Sunday, October 23, 2011

More in the C&G

This week I worked on the last 'Activity' in Module 4 of my Creative Techniques: Quilting, and sent several series of photos off to Linda.  Why a series?  Well....

Photo courtesy Victorian Embroidery and Crafts
This Activity continued thoughts about line____________________, and added a bit about texture, too, with the introduction of creating line with couching.  (Thanks to Sharon B, embroiderer extraordinaire for her wonderful Stitch Dictionary.)

I've done couching before, and I had no trouble selecting a favourite shape -- the triangle, shown first on paper in my sketchbook...

Sketchbook - March 2011
Sketchbook too - March 2011
And then created with stamps on some of my hand-dyed fabric:

Stamped fabric - March 2011
Six months farther on, we are now exploring these shapes in greater depth as part of an overall composition, preparatory to creating two quilts by the end of the course (i.e. in the next four Modules).  So, I took my shape and did this with a 12" square:


This is pre-quilting.  The triangles have been fused and stitched with satin stitch; the 'path' linking the series on the right is also satin stitch.  The cord has been couched by machine with variegated thread and a large zig-zag stitch.  Next, I added quilting:

The straight lines on the left are intended to add rigidity to that side of the piece; see the baby triangle "blossom" on the left side?  Then I added more quilting...and auditioned some beads...

Not quite what I had in mind.  I auditioned beads in a few more combinations:

How about this?
Or this?
Or this?

In our e-mails back and forth, Linda made helpful observations and reminded me that I needed to think about what I was really trying to accomplish with the beads.  AHA!!  From the start of the composition, I was thinking about the triangles on the left as free spirits, representing growth, spontaneity and joy -- compared to the rigid, orderly, ducks-in-a-row, clock-punching types on the right.  So this is what I finally decided (binding and final bead attachment pending):

Free Spirits - October 2011
A significant outcome of the "Aha!" for me, though, was not simply remembering what I wanted elements of the design to do, but also that a quilt becomes art when the maker goes about it's creation intentionally -- plans his or her use of colour,texture, line, shape and so on, with a view to creating a balanced, unified whole that has a focal point to which the eye travels, as well as a place or places on which the eye can rest.  I just might be catching on to the artist's approach to life...

Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment. (Baltasar Gracian)*

*found on Robert Genn's website, The Painter's Keys.


Gina said...

I like the concept in this piece and how it is portrayed. I would love to take a formal picture of it.

Judy Warner said...

Wow, Margaret! You sound like a real professional! I love the design, particularly the quilting. :)


Linda A. Miller said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful process, Margaret. Love the design and concept behind it!