It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with the intention of creating some artwork. I was able to do so at a quilt retreat I attended recently. I went to the retreat with the intention of playing and trying something new. The result was this small minimal modern textile painting created with Oakshott Fabrics and one of my hand dyed linens.
It was so much fun to sit and create without expectations! The shot cottons have a beautiful sheen as does the linen. The fabrics add a lot of depth and the machine quilting provide texture. This piece doesn’t have a name yet. What would you call it?
I happily delivered a modern memory quilt commissioned as a Christmas gift. Mom had carefully stored a selection of baby clothes that she wanted me to incorporate into a lap sized quilt for her daughter.
I separated the baby clothing into pastels and bright colours. It became obvious seeing the clothing that the quilt was going to be double sided.
I cut the largest size squares or rectangle possible out of the clothing.
Since most of the clothing was made out of stretchy knits, each piece was interfaced to stabilize it.
Pastel side of the quilt with embroidered collar, yoke and appliques, carefully cut out and positioned.
Bright side with a note to myself pinned to the onesie, not to iron on top of it!
A flannelette baby blanket was put aside to make the binding.
Mom’s side of the quilt featuring pinks and pastels.
Detail of a beautiful embroidery.
Dad’s side of the quilt featuring a Toronto Maple Leaf onesie, christmas hat and brights.
The idea for this quilt really came together after hearing the story behind the very diverse selection of baby clothes. When the baby was brought home from the hospital, they realized that most of the clothing was too large. So, the new mom asked the dad to go out shopping for some smaller sizes. You can see from clearly which ones were purchased by the dad! I am happy to have been able to make this memory quilt.
This series of textile paintings are the first three I created and set on canvas. The canvas was originally painted medium blue. Once the pieces were attached, I found the background was too dark and the quilted artwork did not show well. So, I repainted the canvas white and I am much happier with how the quilted pieces look.
attended a quilt retreat with a very small amount of my hand dyed fabrics
used canvas to frame quilted pieces
The quilt retreat was the perfect time to play with the ideas of minimalism and experiment with the technique of inserting narrow strips. There was no pressure to create a finished piece. But, I was so happy with the works I created, that I did finish all three!
Inserting very narrow strips of colour into the pieces was very satisfying. Continuing my experiments with this technique, I created tiny pieces of quilted art: Fineline Brooches and recently made: Lipstick and Mascara. I am not finished with the Fineline Series of textile paintings, there is still so much more to explore.
These are the Vista textile paintings before the change of colour in the background. What do you think of the colour change?
I have recently completed four new textile paintings. This series called: Lipstick & Mascara are a part of the Precious Snowflakes Holiday Art Sale and Festival. The Yellow House Gallery on Kingston Road in Toronto with the Cobalt Gallery and Clay Studio are hosting this event. Small pieces of original art will be on display at these two venues and available for sale from November 17, 2017 to January 20, 2018.
Early in the new year I began working on a new piece for the International Textile Art Contest, held in Verona, Italy. My piece, The Fever was accepted into this juried show. When I was notified of my acceptance, I decided to attend Verona Tessile 2017.
Verona Tessile is organized by the Ad Maiora Association, in collaboration with the Verona Municipality to promote textiles as an art form. This year, the theme of the International Textile Art Contest was: Love, the red thread that unites. Thirty-four works were accepted into the show, one of which was my piece: The Fever.
The international exhibit was held at the Palazzo dei Mutilati in the historic centre of Verona, steps from the Verona Arena a Roman amphitheatre. Eight other exhibitions were held around Verona, highlighting quilts and textile arts. More photos on these will come later!
Last year I made Spiral, a small quilt for the Crossing Borders Art Group. I knew I wanted to try the same technique to make a larger work. The Verona Tessile International exhibit provided the perfect opportunity. I began with a selection of fabrics in black to grey, burgundy to pink in hand dyed and commercial cottons, linens, and silk and pieced a large log cabin block.
Once the log cabin top was completed, I drew a spiral freehand, coming out of the centre square. With my hand dyed cotton, I made a narrow bias strip which was pinned and pressed into the spiral shape I had drawn.
Next was the scariest step – cutting the spiral!
The bias strip was carefully stitched from the centre square out. I love how inserting the bias strip caused the log cabin to twist around, distorting the block. The central portion was layered with wool batting over cotton quilt batting and machine quilted in a spiral.
In submitting my piece into the Verona Tessile show, I need to write a description of the techniques, materials and motivation behind the work. This is the what I wrote:
In my piece, The Fever, the bright red thread of love emerges from the central square of a log cabin block. Traditionally this center square was made out of red cloth representing the heart and hearth of the home. In The Fever, the central square contains both reds and black because love can be pure and selfless or false and egotistical. The block was constructed with strips of fabric ranging from pale pink to deep burgundy and from gray to black. As the red bias spirals through the log cabin quit, it cuts through the dark shadows and the bright sunshine, just as love changes and evolves. This piece continues my exploration of the symbolic log cabin block to make a piece that is modern and contemporary. The Fever is machine pieced with hand dyed fabrics, commercial cottons, silk, and linen. It is machine quilted with a walking foot in a spiral pattern through three layers of batting in the central portion of the quilt.
It was exciting to be able to attend the Verona Tessile show in person. So many talented quilters created beautiful pieces with the theme: Love, the red thread that unites. The next post, I will highlight some of these spectacular quilts.
I have fallen in love with dyeing fabric! Each time I dye fabrics I am amazed at the results. Each piece of hand dyed fabric is unique. This beautiful mandala was snow dyed along with a few other pieces of cotton and I wanted to use this piece without cutting into it.
I auditioned a variety of hand dyed fabrics for the outside edges. I decided to quilt as you go, keeping the borders separate from the mandala.
The mandala was machine quilted in a spiral with a walking foot, once I got close to the edge, I stopped, added the borders and continued with the spiral.
I also quilted the corner block in a small spiral, echoing the larger mandala.
This is one of the snow dyed shibori fabrics that was dyed at the same time as the mandala, so the colours worked well together. I cut into this piece to make the corner block.
Earlier last year, I dyed some cotton fabric in indigo. The texture and the colour changed from pale blue to a deep indigo. I really liked the design of this piece and I wanted to keep it intact as much as possible. My inspiration to use this indigo fabric was a modern painting I saw in a decorating magazine. The artwork had three large bands of colour running horizontally with the colours blending together.
I pulled a deep indigo piece of fabric and a pure white cotton pique to use with the ombre. I took many photos while deciding on the proportions of the white pique. Some of the photos were taken in the evening as I was working to create this piece for a deadline.
My first attempts had the darker indigo on top. I tried many positions, folding, pinning and moving the white pique until I was certain of the final size.
During this process, I tried rotating the fabric so that the darkest indigo was on top, bottom and either side. Initially, I thought that having the piece run from dark at the top to light on the bottom worked the best. You can see that I finally decided to orient the fabric so that the lightest colour is on top, moving down toward the darker.
Sight is part of my Fineline Series of textile paintings. In this series, I have been exploring abstract minimal design.
Each piece is refined to capture the essence of my idea.
Thin strips of fabric are inserted in various configurations to create linear designs.
Machine quilting adds a layer of texture.
The simplicity of the art piece belies the amount of work that goes into the design itself. As in a good recipe, the fewer the ingredients, the more important each one becomes to the successful outcome of the dish.