Monday, March 10, 2014

Cosmic Beading, Painted Batting, and Knitted Truffles

I'm working on three or four projects in tandem these days.  I'm doing this because I wanted to see what it would be like to work in parallel.  

Now I can report:  tandem projects don't necessarily cross-pollinate one another.  These three or four don't, anyway:  they're too different.  But working on parallel projects does bring one benefit:  the leeway to avoid getting tired of any one of them.  When one project gets tedious, I can switch to another one, opening my brain to something fresh and bracing.

That's what happened with this one, for example.  See those little tiny horizontal fence rails in this photo?  I'm making a quilt based on this photo, and today I got sick of quilting all those little lines back there.  So I set this project aside.

This quilt is aimed at a particular group:  patrons of the public library of Norfolk, CT.

It's a stunning little building if ever there was one.

I'm going to be displaying there with one of my fiber art groups, the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective, this coming May (2014).

In fact, we're stunning, too.  Don't you think?

The Norfolk librarians tell us that many of their patrons have weekend and vacation homes there, and that those homeowners love images of their town.  The librarians mentioned several spots as examples, and this rail fence was one of them. I drove up there in leaf season and took a few photos.

So I got this image printed on fabric, courtesy of an outfit called Spoonflower  I layered the image with quilt batting, but I extended the batting out a couple of inches past the image.  (In traditional quilts, the batting is hidden between the quilt top and the quilt backing.)

But in this quilt, the batting will protrude from under the quilt top.  I used Pebeo Setacolor watercolors to paint the batting, with the intention that it would serve as a sort of frame for the printed photo.

 Before I applied the paint to the batting, I experimented with choices, sponging color onto sample pieces of batting:

Once I got the batting painted, I placed a backing under the entire thing.  That batting will be quilted as part of the piece, but ultimately I'll trim it so that it only covers the back side of the photo, not the entire piece.  After quilting, the piece will be mounted on a piece of canvas which will be stretched around stretcher bars.

I'm going to have fun quilting the tree trunk--I'm going to slip some cording and fiberfill in strategic places between the photo and the batting to give the trunk some dimension:
In this photo, you can barely locate the boundary between the tree trunk printed on fabric and the painted quilt batting that extends a couple inches beyond it.  That's the effect I wanted.

So, when I get tired of using stitches to outline all the little tiny lines in the fence, I can turn to A Love Supreme.

If you read my previous blog post you may remember that this one is for Jazz Tones,  an exhibit to take place at Greater Hartford Arts Council's Pearl Street Gallery this coming summer.  Last time I blogged, I was sewing beads on this piece.  Today I'm STILL sewing beads on the piece, but getting close to enough.  When I work with beads, the big fear is violating the KISS rule (keep it simple, stupid) because it's all too easy for the beads to cross the line between stunning and tacky. 
When I get sick of sewing on those tiny beads, I can always turn to this next  project:

I really admire the work of the Swiss artist Paul Klee, and the painting above is an example.  To me those geometric pieces just beg to be re-imagined in applique.  You know what Klee named this painting?  Suspended Fruit (Hangende Fruchte).  No fruit I ever saw looked like that, except maybe the image near the upper right looks like a pear.  Nevertheless, I love this painting, especially the warm cinnamon and chocolate colors against the rich green.  I also love it that these pieces remind me of chocolate truffles.  Especially the ones on the lower right and lower left.

So I'm reproducing those shapes in yarn.  Specifically, I'm knitting them.  I got a piece of deep green velvet to place them on.  I'm trying to make it look like a luxurious candy box.  I may put yo-yos, in yummy shades of chocolate, on top of each truffle.  I'm going to edge the whole thing with ruched velvet welting.  Ooooooh!

With this piece, I'm not crazy about the uneven edges on the knitted diamonds, so maybe I'll go on and layer something else in there to attract some attention.  Like diamonds of brown silk layered with quilt batting and finished like tiny quilts.

But before I can get discouraged because there are too many fence rails, or because the beads are too tiny, or the edges on the truffles aren't straight and crisp, I can just drop one piece and pick up the next.  They don't really cross fertilize one another because they're too different (quilting, knitting, beading). The hope is that none of them ends up abandoned forever, but that transitioning between them will enable me to approach each one with new enthusiasm and interest after putting it aside for a bit.  .

So far, I like the way it's working.

No comments:

Post a Comment