Posts Tagged ‘metallic’

The Shimmer Effect

Wednesday, November 29th, 2023

SAQA juror Pat Forster selected one of my works,“The Shimmer Effect”, for an online exhibition, Geometric Expressions, which opens on the SAQA website on January 3rd next. I’ll post that link here when it’s available.

I never show a completed work on my blog or website until it’s been exhibited, ie published somewhere, so for now here’s a close detail shot of the surface texture, along with my statement about it: “A square symbolises balance, solidity and stability.  Hand stitching over concentric squares in gentle neutral colours calmed my unease at current disorder and chaos in the world.  Metallic threads in my work signify value or importance, here referencing tradition and hope.

Close detail, “The Shimmer Effect, 2022. Each square is ~6cm.

I posted about it while making this quilt as it was such a long project. It’s about 1m square, with each concentric square unit being 6cm, with a total of 121 squares of fused nylon organza strips oversewn by hand in metallic thread. The fabric itself has a subtle glittery texture.

Auditioning – Going For ‘Shimmer’

Thursday, April 28th, 2022

In a comment on one of my social media posts this week, I mentioned to someone that I am going for a shimmer factor with my next major work. I want to work on some lovely pearly grey sateen I have, using metallic thread and including that little square stitch motif, of course. I have no recollection why or where I bought that fabric, but right now with all the current drama on the World Stage, I’m feeling the need to create something calming. In conversation with my son about this fabric and colours that might go with it, we talked about how well gold and cream go with grey, and that brief conversation has remained in my mind.

What I’m currently working on has very strong colours, and I really feel the need to follow this with some more orderly calm tones in my next art quilt, something probably quieter and less sensational than anything I’ve ever done before. I’m envisaging some kind of grid layout in soft light colours with lots of metallic thread – going for the shimmer factor. I’m in no special hurry, as the intense hand stitched surface design of what I’m currently working on will take me at least another couple of weeks to finish, probably. (It’s another mosaic one ~1.m+sq.)

My regular readers might also remember that one of my favourite design motifs is a square-within-a-square – which appears every now and then, generally referring back to this suede sample I fused to cream fabric at least 8 or 9 years ago. It’s usually kicking around on my design wall, inspiring but never quite actually becoming the ‘star’ of anything. A square-within-a-square is a very popular patchwork block design in traditional quilt making, and I’ve used that idea in some samples, with and without punched holes:

My much loved square-within-a-square motif, very popular in traditional patchwork.
Fabric and threads encased:

But as the auditioning of fabrics and threads wanders along for treatment on this lovely grey sateen, the square within a square motif has surfaced again as a way to get a major part of a pattern onto the grid I have in mind. Earlier this week I made this quick little sample, two squares within squares, see below:

One comment was that the stitching looked like Roman letters and numbers – I had the im0pression it was ‘print’ too – which led me to ‘SHIMMER’ ….

On the right is cream nylon organza fused to the grey, but it doesn’t show up well… HOWEVER some random stitching over the edges with a little square motif at each corner does speak volumes to me about potential over with the same light grey sheer in the middle. And the brown square is way too dark for inclusion in this exercise – so there’s been some auditioning of sheer fabrics to find something lighter, and I think I’m ready to go with these squares to be the fused basis for the stitchery in light and darker gold metallic, or even gold and silver. We’ll see….

Carolyn Nelson, Soliloquy II, detail.

I know ‘YES’ is a much simpler word than “SHIMMER’, but I’m about to experiment with it, to stitch around each side of the proposed squares … Carolyn Nelson must have stitched ‘YES’ on that work hundreds if not a thousand times, so ‘SHIMMER’ 4 times per block for 165 blocks max., ie stitching SHIMMER 660 times, and I think that’s do-able.

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