Thursday, July 09, 2009

Building Up
76" x 42"
2009
This quilt is about the new trends in housing. Seems like urban sprawl is going tall. I believe there is an argument that denser housing is better for the environment, but I am not convinced. I think more people need more resources, no matter where you put them.

Happily, I got the news this week that this piece will be going to the International Quilt Festival in Houston in the juried exhibit called Quilts: A World of Beauty! Having a quilt get into this wonderful venue is such a thrill! And, I have another quilt going also. It is called Falling Through the Cracks and has just returned home from Ohio where it was in an exhibit called Sacred Threads.


It all started when I found an irrigation stake. Immediately I thought it would make the perfect cross inside a square or circle to look like windows. And with that inspiration, I set out to make as many color combinations as I could. I worked in fat quarter sized fabric, stamping one color at a time, bleach discharging, and then cutting up into pieces and dyeing in lots of different colors. In this way, I got a huge selection of magnificent colors to play with. You may notice from this shot that they are not all windows. I was also interested in exploring some other shapes, which were eventually not used for this project. Here are the warm colors, freshly washed and drying on my bed.


Here's the stack of completed squares. Next, I had a choice to make. I was either going to piece the squares, or fuse them. Ultimately, I decided to fuse them, I didn't want any of my precious colors hidden in seams. So, I put fusible webbing on the backs of all the squares and then trimmed them into squares with slightly rounded corners.
I decided that I wanted some color behind the blocks, so I threw up some solids on my design wall and began playing with the arrangement of blocks. Here's a shot of the beginning of the process, and then another one when I had most of the blocks up. I took photos in case this became the look I wanted. Then I took all the blocks down and tried a number of different arrangements. I could see how this could become a series of quilts!





Then I was wondering how to fuse all those puppies into place and keep their original layout in relationship to each other. That's when I had this brilliant idea!! I would tape fusible release paper to the floor! Put the squares exactly how I wanted and then just press into place ON THE FLOOR! It worked! Caveats: The paper is a bit slippery. For this large of a quilt, it was hard to reach all the pieces, so I had to Walk on it. This would occasionally shift things around. Irritating! And the iron cord also was annoying. I think technology has solved this problem, but I don't have one of those fancy new cordless irons, so I was beleaguered with iron DRAG. Meanwhile, if you are like me, your body is getting older, and bending on the floor to iron is just....uncomfortable, there, that's a polite way to say it! On the bright side, it did actually work, so I'm not complaining!


After fusing all the pieces, I sandwiched it with a backing and batting and hung it up to take a peek. Doesn't it look fabulous with my IKEA couch??

If you would like to see the quilting, look here.

15 comments:

Jamie Fingal said...

This is absolutely a stunning art quilt. I love the way you showed how it was made. Wow, you are such an inspiration! Congratulations on having your work accepted into Houston. We are gonna have some fun in October! Whoohoo!

Beena said...

It is gorgeous! I love how saturated with color your work is! I can see this in a series. And it really does look fabulous with your couch!

norma said...

Another winner for sure. I love what you do with color. Congrats on getting two quilts accepted. I'll look for them both when I'm there.

Lisa Walton said...

As always - you are so inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

Terri Stegmiller said...

I love it!!!!

Sue Dennis said...

Thanks for sharing the process Kathy. Great 'hit you in the eye' quilt!

Roberta Ranney said...

Congratulations! Both of the quilts are outstanding and will be real crowd pleasers. And I really like your use of color.shs

Kay Koeper Sorensen said...

Another fantastic piece Kathy.
I too have a piece made up of square that will be fused and I have procrastinated doing the fusing since it is such a large piece. Someday!

Cindy said...

Oh wow! It is gorgeous! And you are inspiring me. These colours draw me in but I never work with them. I need to change that! Thanks for sharing and being inspiring.

BUMBLE BEANS said...

great! hope to see it in Houston!
Very beautiful!!! koodos!

Linda Laird said...

Dear Kathy,
You communicated a complex intellectual concept in a powerful visual and emotional way--and your colors are just delicious!! Brava, brava!

Keep up the good work,
Linda Laird

GloJoeSews said...

How absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for describing your inspiration for the quilt and the steps you took to make it. I always admire art quilts and am puzzled at how to make something like that. Wonderful. Inspirational.

neuwife said...

Hi, Kathy:
I'm a new follower to your blog. Wow, I just adore all of the bold color! Very beautiful and inspiring.

imquilternity said...

Absolutely stunning! Thank you for showing us the process of creating this quilt. I never would have guessed how you did it. Simply amazing!

Aida Costa said...

Wow is this ever stunning! Thanks for sharing your process and pics of this quilt in progress. It's always very helpful to actually see a technique, rather than just a written description.