Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Little Fish in a Big City
60" x 60"
This is my Quilt National 2009 entry. I am very honored to be in such esteemed company. I will make another entry tomorrow to tell you about the opening weekend!
Little Fish is all about global warming and the new world order, where will I fit in?
Sea levels rising, engulfing cities, the new transportation, fish carrying all the people. Look closely at the bottom right corner for the little fish for whom the quilt was named. This quilt is dedicated to environmental refugees everywhere.
More about how this quilt was made: (I have already posted about most of this, follow the links if you are curious!)
I made the buildings first, just to see if I could sew a 3D cube shaped building. My first attempts did not work at all, but I persevered. All the wrong ones, showed me eventually how to get it right. They are folded, machine stitched, opened up, lined with timtex, and stuffed with polyester, last the bottom opening was hand sewn closed. The buildings range in size from fairly flat to 5 inches tall and stick out perpendicularly from the quilt. This quilt hangs on the wall as the buildings appear to defy gravity. For the most part they did well, however, the tallest buildings had significant problems with sagging and required numerous structural engineering to solve the problems!
The navy background is a whole cloth batik drawn exclusively with a tjanting that I was trying to learn. The fabrics for the buildings are commercial fabrics batiked in stripes and then bleached and overdyed. The turquoise and cobalt blocks are all hand-dyed batiks, mostly stamped from found objects. Among the more unusual ones, a spring from an automatic car window, and hexogonal climbing gear, and children's toys.
There are over 400 buildings, and I forget how many fish, but I can say when I was making them...I never thought I would make enough. The fish are made from screenprinted thickened dyes, machine sewn, painted organza for the pectoral fins, painted eyes and mouths (which are open).
I fused the turquoise blocks on, then machine quilted densely to make the base stiff.
Then I satin stitched the edges of the blocks to catch the loose threads and sharply define the edges. Then I did the hand quilting through the middle of the city, they are supposed to refer to the tracks of lights you might see in the photo of car lights at night.
Then I hand sewed on all the buildings, one by one. Then I sewed the worry dolls to the fish, and last I sewed the fish on. Many had to have their fins replaced as they were looking a little haggard.
If you want to see this in person, check out it's traveling schedule at www.dairybarn.org
Follow the link to Quilt National 2009, it is in collection group C.