Monday, December 12, 2011

Trying to get going again

In the last couple of days I have tried to get back to the challenge from an online group.  It was to produce a 12 inch square art quilt, one every two months.  No problem, I thought.  Hah!  That was before the final year of my course kicked in.  I did the first 2, which took me till March (technically April) but then it all fell in a heap.
But I have made another one - number 3 of 6.  And there are only a couple of weeks left in the year. I will try to get at least one more done - we are allowed to put in the best 4 we have done this year in the Australian Quilt Convention - our group organiser has managed to get a group show accepted.  So that is my aim for the next two weeks - to make at least one more.
I am not that happy with this one, so there may need to be two more.  I hope that we have January to catch up and I will try to keep motivated.
Actually, I feel good at the moment. I may not be that happy with it but at least I have done it and now ideas are flowing.  Whether or not I do anything about these ideas is a different issue but I am happy that ideas are generating.

This one is based (loosely) on Charles Rennie Mackintosh's rose design.  I have been working on this idea for a while, in a desultory fashion, and managed to totally ruin my last attempt.  But that is the benefit of a 12" square piece, it isn't too devastating when you ruin it, you haven't done all that much work.  So I started again.  I would prefer my old design, if it had worked, but this is what I have ended up with.  

The top fabric has a square pattern, a recognition of the geometric elements of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's many geometric designs - but I don't think it worked that well.  
The rose is done using the reverse applique, or cut-away, technique.  There are 5 layers for the rose and another layer for the leaves.  I am not used to doing couching, so I decided to put some in, that is the stems.  
Another challenge for me with this one was the PINK.  I am not a fan of pink and it has been difficult to work with some of the fabrics.  In fact, I threw out some of the ones I had purchased (yet more in my stash) and put in some less pink pieces.
This technique produces quite heavy pieces.  There are 7 layers of fabric and some pellon as I decided that I wanted some quilting to enhance the design.  I didn't do that much quilting in the end but I am still glad that I gave myself the option.  But the piece is heavy, I wouldn't use this for a quilt that was going to be used as bedding or a rug.  It is also raw edge and there is some fraying which would annoy me greatly in a bed quilt.
I have decided to try different techniques that I have read about but have not used that much, if at all.  This means that some of my 'art quilts' are rather quilty but that is because I am trying new for me techniques rather than new techniques.  I have decided not to worry too much about innovation, just to try innovation for me!

Here is the original piece - before I totally wrecked it.  It has squares quilted and then I used some of the iron-on fusible that I had painted. The design was too round for my liking so I decided to do some more quilting around it and then try painting dye on the back, allowing it to seep through. I made the dye too runny and it seeped further than I wanted.  But the original idea was ok and I might try it again.

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