Construction

The other day my 4-year-old grandson was looking at one of my art quilts. Then he asked, “Did you build that?” I love this wording!  “Yes, I did build that!” And what a joy it is to be a person who does construction.

He is a builder himself. He combines anything at hand: random-toys-tools-shiny objects-rope-paper-cardboard-sticks. In the summer months there may also be mud-gravel-flowers. He is a multimedia artist! 

Above is one of my newest constructions. It is called Big Table and is 30 X 30 inches. I created this for a group challenge with the theme Celebration of Color. I liked the word celebration. In addition to color, I also wanted to celebrate shapes, a range of values, and people together.

Below are detail images showing applique and also people made with markers and pastels. Applique means applying one fabric on top of another. I used fusible web to iron fabrics to a muslin cloth. I wanted to create the impression of grout lines, so I put down bright turquoise fabric first and added darker fabrics on top. When I build a piece, I am always deciding the order of the fabrics. I could have put the dark fabrics first and then added thin strips of the bright turquoise second, but I think the other order made a cleaner look. In another area I added pink fabric on top of a large area of light turquoise. The look is similar, but the construction method is slightly different. Outlines of cartoon people were stitched before I colored them in using markers and oil pastels. (Both the stitching and coloring were done after the quilt was assembled. See explanation below.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Usually I stitch (applique) all the fabric pieces to a muslin cloth before I assemble the quilt. I make a sandwich of completed top/batting/back that makes a quilt, and then do quilt stitching as a separate step. The quilt stitching is independent of the shapes of the design and can provide a nice contrast. That is one method of construction.

For this art quilt, I did all the applique and quilt stitching as one step. The applique and quilting are accomplished with a single set of stitching. This alternate construction method gave me the desired effect. 

 How to finish the edge of the quilt? Another construction decision! For Big Table I used a pillow case method. The majority of my pieces have this type of edge. It is done before the quilt stitching. But I sometimes use a binding or a zig-zag edge. These two methods are done after the quilting is completed.

This month’s recipe is green honey pancakes:  Using a blender liquify together one small zucchini (about 2 c. chopped medium chunks), one egg, 2 t. vanilla, 3 t. honey, 1/2 c. Almond milk. Transfer to a bowl. Add 1/2 c. almond flour, 1/2 c. millet flour 1/4 c. Tapioca flour, 1/4 c. toasted shredded coconut, 1/4 t.  each salt and baking powder, 1 T. sugar, and stir. Cook on a griddle and cool. These pancakes are sweet, so even naked they make an excellent snack.

 

Looking at Light

Several months ago, I talked to you about art show themes. I also shared three reference photos taken in early morning light. Here they are again. These photos were my inspiration for creating a piece for the Chasing Light show. I combined the three images and used three different sizes, resulting in a compelling composition…. Read more »

New Combinations

  Are you one of those silly people?  – A person who thinks your house can only hold a finite number of artworks?  There are a lot of you out there! It turns out that art can expand and contract and change, just like other things in your house and yard. For example: walls, paint… Read more »

Spring Calling

  I have created an artwork make over. The new piece is Spring Calling. In last month’s blog I shared an image of an applique picture that I created in 1988. I am showing you that image again. Girl on the Slide is 24 X 40 inches. At that time I used trapunto in a… Read more »

March Miscellany

Some of you live in Gillette Wyoming, but you might not know about the wonderful venue for contemporary art quilts at City Hall. Take the stairs, and see my artwork from various vantage points! I change out the quilts in Spring and Autumn. There are four new pieces to enjoy. Evolution, 43 X 53 (above)… Read more »

Art Show Themes

Art shows often come together better if there are parameters. These might be subject matter, concept, color palette, size, medium, or some combination of these things. There are no guarantees that artists will respond to a call for art by submitting strong artwork. A theme that you thought was wonderful, might be greeted by a… Read more »

Show and Tell

In December I had the pleasure of hearing Transendence: How Humans Evolved through Fire, Language, Beauty and Time, read by the author, Gaia Vince. She follows the story of homo sapiens from their beginnings until now, and her full research and excellent storytelling make this book of non-fiction a real page turner! I was listening… Read more »

Light and Dark Harmony

It turns out that you’re never too old to learn! Five months ago an artist buddy introduced me to the art principle of Notan, which is a Japanese word meaning light and dark harmony. Had I gone to art school, I would already have known about this way of looking at composition. How pleasing is… Read more »