Tag Archives: spiral

Sanctuary IV — Steve Irwin Tribute Quilt

Busy day. Photographing quilts. A new nail makes this wall of brick a possible site for pictures. I have to wait till the morning sun has gone.

This quilt was made in 2006 after the sudden death of Steve Irwin, better known as the Crocodile Hunter. With young boys in the house, we of course had enjoyed his enthusiastic interactions with animals.

I have made several quilts in the Sanctuary series, most with a central house or door. In this one, the door represents the opening into the mystery of death. The color, to my eye anyway, suggests comfort, coolness, reprieve — sanctuary.

Fabric notes — the aqua palm on black, upper right, was cut from an incredibly well-made gathered 50’s style skirt. It was made in Indonesia. The purple shell spiral is batik and was the second purchase I ever made on ebay. The aqua-dotted print with orange sea creatures seemed especially appropriate for such a nature lover.

Pushing one’s preferences, but not too much

This picture was shot under a sky light that was filtering northern light through a thin veil of snow — hence the blue cast.

Are all epiphanies obvious after the fact?  Here’s my latest, associated with making this little quilt — when taking on something new, don’t change up EVERYTHING else while you’re at it.

While consciously switching scale, palette, or medium is very instructive to an artist, and probably ought to be built into one’s work rhythm on a regular basis, juggling too many projects where everything is new is disorienting.

Case in point — my first script quilts (like the above).  I was busy shifting to a paler palette, sewing more by hand, trying out gel mediums and markers on fabric, weaving strips of fabric — and getting very frustrated because NOTHING was familiar (except the collage aspect).

For the  little spiral piece, I played with some of my most beloved fabrics. . . current fabrics (in use in the Global Warming Quilt that is in progress downstairs).   This is my preferred palette.  I am drawn to very saturated colors — not always this hot, but usually this saturated.  To mix in a few washed out hues was not enough to throw me.  Further, these are patterns I love — polka dots, solar disks, spirals.

So, the teeny scale and hand stitching, which are NOT usual for me, could be dealt with.

I picked a single variegated Sulky thread and stuck with it, so that I could focus on placement of stitches and not thread.  It was so pleasurable to stitch!

PS  I am thrilled to be pushing a needle through soft layers.  In the past, I have needed to use my TEETH, often, to get a needle through because I’ve backed my quilt with an upholstery fabric and layered applique on top of piecing, and sometimes added sections of previous quilts (that would be SIX layers, one of them upholstery-weight!).