Posts Tagged ‘free machine quilting’

Another Discovery

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

 Mirage 1, 2005.    75 x 100cm                     Oscuro, 2002.   122cm  x 100cm.

 

These two small wall quilts date from early 2002.   Looking through archived images this morning I found the one on the right, and though I remembered it, and occasionally come across it in the deepest recesses of my storage area.  For a while I couldn’t remember what on earth I called it, but eventually I did, and I now believe the illustrated catalogue to be complete.  The key word is ‘believe’, leaving some wiggle room for another discovery.

Mirage 1 was really just a sample to see how fine I could go with a wavy line approach, and gently waving lines like these have characterised my technique ever since.  It’s no great art work, but a little piece I love and usually take to any technical workshop that includes freehand piecing.  I had just been inspired by the new appearance of very finely pieced works by well known Australian artist and friend, Margery Goodall, which has since become a signature element in her textile art.  The title reflects the shimmering quality of a mirage.

Oscuro also has little artistic merit, but is another piece I needed to make.  The arcs of colour which began appearing in my work several years before seemed appropriate for those unforgettable images of rolling, falling, clouds of smoke, ash, all manner of debris, that filled our minds following New York’s Twin Towers attack in 2001.  The barely visible machine quilted pattern is of same-colour grey arcs over the entire quilt.  Oscuro is spanish for dark.

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.

Purnululu #7 in Melbourne, Australia

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

My much-travelled quilt Purnululu #7 will be appearing at the Into Craft Handmade Expo, Melbourne, Australia, in just three weeks’ time, from November 24 – 27.  If you’re going to that event, look for it in the SAQA exhibition “My Corner of The World”

Alison Schwabe, Purnululu #7,  2015

 

The Inspiration of Landscape Forming Processes

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Many years ago, I found inspiration in volcanic activity which resulted in two quilts with design lines reflecting the ballooning and layering of molten lava emerging under the sea, and both  carrying the title ‘Pahoehoe’  as this particular resulting landform is known by earth scientists.  (with apologies for the quality of 20-year old  technology photos)

Pahoehoe

Pahoehoe  #1,   1995,  80cm H x 70cm W  is irregular shaped and photographed against a black background.

Pahoehoe 2

Pahoehoe #2  1997  is 12cmH x 13cm W and hangs against a sand coloured wall in our home in Australia.  I do need to photoshop this pic and remove the blue-ish background, because those patches of blue in the middle of the quilt are actually faced holes, openings.  I should have named it ‘Tricky’, perhaps.

Browsing around Pinterest,  as one is want to do with saturday morning coffee, I was thrilled to find this beautiful silk wall hanging on the artist Petra Voegle’s blog site   It was interesting to see that we’d found inspiration in the same natural force process.

Pele by Petra Vogle  blog

Titled “Pele” (from her Hawaiian Symbols series)  48″ x 17″  (c) Petra Voegtle.    She writes about the significance of Pele, the god, not the soccer playing legend – so click the link and go visit this lovely site. (which has lain dormant for some time, however)  There are some intriguing detail shots if you follow the link below the pic on her page.  She calls her process ‘silk carving’  but from her description, for my quilter readers she’s talking about a whole cloth quilt.  It’s stunning, perfectly capturing the drag and flow of the lava’s movement out across the landscape.

Take #2 – What Was I Thinking ?

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

In looking through some old pics today I found this photo of an art quilt I made for a commission, in Denver CO, towards the end of 1993.  My husband and I were preparing to leave the USA to return to Australia, getting the house ready to put on the market, and managing children with different needs in different parts of the world. Altogether there was a lot going on in my life as is usual for me.   I always have time for a commission, though, and love the challenge, but I’m not often asked.

An interior designer asked me to meet her in a house and discuss ideas for a quilted textile art work commission. The owner wanted a sunset theme work for the living room, where the wall on which it was to be hung included a large 3″ deep alcove with curved top.  We had a discussion about whether to make (a) a rectangular shaped piece the length of the alcove from the point where the curved shape starts, to the foot of the shape; or (b)  to make a piece shaped to fit into the curved shape of the alcove.  I submitted both ways, but with everything going on in both of our lives, at least one of us got crossed wires about the final decision; and the look of astonishment on her face when I unfurled the work saying “Are ready for this?” is something I’ll never forget.  When I looked back at the paper work, on the whole the agreement/contract was vague in places and if I were to read it today it would be glaringly obvious, I’m sure.  I offered to make another, rectangular,quilt, but Cindy’s client wouldn’t hear of it and paid up.  I don’t know who stuffed up, but it didn’t matter once the client said he was happy anyway.  I hope he still is – I never knew his name.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Apart from the title – an inspiring and optimistic ‘Sunset 1’ , there is no info in my computer, but I’m sure I have paper work on it back in Australia.  From memory it is/was about 36″ x 42″.  I don’t have a detail shot of it – and have no recollection of what hanging apparatus I supplied – it was a long time ago!  I see nothing around it to suggest the alcove, so the photo must have been taken against a plain wall – probably in our own home.  To me now it is rather gauche, and I can see a lot wrong with the sky background to the wandering strips that by then had become part of my signature, but at the time I thought it was a pretty good fit with the rest of my work.

 

 

Marshland Sunset copy blog

Years later, I did another sunset piece on commission, “Marshland Sunset” 2007, documented in a series of posts on this blog entitled “Anatomy of a Commission” between March 11th and 27th, 2007.  At that time, I was blogging on Blogger and having troubles.  When I began blogging on my present website in 2008, the older posts were imported, but some irritating things happened in the crossover , so I’m sorry if you find things a little odd on your browser, as I did just now when checking out those posts.   The finished piece is 2′ x 3′.  Several fabrics were supplied by the owner and incorporated.  My technical abilities with strips had changed – I like to think improved.  The piece was machine quilted with gold thread.  I hope it is still happily housed in Florida, USA.

Marshland Sunset 2007, blog

 

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