Up, Up and Away

There was no school today, and normally I would have cherished the opportunity to sleep in past the crack of dawn instead of waking up teenage boys. However, the Preakness Balloon Festival is going on just a few minutes from where I live, and a “mass ascension” was scheduled for 6:00 AM. How could I pass that up? So much floating fabric and color!

When I arrived at the fairgrounds at 5:40 AM(yes, you read that correctly) it appeared that perhaps only two balloons were going to be involved. I was a little deflated (haha).

Sunrise at the Howard County Fairgrounds

I didn’t realize how quickly a hot air balloon could be inflated, and by 6:00 more than ten balloons were nearly ready to take off.

I knew that I would not create photos of entire balloons, or even several entire balloons together, that would be in any way unique or memorable to me. Instead, I decided to study the color, line, and construction. After all, part of the fascination of the balloons is their shape, which is definitely related to the stitching used to create them.

Bystanders wait to see the balloons ascend at the 2017 Preakness Balloon Festival ©Diane Rusin Doran
Bystanders wait to see the balloons ascend at the 2017 Preakness Balloon Festival ©Diane Rusin Doran
 2017 Preakness Balloon Festival ©Diane Rusin Doran
The juxtaposition of colors was marvelous
 2017 Preakness Balloon Festival ©Diane Rusin Doran
Look at how the lines of stitching add structure and design elements
 2017 Preakness Balloon Festival ©Diane Rusin Doran
Maybe a little bit Dresden Platish?

Some of the balloons flew right over head, giving an entirely different perspective, and revealing more of the construction details.

 2017 Preakness Balloon Festival ©Diane Rusin Doran
I didn’t take a photo of this balloon in its entirety as it had teddy bears on the side that were not to my taste. However, look how interesting it looks from this angle.
2017 Preakness Balloon Festival ©Diane Rusin Doran
Notice how the triangular basket echoes the chevron design on the balloon ©Diane Rusin Doran
2017 Preakness Balloon Festival ©Diane Rusin Doran
The transparency of the fabric created beautiful designs.

I came away with all kinds of inspiration. It’s remarkable that the unique nature of fabric, and it’s ability to be sculpted by stitch, can result in such beautiful creations. Kind of like quilts, hmmm?

And, of course, it was lovely when the balloons took off and flew towards the sunrise.

 

7 Responses to Up, Up and Away

  1. I didn’t know that happened either. I would go to see that! Your photos are wonderful. I liked the way you talk about the fabric. The line and shape. I’m inspired!

  2. Thank you so much Helen and Susan! Maybe next year I can round up a few other quilters to go too.

  3. Beautiful pictures and commentary. Loved seeing these balloons through your camera’s eye.
    Truly inspirational!!

    Miss you!

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