The Ebb and Flow of a series

Continuing in a series of this name, this little 12″ piece, ironically enough “Ebb & Flow 12”, made one day last week, is for the SAQA fundraiser later this year. Pretty well a potholder size, I consider it really more of a sample. there seems to be a trend to smaller qworks that are more easily travelled as a collection, and more affordable. I am in two minds about the development. Recently a gallery here sold two small pieces of my work, so it is time I produced a few more and thought seriously about their presentation; there’s been a lot of discussion on the SAQA list recently about possibilities, and I have been mulling them over. The two sold were mounted on what looked like sand blasted glass – actually finely hand sanded perspex – fairly labour intesnsive to get looking good, but I will also do some mounted on canvas stretcher frames for comparison.

The quilting in this little work is machined metallic pewter along the edge where print meets plain – and by doing that I learned something I won’t do in the next one I make, #13, which will be larger. The surface will look very much the same but the metallic embroidery will be done before the final piecing, and I am not sure yet about the quilting, – it may be the subject of another 12″ square yet.

It has been almost 2 years since I have done some of this work, and I now have some things I hadn’t thought of before. This coming sunday I will be teaching a workshop for a few quilters who will be here from Buenos Aires for the weekend for a Rio Plate quilters meeting – no, I am not getting caught up in meetings retreats and projects with a group that is strongly focused on traditional north american styles of quiltmaking. I have talked with the Uruguayan quilters hoping to set them considering something that is more strongly related to their home country of Uruguay; but I don’t think the seeds have taken root yet, it will be a while, if ever they do. The Argentines want to know how to do the freehand rotary cutting and piecing aka improvisational piecing. Preparing some samples for that has me thinking about this stuff again. Among other things, its very relaxing and therapeutic if nothing else …..

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2 Responses to “The Ebb and Flow of a series”

  1. Teresita Leal says:

    Yes, I guess it takes a long time and lots of work and learning to “take in” a craft or artistic expression, master it, make it your own and eventually bring out something authentic (at least personal, if not necessarily indigenous). In this modern world in which we all are in such close contact and receive an almost universal education, it becomes more and more difficult to limit your identity to your local culture.
    We were taught quilting by a group of Canadian and American expats. It was a “love at first sight affair”, you know how it is. A couple of years ago we began going to the Brazilian Festivals. I was fascinated by their exhuberant use of colour, the designs, it is difficult to define, but it all had this Brazilian touch everywhere. I told this to the organiser, not trying to hide my envy. His answer was, “Don’t worry, it comes with time. Eight years ago the quilts you saw here were like the ones taken from the American magazines”…
    Teresita Leal

  2. Alison Schwabe says:

    thanks for your comment – heartening to hear it. What I am hoping will develop is similar to what you observed in Brazil, a Uruguayan touch if you like, through either patterning, colour or even imagery in anything pictorial…Uruguayans can be very negative about the special and unique qualities of their own country, often commenting how small and unimportant it is….quiltmaking could be an avenue to accentuate the positives.

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