weekend is wonderful!


  1. I am also from South Jersey. Worked in Cranbury for a few years before leaving the area.I used to love all the great Italian cooking in the "Burg". This was many years ago. Graduated high school in South Jersey also. Next time I see you (Gammill conference) we'll have to talk.

  2. So excited to see which you picked, and how the project will proceed!

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