February 6, 2014
Work in Progress – Vole and Viburnum, update 4
Once I had the prints and the embroidered panels underway, I began working on the patchwork. I like patchwork. I like cutting up fabric and sewing it back together again to create patterning and texture. I often use a mix of my own hand painted silks and cottons along with commercial fabrics. I’m lucky to have a fabric stash that goes back for decades. Fabric designs and colorways follow trends just like clothing, and mixing them up adds depth to the composition and keeps it from being immediately identified with any particular point in time.
Here I pulled and assembled two colorways, an orange/pink one, and a green/blue one. I use a flip and stitch method, where I keep adding strips to essentially make new yardage, which I then slice into patchworked strips that I use to build the final composition. The trick here is to keep it random without making it jarring. People are natural pattern makers, so it’s fun to tweak that tendency just enough to make it interesting.
I also painted a length of fabric to use for the back of the quilt. It doesn’t show when you hang the finished work, of course—it’s against the wall—but it makes me happy to do it up right and that makes it important. From hanging out with some of the talented jewelers in the PA Guild of Craftsmen, I’ve learned that some of them incorporate a bit of whimsy or design work into the back of a pendant, for example, as a bonus for the wearer. This feels like a similar concept to me. I started with a piece of cotton sateen, laid outside, and dripped and splattered textile paints on it.
Some judicious work with the garden hose mellowed and blended the composition, and drying in the sun added more subtle patterning.
This is my continuing coverage of the creation of Vole and Viburnum, as featured in my article for the current March 2014 issue of American Quilter Magazine. I used this work in my article as an example when breaking down my cognitive process, and here in my blog I am covering the more technical aspects of the work. The magazine is now on the newsstands, and you can catch a glimpse of it here.
Up next—the big reveal!