Friday, July 11, 2014

Increasingly Modern

Aotearoa Quilters has a travelling exhibition called 'Growth', entries were due by 1 July.  My quilt 'Increasingly Modern' has been selected along with 19 other quilts.  Its first showing is at the Percy Thomson Gallery in Stratford (Taranaki).

Increasingly Modern
At first I struggled with this challenge as I couldn't get past kids growth charts!  The quilt was a bit of a last minute effort, I had been looking through some photos and came across my quilt, 'Painted Chocolate Blocks'.

Painted Chocolate Blocks

That sparked the idea of using the same technique to some how (!!) create a quilt representing growth.  I eventually decided to represent, as a graph, the growth of modern quilting.


I drew a diagram to work out the layout, there is even a bit of Fibonacci series in the sizing of the squares.

The shapes are painted using freezer paper stencils and Pebeo Textile shimmer paint - the glittery ones.
painting in progress
Then the quilting, this was a slow process.

I quilted around each painted block in a similar colour - the advantage with this is if there are any imperfections in the painted line the stitching sort of blends it out and the eye only sees (hopefully) the straightness of the stitched line.  

I mostly used my current favourite thread - Madeira Polyneon.  I've found I can't finished off the threads using the machine either with its knotting off stitch or several small stitches together.  It leaves either a noticeable blip of threads or they unravel - mainly a problem with these shiny polyester threads.
quilting and all those threads

I start by pulling the threads to the top when I start and finish each piece of quilting.  Then threading to the back and burying the threads later.  I tend to do some quilting then threading off and a bit more quilting, etc.  instead of leaving the whole lot to the end.   

As I quilt (and thread threads in) I often listen to podcasts on my iPad - one I'm following is Charlotte Scott's click here to listen.

For the white quilted area I wanted a wonky look that matched the painted squares.  While the blocks may be wonky they need to be vaguely straight.  To help with the 'straightness' I tacked horizontal lines and then quilted the squares mostly within these lines.  When I'd nearly reached the top I did check that the top row of blocks would line up with what would be the top edge of the quilt.  
angled closeup


The purple line is a piece of ribbon, hand stitched then machine stitched.

And somehow more purple is creeping into my work!

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