Monday, May 16, 2016

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?!?

Hand Dyed Palette
Here's my friendly warning:  I am on a UFO busting bender!  With a small lull in looming quilt deadlines, I've am using some of this downtime to finish up a few quilts started earlier this year.  Such as this project that was started back in March as a class assignment focused on using soft lines and engaging the quilt edge.

I started by fusing a selection of hand dyed solids in pink, teal (both from a past UFO Exchange) and yellow/orange (Cherrywood).  I created a background of floating rectangles that gradated from a light top to a darker bottom and added a pink/blue/yellow batik for a side border.

For my foreground, I wanted to create abstract flower shapes that were delicate, floating and a nice contrast to the hard background.  I started with cutting out outlines of petals from the pink solids and auditioning their layout on the background.  I had a few petal shapes that floated off the edges.  In order to soften the lines of the petals, I then broke up the line into smaller fragments (dashes and dots) before fusing them down onto the background.  Instead of a large circle or dot for my centers, I cut out a few C-shaped swatches of orange and yellow which adds more abstraction and softness.
Creating Soft Lines for my Petals--Before and After
Once again, I ran out of time to have it quilted/bound before the assignment was due, and it's been pinned to my design wall for 2+ months.  I thought about super detailed free motion quilting but opted instead to use an all over serpentine quilting that would merge the hard straight lines of the background with the soft curves of the foreground.  In the first pass of quilting, I stitched a serpentine line every 3/4"-1", but realized it was not dense enough for the smaller fused elements.  So I went back and stitched lines in between the previously stitched line for a more dense fill, capturing most of the smaller dots and dashes.
Before and After Serpentine Stitching
In order to preserve the illusion of the flowers floating off each of the edges, I chose to face my quilt vs. use a traditional binding that would create a frame.  I've modified my facing technique slightly to reduce some of the bulk at the corners and using The Silly Boo Dilly's tutorial, which I really like.

When it came time to name my quilt...I thought about using some form of alliteration:  Faded or Floating Flowers.  Seeing them fade and float off the edge reminded me of the song "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" written by Pete Seeger and sung by Peter, Paul & Mary.
"Where Have All The Flowers Gone?", Finished at 29" x 23"

4 comments:

  1. Wow, Mel! So painterly! I cannot believe the detail in your fine wisps of fused fabric flowers. You never fail to amaze me.

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    1. Awwww...thanks Joni. I will admit that at first, I really struggled with this particular assignment. But I persevered and was rather pleased with the end result! It is very painterly!!

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  2. Another beautiful original, Mel. Thanks for sharing your process. Like Joni, I find your fusing ability amazing. Congratulations on a wonderful finish.

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    1. Thanks Ann...the concept of soft lines was a bit abstract for me, until I gave it a try. It take a bit of extra time, but the effect is well worth it!! Thank goodness for fusibles!! ;-)

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