Work in Progress
approx. 16" w x 21" h
My blog entry for today is a simple piece touching on the topic of quilting, the actual stitching of at least two layers of fabric (or other material) together.
When I first began to quilt I tried my hand at hand quilting and used very traditional quilt patterns. As my work developed and I realized my quilt work was going to become my artwork, I began to see that these traditional patterns carried with them the history of quilt making in exactly the same way as traditional patterns of piecing did and they did not apply or support my work.
Next I began to learn the difficult skill of machine quilting. It has been a real journey for me and I have experimented with all kinds of techniques, thread types, various machines and ultimately discovered that most often simple straight line quilting most supports my ideas. Notice I say supports.
Here is an example of my quilting on a large composition.
This piece has been selected for Artist As Quiltmaker 2010
I have used multiple colors of rayon thread which enrich the overall color and complexity of the piece as well as creating a rich surface texture. It enhances the piece but does not overpower the composition or become the first thing you notice. In this example you an see that thread colors do not always run across the entire face of the fabric so there is an additional plane of pattern which lays on top of the primary composition. I often use rayon thread as it adds a nice shine and the color range is excellent. In most cases I choose to use solids colored thread. On occasion I do use variegated thread but I have to be very careful. If it is a type of thread where the color changes are very regular, it creates a unwanted moire'
detail of composition with variegated thread
This example not only shows the moire' pattern I spoke of but the actual color changes in this thread were not a good choice. It is distracting and becomes too important visually.
For the piece pictured at the top of this page, I choose to use a variegated thread from Aurifil's line which is called Acquarelli. This small collection of threads are variegated but not in a regular repeat and it works beautifully for my straight lines. Below is a detail and up close you can see where the colors change but it does not create a pattern. This is a beautiful line of threads and I would love to see them add to this collection.
detail of work in progress
I have seen beautiful, sophisticated compositions ruined through poor choices of quilt lines most often lines that just don't relate to what the artist has created. I suggest using your computer to 'test drive' line work or create a small test piece. Over time you will begin to get a feel for what works for you and supports your art best.
Thank you for visiting studio 24-7 and I love hearing from you. Monday I will be presenting Nancy Natale and her excellent encaustic work. Hope to see you then.