Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Reflections - Through the looking glass

This is my contribution to the latest "International Quilt Challenge" (see my side bar). The theme was Reflection. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have always been two of my favourite creative works, and that is what sprung to mind immediately. I even had the image very clear in my mind's eye, but wasn't sure if I could sketch it out in reality.

However, the picture of Alice half-in and half-out of the mirror actually flew from my pencil.

In some ways the quilt didn't really do justice to the sketch, but maybe it really just didn't live up to my imaginings.

First of all I transferred the image of Alice from the waist up onto fabulous silver lame, layered the quilt and sewed over the sketch lines x3. I used fabric crayons to provide some colour. I then transferred the rest of the image onto white cotton voile, placed it over the lame, and sewed over Alice from the waist down - also x3. I had hoped the silver would show through much more, but it sort of got lost. Ah well! I used fabric paint for more bold colour for this side of the mirror.

Using TAP I transferred some original images of Alice's adventures. I also sewed some silver straight reflection lines on the mirror and around the part of Alice that has fallen through to try to create a shimmer effect.

The frame is upholstery fabric and I have quilted it in a design of carved wood with spirals up both sides.

I am uncertain about it, but pleased that it is finished, as I have been struggling completing projects of late - too many distractions!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Vintage Fabric in a Modern Quilt

Happy New Year to you all!

At our family Christmas gathering, I was able to hand over a welcome quilt I had been working on for our gorgeous 5 month old great-nephew, Lachlan.  When his great-grandmother, Mary (my sister-in-law's mother) down-sized, much of her patchwork stash was passed on to me, for which I was very grateful.   It included some of the most beautiful scraps of liberty fabrics as well as a large assortment of hexagons of different sizes: some single basted to paper, some in flowerettes and a long chain of mostly red flowers joined in a strip.  When Lachie was born, I knew I wanted to use these in a quilt, that would therefore be the shared creation of both his great-grandmother and great-aunt.

It took me quite some time to work out how to effectively use the hexagons.  I wanted it to be suitable for a boy (despite the florals), and, because I hope it will become a keepsake, I didn't want it to be too babyish, such that he would grow out of it quite quickly.  However, I still wanted a childlike naivity.  His mother, as a florist, has a very artistic eye, and I hoped that using the vintage hexagons with large areas of neutral, pure linen background in the style of a modern quilt would appeal.

The quilt reminds me of a small boy's blocks strewn across the floor - some are connected and some large construction is beginning to take shape.  I deliberately made the quilting irregular, like doodling, by free-motion quilting around the shapes, rather than using a walking foot and ruler, and the quilting is designed to create a visual connection and reference between the scattered hexagons.  The fabric is a real mixture, mostly cotton, with some batik, dress fabrics and linen.  My sister-in-law recognised some of the fabrics from her mother's dresses or a cushion cover, which was lovely!  To my very inexpert eye they look around late 60's / early 70's, but I would be very grateful for any insights or opinions.

And while Lachie may be too young to really understand the provenance of the quilt, I think he still enjoyed it!