Living This Creative Life

I have two favorite quotes. The first one is by Emile Zola, "If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I would tell you that I came to live out loud". I don't know who the second one is by, but it goes like this, "If you're not living on the edge then you might as well jump". Both of these sentiments sum up my personal philosophy of this experience we call life on earth. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Art Every Day, Thursday, April 4, 2013

Good Afternoon,

Here is today's new piece.  I wanted to play with dimension and the juxtaposition of tight with messy.  I began with a piece of orange dyed vintage layered on top of yellow dye painted batting.  I tucked some red violet under the opening in the vintage cut work then added a rectangle of the same fabric on the lower left.  Next came a rectangle of yellow dyed fabric with dimensional embroidered flowers (one of my favorite styles of our hand dyes).  It was placed on top of some dyed silk chiffon and cheese cloth.

I stitched everything down with either some top stitching or tiny stippling then I clumped up a bunch of the threads that get pulled off of our fabrics during the dye process, these were mostly bright yellow and deep red violet with a little dull orange mixed in, then I stitched those down.  Finally, I stitched around the yellow batting with a straight stitch.

I hung it on the wall to take a photo and was struck by how off balance it was.  I do all of this daily work with it flat on the cutting table then flat on the machine, rarely taking the time to look at them on the design wall so I should not have been so surprised that the balance was so off.  I had thought that by stitching around the large embroidered leaf in the upper center of the orange vintage fabric in the contrasting red violet color of thread would have been enough to take care of the heavy bottom of the quilt, but the bottom turned out to be much heavier than planned. 

So, I grabbed some more of the red violet fabric, the dyed fabric threads and some cheese cloth and braided them all together and threw them along the top of the piece and viola! Balance.  Not perfect, but definitely livable.

Till tomorrow,
Heather 

1 comment:

Christa Irell said...

What a cheery and fun piece!

This was a really great description of the process and the intent too- I liked following along, looking at each element to see what you meant.

I can actually see and understand how the braided strips at the top help to balance out the weight of the bottom focal point of textured dimension.

I also think that the red violet on the batting is a help too. There is slightly more of it at the bottom right corner than in the top left (and really nowhere else that I can see) so the piece just naturally draws our eye across that diagonal.

This is such a texture-rich piece, from the vintage piece of orange with the leaf and the lovely crocheted border, to the yellow with it's tiny embroidered flowers, to the threads in all the colors to suit. It could have been overwhelming.

Yet I feel like the tiny stippling sits the orange back nicely to the mid-ground. It's well-supported by the yellow background with it's calming outward stitching, which in turn is a perfect support for the top most layers.

The dimension is great- with the red violet rectangle floating under the floral dimension in the corner, but up off of the orange. And even though both the focal point and it's offset of threads are not completely on the same layer, they both come forward in that way.

I have only just been discovering your vintage hand dyes and I have to say, I LOVE them. They just have so much possibility!