Thursday, August 4, 2011

More Adventures with New Materials

Working toward a harvest-themed show coming up this fall, I've been playing with an image of a cabbage.  I planned to make this image into a whole cloth quilt--one that isn't pieced but made up of one big piece of fabric.  This one would be painted, then layered with batting and backing and quilted on the lines of the veins.  That in itself is a novelty:  until now, all my cabbage quilts have been pieced.

When you make a whole cloth quilt, whatever you do to the whole piece of cloth better be good, because that's the whole show. 

I wanted to execute this image in a large-ish format, but first I did some practices in smaller sizes.
First I tried Pebeo Setacolor paints and the result was too washed-out.
Yesterday I tired with Jacquard Lumiere acrylics, and the result lacks subtlety:

I can see there's a learning curve with new materials. I don't like the results I'm getting, so I'm gonna abandon this whole-cloth concept for now and go back to the method I used for my other cabbages:  a pieced quilt made with handpainted fabric embellished with Shiva paintsticks.  In fact, already I've painted yardage to be used for it.  More on that in a minute.

Meanwhile, still in a spirit of experimentation, I decided to see whether I could preserve some cabbage leaves with glycerin--the better, perhaps, to use them for sunprints, or rubbings, or even to incorporate whole cabbage leaves themselves into some kind of fabric collage.  I'm trying two ways to preserve them:

This one I immersed in a mixture of one part glycerin to two parts boiling water.
For these I immersed the stems in the same mix--one part glycerin, two parts water.
Then the one that had been immersed got hung out to dry:

So while the final results of the glycerin experiment are still outstanding, I soothed my jittery soul by using some familiar materials to make some things I know how to make.       

Like making sunprints of birch leaves

And painting new fabric for a pieced cabbage quilt. Maybe this time, just to get some novelty, I'll wire some of the leaves and make them three-dimensional. So my results with whole cloth painting were not what I had hoped.  But I'm still going to quilt them.  Why not?


  1. Even the ones you don't love are beautiful.

  2. What fun! I can't wait to see it in real life!!!