Saturday, 13 September 2014

Stage 4. Progressing

In my last post you would have seen a glimpse of the motifs that I added to the quilt using freezer paper stencils and paint.

I chose three different motifs, orang utangs, baby sea turtle and a dragon boat, based on the designs from some of the tribes living in Borneo. Each was chosen because of the significant memories that each represent to me personally,the details of which I will go into in my next post.

All seemed fine but as the stitching progressed I became more and more aware that there was not enough contrast to make these elements stand out, especially with the orang utang.

At first I cut out the designs form painted Lutrador but wasn't happy with the results and so as is my want in situations like this I just hit the machine peddle and stitched!

I then created two more using soluble film to be added once all the background stitching had been completed.

The baby sea turtles are the one element that I am happy with.

art quilting

The dragon boat sculpture is okay...ish.

If you are still with me, stay tuned for a full reveal next time.

 photo oldsmall_zps536eaf25.jpg

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Step 3. Making the best of it.

After the mishap of my previous post, there was nothing to do but get stitching and add the missing white as and when. Those elements being redefined with the help of my original sketch.

Then it was a case of filling in with stitching!

Of course because I was in a hurry I decided to hand stitch the tree!!!!

 photo oldsmall_zps536eaf25.jpg

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Step 2. Working out the design

(bit of Apologies if you have been waiting with bated breathe for my next installment on how not to make an Art Quilt. I had a great but exhausting time at the Festival of Quilts, plus a holiday, so have been a bit lax with the blogging)
So now this is where I sketched and sketched and refined the design until I was totally happy with it... ..or maybe NOT!!!
I painted the background fabric and without doing any sampling (big mistake) I went straight into getting my tree design onto the background.
I decided to paint some interfacing and cut out the tree from that. In my head I was hoping to stitch it down with some simple hand stitches that would be representational of the stitches I had seen on lots of baskets and other crafts like this.

Borneo Crafts

I fused the interfacing onto the background fabric and began stitching.

art quilting

Thankfully before I got too far I knew this wasn't going to work.
One, because the stitching was tearing through the interfacing and two, because I knew that I needed to reverse the light and dark. The white tree just wasn't working for me.

art quilting

So....the interfacing became a mask and I painted out the background with a layer of white.
All seems well but there was some residual glue from the interfacing left on the background fabric. 
I decided to wash it out, and this would have been fine if I had done a proper job of heat fixing the white paint!
I was in too much of a rush again. 
Needless to say when the fabric came out of the machine a whole section of the white had gone and the interfacing that I had removed was too much of a tangled mess to re-use.

tree of life

This is what it looked like before I washed it. I was too upset to take photo afterwards.
Oh dear!!

 photo oldsmall_zps536eaf25.jpg

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Step 1. Inspiration


Before I begin to go through my process regards the quilt I talked about in my last post I want to clarify that this is not my normal practice here on this blog. I post tutorials and techniques over on my Quilt Routes blog. Here I like to 'show' without having to worry about taking process shots etc., to just go with the flow....apart from on this occasion :D

I had a lot of resources to fall back on for this piece without having to use the Internet.
My home is packed with artifacts and I have some great books, plus mountains of photos in boxes.
I had a look through the books and I made a half hearted attempt at some sketchbook pages.

My City and Guilds training should have made me spend a lot longer on this stage, a lot longer...but I was anxious to get started, and if I am truthful, finished. This is one I wanted to get done quickly but I know that the finished piece has suffered from my not spending more on this stage.

Straight off I wanted to do something based on the Orang Ulu Tree of Life design and somewhere in those boxes I know that there is a photo of my then two and a half year old daughter in front of the Tree of Life mural in the Sarawak Cultural Museum. I am still looking for that photo but this will show you what I mean. At this point I did a Google search and I have made a Pinterest board of some of the images that influenced me.
So, one idea down and I move head long into it....

In the meantime, if you are attending, please come and say Hi!

                Quilt Routes

 photo oldsmall_zps536eaf25.jpg

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Making of an Art Quilt (or not!)

Dreaming of Borneo detail

In my last post I introduced you to Anne and told you about how we are going to be sharing a booth at next weeks Festival of Quilts. (Quilters In Action 21. Do come and say hi if you are attending).
What I didn't mention was that way back last year we hatched a plan to both make a piece to show side by side, Anne's based on memories of the UK and mine based on my memories of my time spent in Brunei/Borneo.

Well, as is the way things didn't really go to plan. We both made pieces but the blogging that we planned and the connection with the two pieces didn't really happen.
A large part of that was mainly down to me. No matter what I did with the piece I was not happy with it, and for that reason was loathe to share it.
I am still far from happy with it but I know what I did and did not do. I know how I should have approached it and why I didn't do it that way.
Above is a sneak peek of the finished piece. As I write this I am still not 100% sure that I am going to display it next week. I am reserving the right to withhold it if I am not happy with the way it looks.
However I do plan (don't make plans Deb!!!!) to go through my process here in order to help me work out my practices and hopefully improve on them in the future.

BTW. I have been documenting my Festival of Quilts preparation on my Quilt Routes blog and Facebook page, but mostly on my #quiltroutes instagram feed. I am enjoying the easy, quick access that this gives me to share what I am doing while seeing what others are up to too :D

 photo oldsmall_zps536eaf25.jpg

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

An introduction.

hand painted fabric

It is that time of year again when I start thinking about my preparations for this year's Festival of Quilts.
It's heads down as I get lots of fabric painting done.

This year however, things are going to be a bit different, because I am going to have a "booth buddy".
Let me introduce you to my friend Anne Maundrell.

Anne Maundrell

Anne, another Brit by birth, is at present living in Brunei Darussalam, on the island of Borneo.
I spent several years living and working there myself but our paths didn't cross then. I discovered Anne and her work via blogland. Once I saw the beautiful rain forest inspired quilts that she makes I just had make contact.

Anne Maundrell
Anne's entry into last year's festival for which she earned a Judge's Choice Award

Long story short, Anne likes to travel back to U.K. at the same time as the Festival takes place, and we have been meeting up there almost every year for about the past five years. This year she is taking her own booth and we have decided to double up in order to have a more open space.

One of the things we are hoping to do is to produce a piece about our opposite places of abode, which should be interesting!

Anne Maundrell

I am looking forward to this year's Festival. I don't want to tempt fate but i am feeling slightly more prepared than I have done in the past, although there is still a lot of work to do.

Anne Maundrell

I am really looking forward to seeing one of Anne's "Forest Giant" pieces (above) because although I haven't told her this, it is one of my favourites.
See Anne and her work on her website, blog and Facebook page, and don't forget to come back and see what we get up to.

 photo oldsmall_zps536eaf25.jpg

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

May Journal Quilt

I really do not know which way is up with these abstract journal quilts.

Not that it matters. I am still enjoying just playing with paint and stitch.

I have decided to go back to the colour I used in my first January Journal Quilt. There will be a third so that by the end of the year I will have four groups of three.

Two close ups for you today!

 photo oldsmall_zps536eaf25.jpg