Snippets, Crumbs or Patches

Several months ago I took an online workshop with Jessica Grady though The Stitch Club. One of the ideas from that and some inspiration from another student’s sample making led to me to experiment with fabric bits, or crumbs as some in the traditional Quilt World call them. Eventually I worked out this technique which I used to make this year’s SAQA Auction quilt – titled Green Mosaic. Green is my favourite colour, and without going into the details here of how I came by 3000m or 3km, of green (along with 1500m of neon yellow and the same of neon orange) I still probably have ~1600m of this neon green nylon thread in reserve 🙂

Very close detail of the surface texture of “Green Mosaic”. The pieces when cut were ranged 3cm-4cm range.

I hand stitched all the little snippets/crumbs/patches onto a black fabric base, which extends beyond the patches, and after quilting it I added a fine black binding .

Following on from this little piece, for the last few weeks I’ve been working on a much larger work, basically hand sewing down hundreds more little 3-4cm pieces of coloured fabric, chosen for how they go together to give an impression of vigorous life, possibly a mottled, rather pointillist memory of various places with bright sunshine, lush greenery, bright flashes of colour of clothing or flowers, rich sounds of voices, traffic and dogs barking, and music. I’m not sure how the title came to mind but it has stuck as I’ve stitched along and continues to tell me I need to call it Caribbean Crush…. which is fine with me, as I have some very wonderful, very colourful memories of places I have travelled in several Caribbean countries, especially Cuba, Colombia and Panama. As a tourist I enjoyed dramatic landscapes and lush vegetation, beautiful beaches of course and the various cultural styles of music, historic architecture, textiles, finely drafted artifacts, art, and foods that resulted from the centuries of colonisation that began with Spain’s arrival in the late C15.

That whole process of colonisation imposed slavery and plantation monoculture onto the various indigenous cultures. Most of that history was brutal and ugly, with some negative results inevitably surviving to this day; but in that way the Caribbean is no different from almost any other part of the world that was colonised at one time in its history, of being overwhelmed by a more powerful group of people which thereby gains economic advantage via exploitation of that region’s natural resources and human potential.

Sometimes the design idea in the 12″sq. mini-quilt I make for the annual SAQA auction becomes a tryout for something more in a larger work, as was this one, which is resulting in an approximately 1m square work.

Adding a border row of dark hand dyed green fabric pieces. Also showing is the texture of the back side of the work, which will be covered by a backing piece… not that I mind people seeing the artist’s hand, of which there is plenty of the front anyway but there will be a little hand quilting, and this grassy texture really does need to be covered.

It is pretty time consuming, but is coming to the end as I near the completion of a border row of dark green and dark blue patches, stitching them down in the same way, and I’ll add a dark green facing. I will add that if It seems a bit much once completed (see my comments at the end of the previous post) – then I am philosophically prepared to remove that border row and just face the edge with one of the main colours – or I do have some neon green polyester fabric that might be a long odds contender 🙂 Come to think of it, that might be a good backing fabric…. One good thing about working on a lengthy time consuming project is that there’s time to get through several recorded books, and time to consider the options without being under pressure to make any hurried decisions.

I have a mid August deadline in mind for photography by my wonderful photographer Eduardo Baldizan, as a couple of important entry calls close towards the end of the year.


2 Responses to “Snippets, Crumbs or Patches”

  1. Thanks for sharing, very beautiful!

  2. Alison says:

    Thanks for taking a moment to comment Vera!

Leave a Reply

Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

All images and text are © Alison Schwabe
Reproduction of any kind is expressly prohibited without written consent.

Translate »