Monday, August 31, 2015

Sun, rain and mudflow

This summer in our city was the hottest for the last 135 years. The average temperature was +38 C. Sometimes it was unusual rain with hail and the size of it was as cherry. Besides that it was several big mudflows at the mountains and some of it reached the city. Fortunately nobody was killed. Some houses and cars were ruined.  

As I live at the foothill the whole July and August we went to bed having our documents under the pillow in case of emergency of mudflow.
So it was really extreme summer!

This quilt is totally about it. Here can be sun, rain and mudflow in one day!
Materials: cotton, beads.
Machine piecing, machine quilting, hand beading

Pineapple Emerging

 I decided to continue with my method of designing in PaintShop Pro with the aim of producing something very bright and rather abstract. I eventually settled on a very simplified design of a pineapple set against a background of kiwi fruit cross sections. I love fresh pineapple, but am allergic to it and get a more extreme reaction to it every time I eat it.

I started with a simple drawing of a pineapple which I scanned in and then I found a good picture of kiwi fruit. I manipulated the kiwi fruit picture and then changed the colour of the pineapple and the leaves to differentiate it from the background. 

 I used TAP for the lettering on my last quilt, but I have never used it for a whole quilt and I have never had to match and join sections of a picture onto fabric. It’s quite difficult and I did mess it up a bit. I have since worked out how to crop accurate section for printing and to join them together with masking tape before ironing it all on to the fabric in one big go.

My intention was to do some dense quilting over the background in a light colour to knock it back and make the pineapple pop out, but this did not work as effectively as I had hoped. To rectify this I had to reinforce the stitched black outline of the pineapple with a black pen and then go over the background with a pearl-white Markal stick. If I'd had time to practice I would have faded out the background before printing it.

Reverse view

Golden Tulips

Our challenge Extreme combined with my personal one, Tulips could give many solutions. But tulips tends to grow very long stems even after they have been put in a vase, so I decided to focus on that. My tulips have extremely long stems compared to the heads. I also wanted the stems to weave together, not standing straight, and as I drew them, they suddenly became brother at the bottom.
For once, I also wanted to work with golden foil - so golden tulips. But I needed a focal-point, so I put in one tulip, bowing down to the viewer.
This done in my sketchbook, I had to figure out how to interpret this in fabric. I decided to quilt the whole piece first, then paint in the stems with fabric paint, glue and foil for the heads. The big one was red fabric bonded on before the gold foil was put on. And a little quilt finish just as a hint. I have not tried to make realistic tulips, just a suggestion.

and some close ups:

Falling Leaves


This quilt is the third in a series that will consist of four or perhaps more quilts with the theme LEAVES.

The challenge this time was EXTREME.
At first I thought of heavy embellishment with lots beads and embroidery, but finally I come to think of some design guidelines.

Simplify, Exaggerate and Repeat. For example, simplify your images, exaggerate the contrast, repeat images, colors and similar shapes and lines.

The inspiration photo is the foliage of an eucalyptus tree. See below.

I have tried to simplify the image, exaggerate the contrast with just a few colors with high contrast among them, repeated the colors and repeated similar shapes.
Although I am not sure that this quilt can be called Extreme, perhaps only by comparison with my two first "Leaf Quilts".

The background is a commercial cotton fabric. The red dot come with the fabric, as well as the red raw edged appliquéd circles, that I have cut out from other parts of the background fabric. The light leaves and dots are white cotton stamped and stenciled with gold, bronze and black acrylic paint by means of a Gelli Plate.

The background leaves are painted with a gold Markal Oil Paintstick and machine quilted with a gold metallic thread.

Dawn patrol

My ideas for extreme fencing settled on the most unfriendly fencing you can get, razor wire. I was able to get a few source photos to give me ideas, and this one had a strong idea of Notan, so I used dark wire on the light half of the background and light wire on the dark half. I wasn't sure if the quantity of wire would seem overwhelming, but it turned out fine.

I played with the idea of just having an abstract based on the coils of wire, but it seemed to need a context.  I  made up a silhouette of a soldier, but I didn't want him to look threatening, so I put the gun onto his back. The metallic black thread really catches the light, which you can see in the close up.

 I was really fortunate to have a small piece of surface designed fabric in the right colours that turned out really convincingly for the soldier, conveying his face and camouflage clothes.

The background fabric was painted with thickened dyes, as illustrated by Laura Kemshall in a recent DMTV show.
After I had completed the barbs, which took many hours, I felt the lack of colour made it seem more dismal than I intended, so I added a turquoise thread inside the border, and some Inktense pencils gave me the dawn glow.

Without this challenge idea, I would not have thought of this interpretation of fencing, as it seemed initially very negative. However, I am really pleased with how it turned out.