Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Welcome to Boulder!"

When we moved to Boulder in June 2014 the poppies in our yard were in exuberant bloom.  It seemed to me that they were welcoming us to our new home.  

Recently my art quilt group challenged each member to make a small quilt using a fused (glued to fabric) flower, and I immediately thought of those poppies.   I looked through the many photos of the poppies that I took that first June here and I selected one to use as inspiration for my piece. 

I wrote about my initial work on this quilt in a post on March 24th.  Now the piece is finished!  Here's how it turned out.  It's a 20" square quilt mounted on a 22" square painted canvas. 

The green, dark blue, and light blue outer borders are part of the canvas I painted.  This is the fifth time I've mounted pieces on canvas, but it's the first time I've painted the canvas with colors that extend the quilted piece outward.  I really like the effect. 

I think this is also the first time I've ever used a photo for inspiration.  I'd been doing a lot of abstract work lately and felt like a change.  

To reinterpret the photo in fabric involved using a Photoshop filter that breaks the image into parts (postor edges),  reading the color values of the parts and finding fabrics in those values to use in the piece.  Then the photo is cut into pattern pieces which are used to cut the fabrics into pieces that are layered or fused together.  Finally stitching and fabric markers are applied to highlight and shade the image.  It was a new process for me and a learning experience for sure!

Here's the main flower.  

And one of the leaves.  This image shows the affect you can get by quilting each square in the background before piecing them together.  Notice how the quilting lines don't match; the lines don't run all the way across the background.  It's an interesting affect, I think.   

 I applied some hand stitching to fill in a space I thought was too empty.

Here's a detail of the strips I fused to the quilt edges and then attached using a variegated thread to make a blanket stitch on my machine.   It's not really a binding because the fabric doesn't fold over the edge; instead the strips cover the front and back and the side are covered by a rat tail cord applied with a zig zag stitch by machine.    

Recently I joined the Front Range Contemporary Art Quilters,  a longstanding and very active local group with a mission to "support those [quilters] who express themselves by using contemporary images and techniques."  As I looked at my finished piece I wondered how it was an expression of myself.   I realized that the happy colors, interesting mix of fabrics, and exuberant feeling the piece  conveys reflected my own happiness, excitement, and exuberance at being here in Boulder.   With that realization I decided to  name this quilt "Welcome to Boulder." 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome poppies Mary! I have another quilting friend who fuses her art and puts it on a quilted background. I have only done it once, but I really like the look because you don't have to quilt up to the applique and stop and turn around. You knocked this out of the park! Well done.


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