These photographs were taken on a trip to Italy a few years ago. I don’t often look back at photos, even though I always think I will do just that. Time gives me an opportunity to view the photos, with a fresh perspective.
This of selection photographs from Rome, Venice, and Pompeii have a common theme. They are mostly monochromatic so that the texture is evident. Even the facade of the wall in Venice is various shades of a beautiful terracotta that has faded in places to a soft peach.
How often do you go back to your vacation photos and look at what you decided to record? You might be surprised at what your photographs reveal!
A friend and I visited the Aga Khan Museum this weekend. A very knowledgeable and enthusiastic docent began our visit with an introduction on the design of the building by architect: Fumihiko Maki. He was given the theme of light as his inspiration. An interior courtyard brings light into the center of the building and provides a lovely outdoor space in warm weather.
Artifacts that are centuries old have colours, textures and designs that seem modern and timeless.
The museum’s collection of pottery, glass, metalwork, and calligraphy is a source of inspiration.
The mosaic tiles in the fountain can be translated directly into quilt blocks.
Turquoise, blue, and gold colours found in the pottery, are some of my favourites and I imagine them in a project.
More designs that can be directly translated into quilt blocks. Also Ideas for arranging the blocks in various configurations.
The circular design in the candlestick above reminds me of the New York Beauty block. I can imagine this block on a solid background and heavily quilted with angular lines like in the background above.
Two dishes in the collection look very modern. I loved the simplicity and elegance of the designs. More information for both of these pieces and many others are available on the museum website in the Collection Highlights tab.
Although the Aga Khan Museum features historical cultural artifacts from Islamic civilizations, it also features contemporary artwork. The piece above: Flying Carpet by Farhad Moshiri is a stack of 32 machine-made carpets that has a fighter plane cut out of the centre. The artist, Moshiri, was inspired by a documentary on Afghan carpet weavers. They had been incorporating modern technologies into the design of the carpets – planes, drones and other military armaments.
Another special exhibit on display until March 26, 2017 is Syria: A Living History. This exhibit contains historical artifacts and contemporary artwork illustrating the diverse culture and history of Syria. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in this exhibit, so you will have to visit the museum to see the collections in person. The grounds around the museum are also worth visiting – I will need to return in the spring when the weather is a bit warmer!
If you have love art and textiles, make your way to the Art Gallery of Burlington for the third biennial fibre art show: Fibre Content 2016. The juried exhibit is on from September 8-18, 2016 and showcases outstanding Canadian artists.
l attended the opening reception on Sunday, September 11th with my friend Helen (@piece_by_piece) and her proud mother Barbara. Helen’s piece: Seaton Trail was hung in the gallery space where it could be seen from the entrance.
I met and spoke to Jennifer Earle who wove, embroidered and beaded the beautiful shawl above. The details are stunning!
Jennifer also created the hanger out of copper tubing to display her entry.
This was the first time I had ever attended and so happy to see the amazing works on display. There were 125 pieces on display in 2 gallery rooms. The three jurors chose these from the 218 submissions from 102 artists.
I spoke to Pat Hertzberg, a textile and mixed-media artist who recently moved and how this change has influenced her artwork. Her artwork conveys a lightness and transparency that is beautiful.
This triptych of floating feathers made by Gunnel Hag captured their effortless flight. She had originally displayed it horizontally, but after seeing it hung vertically, Gunnel thought it might even flow better.
Mita Giacomini was one of the very talented fibre artist who had 2 pieces in the show as well as coordinating the interactive exhibit. Here she is in front of the board that shows how she creates her work.
She calls the technique she developed “surface weaving.” She described the process and had the sample to illustrate the steps involved. Mita also has information on her website as well as photographs of her other pieces in this series: Overhead Underfoot.
A feature of the show is the series of Artist Talks given by three fibre artists. These one hour talks are free of charge and open to everyone. The first talk was given by Dianne Gibson on Saturday, but you still have time to hear: Maggie Vanderweit on Wed. Sept. 14th from 10 -11 am and Mita Giacomini on Sun Sep 18th from 1-2 pm.
The photographs I took are just a small sampling of the beautiful work presented in the Fibre Content show. I hope you have the opportunity to see the outstanding art in person. Fibrations is the not-for-profit organization that organizes Fibre Content. All of the artwork in this show will be featured on the Web gallery, where information for the past two shows: 2012 and 2014 can be found.
I took the photograph of the fuchsias a couple of years ago with the idea of using them in a quilt design. I took a workshop taught by Helen Garland through the Yorkshire Rose Quilters’ Guild of Toronto based on Ruth McDowell’s art quilting techniques.
In the class we learned to how to draft a pattern from our own photograph using Ruth McDowell’s technique. Helen was an excellent teacher, explaining the concepts, design and sewing techniques that make Ruth’s quilts so original.
