Saturday, August 31, 2013
I've always thought of my art work as a meditation; the amount of focus and stillness that is needed to make just the right mark at just the right time is very similar, I think, to that of a meditator focussed on a koan. Yesterday, though, I decided to begin to make a series of small pieces called 'meditations'. This first one is 'Meditation In Purple And Gold'. The photograph is disappointing; this piece looks much better in real life, I think. It is made from four fabrics, two large scale and one small scale prints and two tiny pieces of hand dye. Interestingly, what looked teal in the piece reads as grey in the quilt, but has returned to teal again in the photograph.
So...I pieced at random, and because I liked the selvedge edge on one of the prints, a blue poppy, I kept it, meaning to make it the focal point, intending to have it turned round the other way, like this...
Problem was, though, that the piece felt disjointed. I machine quilted in the ditch to stabilise it, as well as into some of the large, dark blue curves. That didn't help. So I hand stitched in purple metallic thread over the entire quilt, with the exception of the cloth with the gold spirals. That unified the piece, somehow, I think by making the purple theme uniform across the quilt. And because I haven't stitched the purple and gold fabric, it makes it stand out just that bit more. So I turned the quilt on its side to emphasise that connection between the three pieces of fabric, and I think it works.
Here's a close up of the stitch. It's not perfect. The stitches aren't uniform;; neither are the lines perfectly straight. Know what? I chose to make it that way. I think it's more interesting to look at. I stitch the way I draw, varying the marks to give the eye something to look at. I don't think it detracts from the piece; rather, it improves it. And the day I can show something like this at a quilt show without having to explain all of that, will be the day when I know that the quarrels between traditionalists and art quilters have finally been put to bed... pun definitely intended!