Design Challenge: The Four Elements

The last challenge was so much fun, we decided to start another one.

This is another quilting challenge, but with much more creative license. The challenge is to create a quilt that portrays the four elements (earth, water, air, fire).

After some brainstorming, I remembered my extensive collection of Asian fabric panels. This could be a great opportunity to use several of them, with some framing, and maybe a piano key border. The quilting on each panel could be reflective of the element represented.

Can’t wait to get started!

Linen Basket

Happy New Year!

I decided to go ahead with a small improvement to the bathroom: a basket to neatly stash soiled handtowels awaiting laundry day.

The resulting basket is a repurposed doll quilt, in response to my quilt-cutting challenge. Very little cutting was necessary; it was mostly folding, like origami, and sewing into place. I used to love making origami boxes when I was a kid, so this was entertaining and easy. It’s great how it stands up on its own without collapsing, and its bottom is pleasingly flat. It’s also handy that it can be tossed in the wash along with its contents. I’d like to experiment with Velcro for a less permanent basket.

I haven’t finished with the quilt-cutting challenge yet; I dug out a large quilt that I never use, and am planning to make a couple of quilted bags from it.

If you are taking up this challenge, I would love to see your pictures.

Design Challenge: cutting a quilt

Although we are still in the midst of the Colourburst challenge, my mother and I had a meeting recently and decided on a second quilt challenge.

The challenge is to transform a quilt, through cutting and sewing, into a different useful object; for instance a piece of clothing, a bag, or an upholstered item.

This is pretty exciting, what’s coming immediately to my mind is folding the quilted fabric so that it becomes a freestanding article. I suspect my mother is planning a quilted jacket.  I’ll have to do something outstanding to compete with Mom, and I also want to keep my plans secret before the unveiling.

The two of us didn’t set a deadline, but I propose February 28, 2018. If anyone has some good ideas, or would like to join in the challenge, let me know. I’ll post pictures at the beginning of March.

Breadcrumbs

I wanted to design a hooked rug with a realistic looking bird. My daughter suggested a pigeon, and it was a great choice because they are such distinctive colourful birds with their own attitude. I wanted to somehow represent breadcrumbs that the bird would like to eat, but worried small flecks would disappear in the saturated background. That’s why I went with the border of circles, using colours from the pigeon in random order.

Isn’t it funny that pigeons have red eyes? They also have large pink or orange feet, but I used some artistic license.

Anyway, the rug is mat size – 19 x 25 inches, but I’m not sure I can bear to use it as a rug considering the number of hours that went into hooking it. I may want to hook a seagull next.

Canola Fields Woven Project Bag

Last weekend, my daughter and I drove down to eastern Ontario to attend a weaving workshop with  Janet Whittam  in her home studio. It was a treat spending the weekend together with my daughter, and exploring the Morrisburg area in our spare time.

Janet is a knowledgeable and patient instructor, and I learned some valuable tips from her during the two day session. My mind was opened to the possibilities of a black warp, for example. In this piece, look how the black 4/8 cotton warp enhances the chosen colour scheme worked in wool.

I had originally planned to weave a canola fields striped table runner, but I couldn’t resist the temptation of some of the fabulous natural textures in Janet’s well-stocked studio, and ended up using materials that wouldn’t allow the fabric to be flat enough to be used in that way. The project bag is intended for knitting projects and is a simple, generously-sized, lined, draw-string bag.

Thanks Janet!

Canola Field: Hooked Rug Version

I really enjoyed hooking the simple colour scheme in creating this piece, and am particularly happy with the contrast between flowers and sky. I wanted to convey the light fluffy flower tops that you can see the sky behind, I wanted to portray the energy of the approaching thunderstorm, and I wanted to evoke an overall feeling of lush abundance. The trickiest part was suggesting the plant stalks: vertical, but not completely straight. I don’t feel that the design challenge is completely exhausted: I may want to do another rug on the subject, but more abstract.

This small rug will be used as a coaster or pad for hot objects. It was hooked using #6 cut wool strips.

 

Canola Field: Embroidered Version

This is my first attempt at translating my canola vision into fibre art. I am a member of the Guelph Embroiderers Guild, and took a class there on miniature landscapes. This is created entirely using straight stitches and French knots with embroidery floss on linen.

I am currently finishing up my rug hooking version of the canola field scene, and thinking of getting bolder and less representative with the quilted and woven versions.