Monday, November 08, 2010

Central Park
56" x 53"
or How I Spent My Summer Vacation!

I am posting about my newest creation today!  Another 3D quilt, which is funny because after the last one, I didn't think I would make another one!  It was a labor of love though.  I felt really inspired to create this piece because of the feelings I get of being rejuvenated from hiking in a park.  Nature does it for me every time! Balance, grounded, happy.  And I get the same feelings when I stand in front of this piece.  I am immersed in greens and blues.  It is an evocative piece for me, which I am quite confident is not fully expressed through a tiny photo on a website.  I am still hoping to find a venue where it can be experienced in person and I can hopefully pass on the inspiration to you.
full view of Central Park

3D view of Central Park

wholecloth background fabric, shibori tied before dyeing
I must also admit some frustration with my posting.  I now have 3 computers at home, and none of the monitors show the color the same.  So, there is no way for me to have any idea of how your monitor is displaying the color.  And not dismissing the importance of design and construction, for me the biggest part is about the color.  So, I apologize if the greens look funky to you.  In real life these color are a rich blend of comfort and harmony.

And as you scroll down through the photos, you will get an idea of how the quilt was constructed.  I actually started this piece last spring and worked through the summer.  This was my entry for Quilt National, but it was sadly not selected.  I can tell you that just by having a deadline as a goal really helped me to complete this quilt.  The logistics were overwhelming from time to time, with over 5000 French knots to sew on 500 buildings to make and hand applique on.  The quilting of the background also took an unexpectedly long time, about a month.  It was hard to quilt around all those circles, lots of starts and stops, and threads to bury or clip.  In retrospect, I wish I had quilted it first before adding the circles for the trees. 
blue fabric from buildings made from commercial cottons batiked in stripes, bleach discharged and then overdyed turquoise, navy, periwinkle, and cobalt blue

machine piecing the buildings into their 3D shapes

piles of buildings, will there ever be enough???

stuffing the buildings with cubes of ethafoam
hand dyed silk organza which was cut into circles for the trees

Park layout before quilting and before embroidery of the gardens

selecting threads for the gardens

French knots in the gardens, there are over 5000 French knots.  Click on picture to see a closeup

Closeup of quilting lines by the baseball fields

33 comments:

Vicki W said...

It's fabulous! Thanks for sharing the construction processes with us. That's an amazing technical feat.

Diana Ramirez said...

Artistically and technically brilliant! What were the Quilt National judges thinking? Hope I get to see it in person.

Heidi said...

What a absolute stunning quilt. How could it be rejected ?
And yes it shows your love of parks :-)

Susan Brubaker Knapp said...

I really enjoyed learning about your process, Kathy. This is a very cool piece!

Brandi said...

OMG--simple breathtaking. You never cease to amaze me beyond imagination. WOW! I don't have anything nice to say about those judges though--what were they thinking? The quilt is simply stunning, so thank you for sharing and I hope it finds a home in a show or gallery where people can enjoy its beauty and complexity!

Gerrie said...

Wow - your creative mind is wonderful.

Diane D. said...

Wow, that is amazing!

Madame Samm said...

ok French knots...are a beaut...did you know why they call them french knots? Oh I have no idea..thought you would know lol..

Nancy said...

Phenomenal!

Deborah Boschert said...

Fan. Freaking. Tas. Tic!

norma said...

Fabulous! I would love to see it in person. It makes me feel better about my QN rejections.

SewLindaAnn said...

Thank you for sharing the process, your quilt is beyond amazing.

JYA Fiberarts said...

This is a wonderful example of, " finding your own creative voice." Bravo! Artistic imagination at it's finest!

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

Love the concept of the park within the city, all the greens and soft spaces. Lots of work and it shows. Don't worry, this one will be admired by all who see it. Thanks for sharing.

Sherrie said...

Kathy your quilt is absolutely gorgeous! Great workmanship and design!

Louise said...

Absolutely stunning! You have certainly taken a lot of effort to make it just right. Thanks for sharing your techniques,

Louise Page

marshaleith said...

I would love to see this in person-though I admit it would be hard to resist to not touch it and play with the buildings! Beautifully done!

Kerry said...

Kathy...This quilt is gorgeous...I'm a transplanted NYer who spent many many years in Central Park! and this IS Central Park!!!I have had NYC quilts buzzing in my head for about 3 years...not being able to light on an idea..
Seeing this visualization has jump started my thought process...Thank you for the inspiration!

swissquilter said...

Dear Kathy, that is a fabulous quilt! Thanks for sharing the steps till it was done.
Edith

Vivien Zepf said...

Wow, this is a marvel.

Ruth said...

Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Kathy, I love your quilt, it is fascinating, and I am so glad Vicki W led me here. I wish I could stand in front of it and absorb and enjoy every detail.

Candied Fabrics said...

To say that this is phenomenal is an understatement....BRAVO!

amandajean said...

that is quite impressive, Kathy!

Katherine said...

Wow, that is a really amazing quilt! All those circles are so yummy, and the number of buildings you made is stunning.

Anonymous said...

It's peaceful and a riot of colour all at the same time! The 3D aspect is awesome, what a great concept.

Thank you for sharing the in-progress pictures. I'm not certain when you added the french knots though - before quilting, presumably? I've been struggling with adding embroidery to my quilts. If I add it before quilting, then quilting becomes difficult. If I add it after, then the threads show on the back. Any advice would be appreciated! :)

kathy york said...

Dear Anonymous,
I added the French knots after quilting. Yes, you can see it on the back, but that doesn't bother me. There are ways to bury the knots, it is similar to hand quilting, but I am inconsistent with it. Sorry, that probably doesn't help much.
Thanks for the great comments!

Martha Tsihlas said...

What an amazing piece of art! I would love to see it in person. Thank you for sharing the process, your work is very inspiring.

Linda Teufel said...

This is a remarkable piece! It is lovely too. Did you havea 3-D piece in the last Quilt nat'l? I think I saw something like this. Must take a longtime.

kathy york said...

Thank you both!
Yes, I did have a piece like this at the last QN, '09, It was called Little Fish in a Big City. And it's on my blog in the archives under May of 2009.

skye said...

Kathy, this quilt is astounding!! The detail (as always) is beautiful visually & technically a tour de force. I, also, am amazed that your quilt was not chosen, but I hope I have the opportunity to see it in person sometime.

Deonn said...

Truly amazing! Who would guess that you could do 3D skyscrapers. Anything is possible!

kathy york said...

Deonn, Thanks! It surprised me too!