Years ago, a friend brought me a tote bag from Vienna, featuring fabric with a print by Gustav Klimt. I took the tote, loaded with collage supplies, to a family gathering recently, and when putting everything away, didn’t notice that one jar of rubber cement was not closed tightly!
What a mess greeted me the next morning! The lining of the bag was a loss, so I cut the print off the bag and tossed the rest. The fabric is some kind of synthetic – not something I could really press – and it had lots of little fused crystals on it, for added bling.
So I turned it into a convergence quilt! The colors suggested rust, gold and black to me – standard for so many of Klimt’s paintings. I had removed the original crystals, but will add more to the finished piece.
It turned out well, and will go on display in June, 2015, with the Library Quilters Show, at the Morton Grove (Illinois) library. It will be interesting to see whether anyone recognizes the original painting.
I have had a really fun time making these small quilted wall hangings, featuring yoga pose silhouettes! My good friend Sherry Brodock was in town in January, playing with fabric, and she came up with this gorgeous background. I would not have thought to add the purple and green print in with such warm colors, but the contrast is quite appealing.
The pose on the left is Triangle, and the one on the right is Dancer’s Pose. After layering the background fabrics, I cut a silhouette out of black fabric that has a fusible on the back. Once that is fused in place, I stitch close to the edges with black thread, and then again a little bit outside the figure, partly to define it, and partly to hold the top part of the wall hanging together. I trim the edges and bind the piece. These two have sleeves on the back for hanging, as they are slightly larger than some of the others. They are for sale on my Quiltaruni store on etsy.com.
Sherry did a second layout of background colors, so those will be next. When I find a good combination of colors, I take a photo to remind me of the gradation. So I can also replicate this particular gradation, and have enough fabric to make more. Thanks, Sherry!
I love working with not only gradated backgrounds, which look like landscapes, but also with silhouettes. It is so easy to find a shape online, and then cut that shape out of black fabric, and fuse it to something else.
Cattails appeal to me in particular, and I have now made 5 or 6 of these small pieces, to go on my etsy store. (Go to etsy.com, and search for Quiltaruni.)
These two pieces have the same background. As long as I am layering fabrics, I make a piece about 20″ wide, and then cut it into two or three strips. The strips are not perfectly level, or the same width, which give the layering an organic feel. I fuse the layers down, and top stitch or do free motion stitching along the edges. It is amazing how just putting a few pieces of fabric together can suggest a sunrise or sunset!
Then, I add a small fusible crystal at the top of each (not shown here), to indicate a star. Very satisfying!!!
After having taken a driving trip in the winter, I am inspired to do some snowy landscapes as well. Considering my stash of fabrics, this idea could keep me going for a very long time!
I have long been fascinated by silhouettes, often of people. Recently, I’ve made a few small pieces (to go on my etsy store) featuring silhouettes of cattails at sunset, but while at the yoga studio the other day, the idea came to me to do some of yoga poses.
I layer fabrics on batting to represent some kind of landscape, and then cut a shape out of black fabric and fuse it to the background. This one worked particularly well, with the reds and pinks seeming to indicate a sunrise. Then, a small fusible crystal near the top suggests a “morning star”, which can be either of the planets Venus or Mercury, or the star Sirius.
This makes a smallish wall hanging (10 x 18″), and the number of poses and backgrounds is unlimited! I am onto something new!
OnDecember 12, 2014, I posted a photo of what I called a Tropical Fruit French Braid Quilt. Some of the floral fabric was left over, so I used it to make a “convergence” quilt, along with three other pieces of fabric. The pattern and directions for this come from Ricky Tims’ book, Convergence Quilts, Mysterious, Magical, Easy and Fun:
Tims’ book is a delight to look at, regardless of whether you are making a quilt or not. This very out-of-the-box technique involves sewing fabrics together, cutting them into strips, and mixing the strips in a new configuration – twice! The results are mind blowing.
After making this one quilt, it figured it “needed something”, so looked through my library of embroidery designs, and found the perfect thing. In the photo, the applique has not yet been cut out or applied – this is the “audition”. I am quite pleased! This will go on my etsy store in January, 2015.
Every once in a while a project doesn’t go quite the way I expected it to, but turns out so much better that it is breathtaking. So it was with this French Braid.
Originally, it was going to be in one of my all time favorite color combinations – peach and green. My wedding was in peach and green, as is my bedroom. But the teal snuck in and made for such a vibrant contrast that I became rather obsessed with putting all the pieces together so I could see them together.
