Archive for the ‘pattern quilting ideas’ Category

Two New Collectors

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

It’s always a joy when someone wishes to exchange their hard earned money for some of my art. Since I enjoy creating and making textile and fibre art I don’t think of it as ‘work’, even though it is, and as ‘work’ is occasionally frought with difficulty or stress even, between concept and completion.  Today I am hoping that my two newest collectors will have many years of enjoyment with my works in their collections.

This week I was pleased to see my 12″ square in the online 2010 SAQA Benefit Auction was purchased by a collector in the USA, Francie Gross.  I am embarrassed to say I forgot to photograph it before sending it off, but it is in the style of Timetracks 11

  a portion of which is shown here.

It is still up on the auction pages, 2b, at the SAQA online auction which enters its third week this week with the works shown on pages 3a and 3b – just click the link on the page above the pics andyou will go to each in turn.  Perhaps you’ll make a bid for some of the interesting pieces still to come under the hammer in the next few days.

A few weeks ago I sold two works to an international collector, a personal friend, who chose “Timetracks 16” and also this one:


It’s not shown in my website, partly because I haven’t ever decided just which category it belongs in, or exactly what name to settle on it.  For a long time it went as ‘Untitled’ which I always think is an artist’s cop out. 

Yet it is an important work, because it took me into the “Desert Tracks” works that followed and will probably be added to over time. It is a work focused on those aspects of the traditional ancestors of modern art quilts that appeal to me and appear repeatedly in my own work – blocks/units, repetition, and hand quilted surface patterning.  The finished edges are applied with a gold metallic fabric, double layered and cut on the cross, left ufinished – also from a time when I was beginning to consider less conventional bound edgings on my work, and burned edges appeared soon after making this one.  It has always looked good in local exhibitions here, and I know it will be well placed in  its new home.

It just occurred to me that someone with some clout in the art world should declare a day each year to be designated “International Art Collectors’ Day”.  I still have the very first painting I bought, nearly 55 years ago with 8s 6d of the 12s pocket money I was given to spend at the annual school fete.  It is a postcard-size watercolour of a landmark mountain range in northern Tasmania where I grew up, and I remember choosing it from a whole table of perhaps 50 or so little watercolured landscapes, probably done by the art teachers at the school, and certainly framed by one of the parents’ framing business – handy use for the their framing offcuts, probably!  It’s still in the original frame – I think I will do it the honour of having it framed in a more modern frame next time I’m back in Aus – I have always loved it.  In addition my parents had several watercolours painted by a cousin of my father’s, John Nixon Gee.  Dad took me along to JN’s house one morning when I was maybe 6, and I remember watching him paint a little while I was there.

At the Next Table

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

The minute we were shown to our table at the mercado del puerto last saturday, this little number caught my eye. For me it had so much going for it – fur trim, metallicised looking quilted fabric, and a different clearly fake fur panel down each side. What you can’t see is the jungle print hood lining! I didn’t want to disturb the sizeable table of Brazilian tourists as I don’t even muddle through in Portuguese, so I opted to turn off the flash and set my camera on our table pointing her way.

The five pointed star is one shape I have always loved – and include it in some of the material I am teaching in my workshop “Quilting With An Attitude” in Longmont, N.Colorado, on sat. 24th of this month. (for further information contact me direct, or Front Range Contemporary Quilters) Nice to see this one used in an all-over pattern.

Man-made Surfaces

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Just looking through and sorting some of the pics I took in Egypt last year I found some of these man-made surfaces. They intrigued me just as much as the massive temples and monuments with carved and painted pictorial records and stories that we experienced in our classic tour of Upper Egypt. The tomb and temple carvings were magnificent and along with the massive scale of these buildings, totally awe-inspiring. I’d like to go back and see more, at a cooler time of year, but the problem then is the place is totally packed with tourists like me …

In and around the architecture, all over the place I noticed lots of interesting patterning. Examples such as these were very inspiring, but rarely noticed by visitors focused on all the grand scale stuff around them. I feel they may influence something I do in the future especially once I get my laser cutter. We’re still making customs inquiries, so my order is not firmly placed yet. Uruguay being basically on holiday for another few weeks, we are not expecting answers any time soon.

