Monday, August 05, 2013

Tying Myself Up in Knots

That about describes how I've been feeling- and I'm fully aware that I'm doing it to myself.  

On a positive note, I finished the tee quilt for Shannon.  She is very happy with it, despite the technical flaws that jump out at me.  (You won't see them in the picture, most of them are on the back!)

Art, quilting and design have been on my mind a lot lately.  I am more and more intrigued and enamoured of the modern quilt.  I have spent time trying to figure out exactly those aspects that appeal to me, and musing on how I can include those in my own work, without losing my unique voice.  (At least I hope it is unique!)  I signed up for a modern quilt design class on Craftsy, and bought a book.  The class was well worth it, and the book has some wonderful eye candy and design information.

I think I've narrowed down the elements that appeal to me.  I love the large expanses of negative space.  I like the simple, clean lines.  I really like how the quilting enhances the piecing, rather than taking over the entire quilt.  I find the use of color interesting- proof that limiting the palette can be more interesting than throwing the entire rainbow on it.

I'm really struggling with how to use my hand dyes to best effect with this design esthetic.  I really don't want to go back to using commercial fabrics.  Designing with solids is no problem- I can create my own no problem.  It's what to do with those hand dyes that have as much texture as a commercial print.  Like this one that was part of a parfait--

No lack of texture or color there.  I don't want to cut it into small pieces, but I don't want to just use it as is either.  I only have a fat quarter (from a 55" wide piece of Pimatex), so I don't have any to waste.  Right now I'm leaning towards a square in a square design, or a log cabin derivative, on a large expanse of solid.  I want this to pop, so I'll audition some medium gray fabric- but I can see white in the design too.  I still have lots of playing to do on paper before I actually cut the fabric- any other ideas welcomed!

I'm also playing with designs for the next Tangled Textiles piece, due the end of the month.  It will fit right in with my forest series.  And then there's the winter forest quilt that has been rolling around in the back of my mind, using the arashi shibori fabric I dyed earlier this summer.

Too many ideas, not enough time, a bit of an artist crisis.  Sounds like a prescription for therapy sewing to me.


Libby Fife said...

Can I relate or what? You betcha! You didn't ask but if I can make a suggestion? Getting to know more about art movements as an adjunct to your work is helpful-just like you are doing with the book and class only better. Can I suggest the work of these two people: Gunta Stolz and Annie Albers. They were both Bauhaus textile designers. You might try looking at the work of the Cubists, the idea of Fauvism and color field theory (lyricism). Check out Ronnie Landfield and Hans Hofman. You can clean up the ideas to suit your aesthetic but you can incorporate your hand dyes too. Good luck!

Gina said...

Those elements of modern quilting appeal to me too. I'd love to make a bed quilt using mostly solids and clean lines of the modern approach. I think once you find the solids you want to use with your gorgeous print, the design will follow. Interesting works from the artists Libby mentioned.

Renate said...

It looks like Libby and Gina have given you some good ideas. I kinda lean toward something along the lines of Gunta Stolz's aesthetic. On the other hand you could do a complete reversal (use your hand-dyed as the background). You could call it "Going back in Time" (LOL)

Vicki Miller said...

I love your fabric and great to see the t shirt quilt done. It will be well loved

JB said...

I don't have any brilliant suggestions, but that piece of fabric is scrumptious and anything you do with it will be magnificent