Saturday, 29 April 2017

Layers of Rust art quilt

I've been working on a small art quilt which is almost totally hand made with no machine stitching except for adding the binding. I'm really pleased with it.

I seem to be drawn to the idea of windows with different colours and textures peeping through. This piece was inspired by a wonderful photo I saw by photographer Janet Little Jeffers.

I'm not exactly sure what the picture is but I think it may be some kind of rust. As you can see, I've followed the pattern pretty closely. The original is here.

Now I look at the photo again, I'm wishing I'd built up the textures on my quilt a little more. I was impatient as usual and couldn't wait until I had exactly the material I wanted. I dyed an old tea towel to get the rust orange colour which worked well.  I used some pale blue printed cotton for the fabric on the right when really I wanted something a bit more grainy. Then I dyed some cotton for the dark blue when  I should have used something dark and shiny. You'd think I'd learn but once I decide to start I can't wait to buy material and have to use whatever's to hand.

The material I was most pleased with was the lighter orange on the top layer. I dyed a piece of cotton then used some acrylic paint and my new gelli plate to pattern it. I'm definitely going to experiment more with using the gelli plate to print on fabric.

The final piece measures 13" x 9.5" Here's a close up of the orange bit and the nice curly blue embroidery. I really like the gold thread I used too.

The blue swirls are actually just french knots but they're made round a little wooden knitting needle to make it them huge.

All in all I'm really pleased with this and it's made me want to do more hand quilting.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Mandala wall hanging

Finally finished my wall hanging mandala. Unfortunately it's proving very difficult to photograph. This is the best I can do.

It looks creased here but it isn't. The close ups look better. The close ups below start with the tree in the centre which is supposed to be some sort of tree of life. Then the five arches represent various elements of out world. From left to right they are the sea, the sky, the sun, the rain and the earth.

And the figures at the bottom represent the different types of life on earth; animals of the air, the water and the land.

The centre of the whole thing is based on traditional Buddhist mandalas. It looks a bit better in this picture.

I really enjoyed designing this but one thing I've learnt is how important the feel of a piece is. I normally work on a quilted background but this is flatter. To help it keep its shape I backed it with some fairly stiff interfacing and I have to say I really didn't enjoy the stiff feel as I worked. I think in future I will just back things with cotton. I don't like using an embroidery frame for the same reason; I like to feel the material.

I've recently put a few of the things I've made on etsy but I'm not really expecting to sell anything. I've noticed that unframed textiles don't tend to sell and I'm not that fussed so it's not worth framing them. It would be quite nice to sell one or two just to lighten the pile a bit and provide some funds for more materials!