Posts Tagged ‘diagrammatic designs’

Segmented Landscape Units.

Monday, February 6th, 2023

I came across this small sample this week, and was impressed with its age and realised how influential this little doodle has been since 2013 as a stepping stone for many works which add surface stitch to the segments, some examples of which I show below. The hand stitch can be surface design only or may also serve as hand quilting.

I have always found inspiration in landscape shapes, colours and textures. I studied and loved physical geography and geomorphology, in which one draws simple diagrams to illustrate a point or a structure. Like many of us, I’m fascinated by views or slices through layers of rock showing how shifting pressures beneath the Earth’s crust forced movement between overlying layers of rock in response, producing characteristic structural patterns which a geologist can ‘read’ to understand more about the underlying structure and history of an area, all of which is relevant to mineral formation and potential nearby. Erosion and deposition too, result in interesting patterns, so my landscape inspired designs are essentially diagrams in fabric and thread.

I began using this arrangement of strips to suggest landscape many times since the early 2000s, with both improvisational patchwork –

Ebb & Flow 2003, 50cm x 60cm Freehand or improvisational patchwork.

and also in appliqued leather segments forming the surface design.

Timetracks 3 2006, detail, Leather segments arranged to suggest landscapes in ~5cm square units.
Interestingly I saved this little Aug.2013 gem as “hand quilting sample 13”, clearly having no idea what direction it was really going to lead me towards.
“About Red” 2014 40cmw x 100cm
Land Marks, 2016. squares ~7cm. Machine appliqued Mylar.
This small Ebb&Flow #30, 2023, is my 6″x8″ Spotlight auction donation piece – of that area of black on which the landscape segments are stitched. Photographed against the interesting oilslick-like finished polyester fabric I used in this work.
I love this little sample, Nov. 2022 – it’s wild – but I haven’t yet worked out how to use it in a major work.
Hand dyed fabric segments, ~2018, with smooth edges (fused) and rough edge (hand basted). Fusing the segments enables wider spaced stitching.
This little sample, 2018, of black background with matching oversewing with black thread is one avenue I might explore soon…. I prefer the thicker, perle #8 thread around the orange/yellow join..

My Quilt National ’21 quilt “Pandemic Pattern” featured hundreds of ~1.5cm x ~5cm fabric strips appliqued with straight stitch oversewing. The strips in this case represent the rows of closely spaced, hastily dug fresh graves that we saw in certain parts of the world as the Covid-19 pandemic swept around the globe; so this is a pattern on the landscape, not of landscape shapes themselves, but I mention it here to remind myself that my passion for oversewing strips of fabric did not just come out of the blue in 2020 when I decided to hand stitch the surface design of my first ‘pandemic quilt’.

Pandemic Pattern, 2020, detail. Strips ~0.5cm x ~5cm
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All images and text are © Alison Schwabe
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