On my camera, the borders came out deep blue, so this photo has been altered in Photoshop. The real thing is a bit brighter than this, and absolutely thrilling to me. This piece will go on my etsy store if I can ever part with it.
The French Braid pattern is very satisfying to me, as the colors gradiate, and make for a design reminiscent of a cathedral window. My next one of these is being lined up now, in yellows and peaches, inspired by a rose I saw the other day. Stay tuned!
I have joined PAQA (Professional Art Quilters Association), and gone to a couple of meetings. A quilt challenge has been suggested, for members of this group, and the finished pieces will be shown at a big quilt expo in the spring.
The subject of the challenge is “The Midwest”, and we are meant to depict, in 18 square inches, what living in the Midwest means to us.
To me it means variety and contrast. I used photos that I took myself, and printed them on fabric. One is of Chicago’s “Bean” (officially named Cloudgate), and one is of Dugout Lake in Hazelhurst, Wisconsin, just down the hill from the cabin that used to belong to my grandmother. The juxtaposition of these images shows that living here in Chicago, I not only have access to one of the major cities in the country, its architecture, cultural diversity and stimulation, but also to the beauty and peace of the great outdoors. The images are arranged in a yin/yang symbol, to represent opposite forces balancing each other. In the four corners are the colors of the four seasons – more variety and contrast. The change of seasons is one the things I love the most about being here.
For some years, the library where I worked let me hang my quilts on the walls back in the cataloging department. It was a great “rotating” gallery for me, and a place to put extra stuff! I am just now retrieving my pieces, and this is one of my favorites.
Also, while I worked at that university, I curated a Women’s History Month art show, in March, for a number of years. It was open to all university women – students, staff and faculty. It was fabulous to see what kind of work people were doing.
One faculty member, Lesa, was making absolutely gorgeous fabric pieces by layering colors, and then adding beads. I was so impressed that I made my own version, and called it The Lesa Fault, partly because it looks like a geological fault, and partly because she is responsible for this kind of work showing up in my life.
I took fabrics from my stash, and arranged them together in small strips (sewn one by one into a backing of batting ) trying to make the colors run from one to another – something I call “striation” or “gradation”. The finished striations were just one big piece to begin with, but “needed something”, so I cut them apart and offset them to make the shapes more interesting. Then the piece “needed something” again, so I made the circular part at the top. It is machine needle punched silk, with some fusible crystals on it. The whole thing turned out so well that when someone wanted to buy it, I said no. But there will probably be another one in the making soon.
To hang the piece, I made a circle the same size as the yellow piece out of foam core, and put a hole in it. I also faced the back of the circle with fabric, in the same round shape, to make a sort of pocket on the back. The foam core fits into the pocket, and the hole in it allows it to hand on a nail.
Even in colors I don’t care for so much, the “movement” from dark to light is something I love. But having them gradate from one color to another is even better!
This quilt sat unfinished on my quilt rack for some years before finishing. It is a wild combination of many of the gorgeous silks, satins, brocades, synthetics. metallics and shears from my stash. I love the variety of colors, and how, even though each piece is a bit crazy, the overall whole effect makes some kind of aesthetic sense.
It was “built” on batting, so each strip of each square is already sewed down to a background. This makes the middle part sort of dimensional, because I then put more batting behind it before adding borders and quilting it. It is top-stitched with gold metallic thread, and some of the diamond shapes are “couched” with yarn. That means I added yarn, using a zig-zag stitch on top of it to attach it.
I am quite pleased with the finished product – please enough that I will exhibit it in the upcoming Library Quilters Show – check facebook for the photos.
At the recent quilt expo in Chicago, I purchased some of Frida Anderson’s unbelievably gorgeous hand-dyed fabrics. (www.friestyle.com) Her use of color just thrills me!
So these pieces have fused leaf shapes, modeled after a kind of philodendron called Monstera. I’ve seen these huge leafy vines in places like Florida, where they wind around palm trees. I LOVE those shapes!
The shapes are hand drawn and then cut from fabric with fusible web ironed on the back. The piece of fabric itself included all these colors – the purples, reds and oranges at one end, moving through yellow, and into blues and greens. I also stitch around the edges of the leaves, and add some machine embroidery in the border. This piece measures 30″ square.
But there was enough fabric left after making this one to make another. This one features more of the yellow and orange parts, and I put a tiny purple line around the center before adding the border.
Thank you Frieda, for making the world a more beautiful place.