I’ve focused my design on three of the larger fuchsias and the three small buds on top. I’ve eliminated extraneous leaves and flowers to focus on the elements that I thought would make a good design.
You can see my original design and the enlarged copy. The finished piece will be about 48″ x 56″. I am excited to be trying Ruth’s techniques. She has written a few books explaining her design and piecing techniques. The books are available on her website. The next logical step is to trace the design onto freezer paper. But, my next step is to pull fabrics from my stash – I can’t wait!
I have a fabric challenge that I signed up for and am committed to having a finished piece by the end of November. I had a couple of ideas for the quilt but I haven’t narrowed down the concept so that I can begin.
One of my ideas is to use the log cabin block, another is to base the quilt on architecture.
Looking back at some photos taken on vacation last year may provide the spark that I need.
Tumbling blocks, rail fence, hexagons, attic windows, these are just a few of the patterns I see.
Inspiration is all around us, we just have to look for it.
One of the sketches I drew had a diagonal line from the left side of the page creating a sort of perspective. I liked the idea of creating depth in the piece by using colours. If I divided the colours I had selected into light and dark I could maybe create this illusion. These ideas brought to mind a couple of quilts I saw at QuiltCon this past February.
Chawne Timber of Completely Cauchy has created a series of log cabin style quilts based on her family history. In Anniston is a beautiful quilt that really captured my imagination when I saw it in person. Chawne used hand dyed indigo for the dark logs and various shades of cream for the light logs as well as some reds and green logs as accents. The placement of the light and dark logs emphasize the dark side of the log cabin. It really seemed to be in shadow.
Chawne’s pieces were very tiny, creating a lot of depth and movement. So, I thought that using the log cabin block would let me create the idea of depth and perspective. I did a rough sketch of the design above.
I wanted to vary the width of the logs and used both half inch and one inch finished logs. This quilt is not pieced in the traditionally method, rather I pieced sections of strips together and then attached these as a unit. I cut the navy solid and print in one inch finished strips to emphasize the idea of steps leading in towards the centre.
There is a tiny bit of green and coral the inspiration photograph. I used Jean Well’s technique of narrow insert piecing to add these bits of colour. I love the way they pop out of the dark blues.
Log cabin quilts symbolize hearth and home, security and stability. The centre is usually red to reflect the fireplace that was the centre of the home and the light logs represented the side of the home facing the sunshine, while the dark faced the shadow. My inspiration photo was a couple embracing in their bedroom with the closet in the background. Truly an intimate and safe place.
I decided to hand quilt this piece and auditioned a few different threads including a rayon perle and a variegated sulky.
In the end I hand quilted with the dark blue and white rayon perle thread. I really like the strong linear quality the stitches gives to the piece.
I am happy to announce that this quilt was chosen as the winner of the Not Quite President’s Challenge. As well as the fabulous ribbon made by Becky, I received a one year membership to the Textile Museum of Canada!
The Toronto Modern Quilt Guild does not officially have a president. Rather two of our members, Rebecca and Andrea are acting as co-presidents. They have been doing a fantastic job in organizing our growing guild. This year they decided to host the Not Quite President’s Challenge. All the members were given a magazine, told to go to page 25 (there were 25 members at that particular meeting) and use that page as inspiration to create a small quilt.
The ad pictured above was on page 25 of my magazine. Anything on this page could be used as inspiration: the colours, shapes, words, anything! The quilt could have a maximum perimeter of 60″ and could be made using any technique.
I was really attracted to the Greek Key design in the rug shown in the picture. I started to piece this block using a warm rich brown and cream. After spending a bit of time making what you see above, I decided I didn’t really like where the design was heading.
I sketched a few designs on a piece of paper and also wrote down some key words from the photo. The colours include: brown, navy, white, green and fuchsia. The designs include: greek key, piping, curved light (fixture), lines both horizontal in the rug and vertical in the hanging clothes and the two people. I wanted focus words to help me plan the quilt.
I remembered Jean Wells’ book: Intuitive Colour & Design and read it again for inspiration. The chapter: Color Through My Eyes was especially helpful in deciding on a palette of colours. One of the assignments in this chapter deals with proportion. In this assignment you: 1) choose a colour source for inspiration – the ad; 2) write down the colours from your inspiration – the sketch above; 3) give each of the colours a percentage rating so that you can see how much or little of that particular colour is represented; 4) go back to the inspiration and look again carefully, make note of any background or dull colours you may have missed the first time.
The photograph above shows the fabrics from I pulled from my stash. I don’t have them organized by proportion yet. After my initial selection I added the two light blue pieces. One of the design elements I really like from the photo is the crispness of the piping on the chair. I also like the fine narrow lines of the piping and the light fixture. I want to include these elements that Jean calls: narrow insert piecing.
I don’t have many solid white in my stash, but found these tone-on-tone whites. I don’t know if I will use them, I may add a few more or eliminate some fabrics as I begin to work.