Tag Archives: rayon

Something lightens

river-house-placed

“River House”

This house was built in preparation for the class I’m teaching this Saturday at the Boston Center for the Arts.*  While probably not apparent to a viewer, this quilt pulls together many elements of recent learning.

How so? For one, it’s lighter than I usually work (exploring white online with Jude Hill).  It has a less defined horizon line. The house sinks into its surroundings better and displays a little perspective (the two barn pieces taught much!!! here and here).  And, the attachment techniques are more refined (and yes, that is the same green plaid I used to roof the two big Barns).

river-house-only

component building

Off-top building” —

By that I mean connecting small elements with stitch prior to trying to connect them with the background (the “top”).  In this case, I HAD to stitch these teeny house elements together, because I couldn’t keep lifting and shifting the background fabrics without going nuts if I hadn’t. Once stitched, I could easily lift the entire component and rearrange the background fabrics.

Note to self: when constructing a component, use pieces of fabric that are already part of the background!

Reducing the number of pins required for when the piece is in your lap is always a good thing. And, this component-building has the additional virtue of reducing stress about shifting windows and doors, some of which are smaller than a standard-sized postage stamp.

River-house-all-pins

‘sky’ fabrics dyed in backyard last summer using chemical indigo (I know! I know! – haven’t gotten to the plants, yet)

Again, because of the work with white over at Spirit Cloth, I laid some gauze over rectangles on the surface. They are staying. For a while, I shifted the house lower down (photo above) and exposed a piece of the underlying linen napkin (just above the roof). I liked wondering what it might be like to leave an unadorned white section, there, right in the center of the quilt. What matters? The house? Or the empty space above?

river-house-cheater-water

‘shadow’ of house is an overlay of polyester from a shirt

It is not something I have committed to yet. In the photo above, I have shifted the house back to center, covering not only the white linen, but that mauve rectangle (another goodie from Sandy Meegan, by the way!!).  I like knowing that that empty rectangle is still there, even if I’ve covered it.

Of course, the entire underlying linen napkin is THERE.

The pale blue water fabric came from a fabulous skirt depicting scenes of a European city on a river. I normally eschew ‘cheater’ fabrics (the name says everything, doesn’t it?), but here I am happy to employ.

*********************************************************************************************************************

Back in 1980, I lived in SF and worked in a copy shop.  The best part of the job was access to a color copier, which was BRAND NEW technology then!  The house image came from a photo of a duplex I occupied during the last two years of college.

isabella-street-xerox

isabella-street-greenAnd here’s a more recent picture (photoshopped church from Newtonville):

newtonville-churchLastly, a collaged card using a cut out photo of a quilt and an Inkydinkydoo moon stamp:

moon-and-katy-poster-edgeAdios!

* Class is at Boston Center for the ArtsSat. June 1, 10:00 to 1:00
Free! (but contact the Center, it might be full).
617-426-5000

Lining up

lower right section of Global Warming 7-footer

I keep going back and forth on this project.  Should I complete it as intended (roughly 7′ x 4′), or break it into sections and move the thing along?

This little section (photo above) floated upstairs today and looks complete to me.

But I’m not quite willing to give up the big design yet.


Because I am not a planner, at this stage of production I often find ‘log jams’, or areas where the rectangular pieced sections are not lining up and where I am not willing to chop or add to accommodate completing a rectangle.


Once I pinned up some green grosgrain to divide sections, it suddenly seemed (seamed?) do-able.  Note to self: remember that this is a visual process and that you have a visual sensibility (“DOH”).

There have been quilts that undergo enormous changes at this phase… quilts where I find myself swapping out some of the larger chunks.  This has been partially in service of making the rectangles fit (think “Tetris”) and partially  because it can be fun to see how things look when the design is a little less conscious.

This particular piece, however, has been in formation for well over a year and I am eager to get to the final stretch.  And, I am feeling a strange loyalty to the design as I have constructed it.

The edges will pose problems.  My plan is to use some of the cool-toned patterns (the Anna Maria Horner large blue floral and a shimmery green near-solid) to fill in and frame the edges where I need another inch or two.  I will TRY to avoid the temptation to keep piecing/adding complexity.

What will be fun is to create a slide show of the quilt in its many phases and see how it has changed over four seasons.

For the finish — instead of using a whole cloth back and pinning the entire thing up and shoving it through my Bernina with a great deal of cussing, I think I’ll quilt it in sections.  I plan to use some overlays on the back, perhaps even with raw edges, to connect up.

Given that one of the problems with this piece is its scale — I really don’t love working this large — then it is obvious that if I want to continue producing pieces of this size, I have to figure out how to do it in a way that works with my style, studio space, equipment, and temperament.

Which reminds me that my word for 2010 is ‘congruence’.

I am so, so eager to find both the style of working and the subjects & images that really line up with who it is that stands with the needle in her hand, with the scissors at her side, and with her particular demons at her back.

Rearranging the pieces

That incredible constellation fabric was the ’tissue paper’ for my Christmas gift from a friend in Maine (Lisa makes bowties).  I needn’t tell you that the silk patterned with stars was gift enough!

Nearly all of these sections were pieced into three long-ish strips and made it up onto the board.

The stars only show up in small rectangles, though, meaning that the nice night atmosphere created by having a horizon line, did not transition off of this work surface.

I have been thinking that all of these sections may need to divide into TWO QUILTS — one depicting night and one depicting day.

about six feet tall

Clip art polar bearing (top right) is going.  Entire top treatment, in fact, to be revised.

Here you can see where some of the fish batik and dusty-blue rayon-shirt-spirals ended up.  I may have to dunk that ‘tavern’ swatch into tea for a couple of hours — it pops a little too much.

Here’s what I rearranged on the floor with remnants: