Posts Tagged ‘Kimberley 1’

The Challenge Of Hanging Irregular Shaped Quilts

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

An art quilt maker FB friend recently asked for suggestions about how to display a 6ft diameter round work she had finished. That’s a large round piece right there.

Someone suggested putting several hanging sleeves containing slats or what Americans call cover strip (wood approx, 2.3cm x 0.5cm x width of work minus 2-3cm) between close to the top and down to the widest point of the circle, leaving the rest hanging – I’ve often seen this done, and to my ctitical eye it never ever sits properly – there’s always a combination of sagging and stretching, making it both impossible to get the textile sitting flat and also drawing attention to the multi-rod hanging system behind the quilt. And the hanging system should never distract the eye from the work itself.

Though I’ve never felt the need to make a round quilt, I have made plenty with serious shaping across the top, and two layers of cotton fabric with some standard batting in between will in time flop forward if it doesn’t have some support. Here is “Tropical Waters” that led to the Ebb&Flow series and became known as “Ebb&Flow 1”

I made this quilt to illustrate the article I was invited to write for Down Under Quilts, published in 2004. In the article I outlined how I reinforced the shapes that rise above the line your eye draws across from left to right at the lowest points in the wavy shape – behind which is a standard sleeve+hanging rod. Those shapes have some template plastic cut to fit up into during the construction phase, before quilting – and yes your sewing machine will stitch through the plastic inside. That plastic extends down below the level of the sleeve, and the diagrams and text go into that, so that on the wall it doen’t have anything flopping down.

Diagrams 4-8 detail use of reinforcing plastic as outlined in the text.
Presented with permission,

I think these diagrams from my article are self explanatory for someone who sews moderately well, but if you want further detail, the next images are scans of the text of the article:

Presented with permission,

And finally, intructions on how to make the quilt using the freehand improvisational construction, still not so well known back in 2000 as it is now. Sorry they’re just a little fuzzy, but contact me if you have any questions.,

Presented with permission,

But there’s another way to tackle serious shaping, too. You cut or have a carpenter jigsaw cut for you, a shaped board (just a bit smaller than the outer edge of your quilt, see black line of approximate shape) with several holes drilled into it for hanging on the wall; these match up with the nails or picture hooks you installd where you want to hang it. On the front side of the shaped board, you position and either glue or staple strips of Velcro just in from the edge.

Kimberley 1″ 70cmhx 100cmw, 1996. Photographed on black background.

To hang the quilt, first put the board in place. Then position the quilt so that the velcro strips stick together, and before you press into place firmly, check so that the whole work hangs straight down and flat against the wall.

The 3 pages scanned and included in this post were originally published as an article by myself, “Irregular Shapes” Down Under Quilts Magazine  #78,  pp 33-37.

Improvisation – The Art Of It

Saturday, March 16th, 2019

This week I have been putting together some images and answering interview questions for a guest blogger appearance on Jen Broemel’s instagram site  in the last week of this month. I just love being asked questions about my work, so thank you Jen – I will let everyone know the day it goes up.

The questions included some thought provoking ones, and I answered them before looking at Jen’s own work or any of her blogging – just to be sure what I was writing was just my thoughts and experiences tinged by no one else’s. I sent a couple collages of quilts made in the improvisational style of piecing I have been doing for 25+ years now, alongside the sketchbook diagram I often as the kind of ‘recipe’ to make each. This one won’t be in the article – the image for ‘Kimberley 1’, an irregular shaped piece photographed against a black background is not really good – a bit grainy”

Kimberley 1, 1995, alongside the sketch/plan – showing my planning process – to which is added only the live auditioning of fabrics.

Now that I’ve sent her my material, it is fun to go into the site and see how other respondents handled the same queries about their work. Take this week’s artist, guest #24, Brian Phillips, from Austin TX. I was taken by his comment – “Silence and I don’t get along.” With his favourite music genres playing in the background, he paints on salvaged materials, mostly wood. the size of the salvaged material essentially determines that of the painting. Sometimes in the presence of a thrilling material/fabric I have found this, too! A few years ago I bought the remainder of a roll (only about 1 1/2 yds, unfortunately) of vinyl faux patent leather. Simply put, it grabbed me. Cutting a little strip off the end to experiment with, I used the remaining c.95% in the one work, Land Marks and if I ever see that stuff again, no matter the colour, I will buy some.

I was really hoping to find some of it on my recent visit to a very large fabric store in Denver CO. They didn’t have it, but they did have some clear vinyl sheeting which urged me to part with US$2/yard for a total of $10 worth of exciting potential; and some thrillingly sheer polyester organza – yes I’m still mentally on that sheers thing. I haven’t had time for any experiments yet, but hopefully will this coming week.

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