Posts Tagged ‘sheer fabrics’

My Favourite Landscape Block

Monday, November 8th, 2021

I go back to this little basic block time and time again. I was a geography major, and much of what I had to present 55 years ago was in basic diagram form, and this is a really basic, diagrammatic way of saying ‘landscape’. Today a student would most likely illustrate a paper with digital photos.

Gold lame segments ~4″ sq., metallic machine stitched between nylon organza .

I have used this little abstract landscape block many times down the years, and though I last published this little sample in 2014, from various ‘clues’ in it the photo, I’m sure I actually put this one together several years before that.

In 2006 I made Timetracks1 with hand appliqued gold leather segments (Quilt National 2007)… and there are several others, plus many more with curvy lines that also say ‘landscape’.

“Timetracks 1”, 2006, detail. Grid squares ~4inches..

I put coloured segments of organza between layers of cream organza and, in the immediate aftermath of a workshop with Chungie Lee on the Korean wrapping cloths, Pojagi, that’s how I constructed these blocks, oversewn with gold machine stitching. Sorry the pic’s a bit grainy.

I’ve gone down this memory lane this morning because, as quite often happens, I came across that little sample while looking for something else. Today I’ve got a bit of time, and in my stash have a couple of metres of gold lame, many metres of black, light grey and cream nylon organza, and several miles of lame thread…

Ancient History in Sheer Layers

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

This Egypt themed work has never been ‘lost’ because I bump into it every now and then.  I don’t  remember giving it any name, it isn’t listed in my catalogue but I will rectify that, I’ve never shown it, nor did it lead on to a new body of work that I thought at the time it would; though I knew I didn’t want to make a set of ‘Egypt’ quilts.  I think it is an expression of awe I felt the whole time we were visiting a place that had fascinated me since I was a young child, and having put that into fabric, I left it.


We visited the country about ten years ago, before the Arab Spring upheavals, and of course layers and layers of human activity and history confront at every turn, carved and painted onto thousands of mural walls, monument bases, stelae and temple columns, and used to decorate all manner of objects both useful and not so useful for sale to the throngs of tourists who have not yet gone back to the pre-revolutionary numbers.  I’m certain this layers of history thing prompted my choice to use nylon organza to give a blurry sense of the passage of distant times – check the left side of the photo below.  Some pyramids, the sphinx and Tutankhamun’s iconic headdress are lurex fabrics cut to shape with marker pen details added.

Recently someone asked what fellow artists recommended for stabilising some kind of organiza for free machine quilting.  My sheer Egypt piece came to mind, and I recommended that maintain the sheer quality and avoid slippage between the layers, that she might hand baste and then freely quilt/embroider without either foot or hoop.  It’s a decade since I made this work, and so I think that’s how I handled it!  but it’s hard to tell from the photo or the actual (crumpled) work pulled from the cupboard.  As I often do, I found it a bit wondrous to see something I’ve not paid any real attention to for ages.  There’s a lot about this work I really like.

My regular readers know I’ve recently been thinking about influences from landscape in my work, the tracks left by Man, and natural patterns of all kinds in landscape.  Here’s a great pic, taken in the Black Desert SSW of Cairo, showing a network of tracks in the ancient desert landscape.

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