The main area where I see these surface patterns inspiring something is quilting treatment, machine or hand. For example I can envisage hand made knots, or a knot plus bead, something lumpy set out in the kind of grid pattern of this ancient door in a gate in the wall of the old city of Cairo, UL: the UR panel is a ceiling covered with the 5-point stars that appear in so many temples and tombs 0f the pharaohs; and I have already used this once as a machine quilted motif for the quilt “Gift of the Nile” shown in part on the blog for october 7, 2007. LR is some of the highest part of the gateway to a temple at Luxor (I think) and who knows – I just like it; and finally LR a texture I love, the mane of a lion carved from granite ,standing outside a temple. Granite is really hard but these lines are so beautifully fluid and hair-like. I see it as a machine quilting pattern probably but possibly in combination with hand stitch.

On one of the lists to which I subscribe, in the past week one writer commented that she had to quilt something and was procrastinating since she didn’t like doing quilting. Well, you don’t have to quilt anything. You can tie with wool other threads and string, buttons, staples, safety pins, sewing pins – I have seen all these used to function as the quilt stitch does – ie hold layers together. And, one can always farm it out to someone who does love to quilt. Personally, I find the old under/over/under/over thing beautiful in the right place, ie a carefully constructed and quilted traditional geometric or applique quilt, especially the baltimore album quilts. But so many people are working to produce non-traditional quilt designs these days that it seems amazing to me that they feel bound to quilt them as they always have using the traditional under/over/under/over, painstakingly doing x stitches to the inch, in fine pure cotton thread. Or if they are machining, the now rather unimaginative meandering and stippling seems to be the limit of some repertoires. If you paint, print, applique, collage, dye and and piece non-traditionally to produce non-traditional quilt designs, to me that begs exploration of intereasting, unusual quilting potential. You can quilt with anything from microfilament to heavy string, ribbon, and everything in between whether the label says ‘quilting thread’ or not.

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Quilting Motifs -Inspiration Is Everywhere

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

Top photo: one of many ceilings we saw in ancient temples and tombs in Upper Egypt, decorated with a pattern of long-armed, five-pointed stars. The stars appear on on ceilings to ensure they will be present in the Afterlife of the pharoah for whom the tomb or temple was built.
Lower photo: a free machine quilted motif of that star pattern on a recent quilt made of sheer fabrics, which I hope to have selected into SAQA Icons and Imagery Transformations ’08.
For several years I have occasionally taught a quilting class, “Quilting With Attitude” , for hand and machine quilters, the core point of the class being that inspiration for the quilting on a quilt can come from many sources. Quilting of course is the functional constructional element that holds the layers together in a quilt designed principally to warm a body on the bed. Traditionally the quilting pattern is dominated by the shapes on the top which it tends to echo or follow, and large open shapes are then filled with decorative motifs, feathers, flowers and other linear shapes. The rise of free machine quilting in the 1980’s was popularised by several teachers and writers including Harriet Hargreaves, perhaps best known of these. Using the machine in with a traditional quilt design, the aim is often to try to replicate the traditional quilting patterns. Despite the claim by some that this saves a lot of time, it has never appeared to me that the equation is equal – if the time is saved technical excellence has always appeared to have been compromised. If the impeccable technical standards that characterise most traditional quilts is achieved, it really does take about the same amount of time to include in the process properly fastened off and hidden quilting threads, anchored so that they will not unravel or pop as the quilt is used. This does not apply to decorative wall quilts of course. This need to rush quilting (‘saving time’ by machine quilting, or make a quilt in a is a day classes) is sadly a product of the fast-paced lives many Westerners lead today.
There’s a lot more to think about too, as many ‘art quilt makers’ or quilted textile artists, (myself included) produce smaller sized works for wall decoration. Despite using modern materials, dyes, printing inks and digital printing processes, and this smaller decorative format, they aren’t necessarily ‘Art’.
IMHO, a well chosen quilting motif or pattern adds another design element to a quilt and can enhance the value of the overall design; and just as easily a meaningless pattern with no connection to the quilt or one that looks merely routine, easy, a no brainer, can reduce the impact of the whole piece. One of the most popular no brainer quilting patterns around these days is the meandering or stippling, where the quilted line wanders like a little maze, or like electronic circuitry over the surface of the quilt. Now, this could also be totally appropriate to the underlying design, but as generally used, isn’t. Dijanne Cevaal recently published a book of all-over machine quilting patterns she has come up with, “Seventy Two Ways Not to Meander or Stipple – Ideas for Free Machine Quilting”, now available in english and french, in book form and cd: for ordering information follow the link on this page to her blog (Musings of a Textile Itinerant) posted October 6, 2006. A great starting point for opening the mind to the potential for machine quilting. Well, you could also do some of them by hand, too…. let’s be open minded about all this.
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