Monday, November 28, 2011

Visual Metaphors

I will be talking about quilting and visual images, using my diary pieces to illustrated. I kept a daily quilt diary -- making 4x6 inch pieces nearly every day of my 65th year. Each was a visual metaphor for something memorable about that day, some were very obvious, some more subtle. Here are four. Above was a day beside the ocean.

The second, obviously Black eyed Susans -- a three dimensional little quilt, for one of those September days when it seemed everyone's front yard had at least one clump of these flowers. I think these are more literal than intellectually metaphoric.

This is called "the moon was a ghostly galleon -- no highway man" Obviously it's a night when the full moon was partly obscured by flying clouds and the reference, most people will recognize, is the Noyes poem The Highwayman that nearly everyone read in middle school.

The final one is entirely metaphoic, an abstract reaction to hearing "joyous chamber music". All together I made about 350 little quilts that year. I've put twenty together into a wall quilt which these are all part of. I will probably print another few in a few more days.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A woven quilt

This quilt looks like a quiet block quilt. It is not. I showed it earlier with another woven quilt -- that one was in bright turquoise and magenta. This one was purposely woven of quiet colors, whites, grays, blacks [mostly prints or tone on tone]. The strips of which it is woven were mostly an inch wide, some [at the edges] were close to two inches. They were all raw edge strips so the center is "hairy" with bits of thread from the strips.

The piece is hand quilted with large stitches in the center, thus holding all the strips securely in place. The border is machine stitched. I like quiet colors and simple quilting occasionally in the way that I love coming upon Alice Martin's very quiet paintings in MoMA or other modern art venues and finding something more complex and careful than Robert Reiman's all white and/or black paintings. Martin's are very simple white paintings with meditative pencil markings. Not that I'm implying this very simple little quilt compares with Alice Martin's work, but that was my inspiration. I have more strips -- a large collection was sent to me by my friend, Lynn, many years ago and only this year have I begun to use them. This quilt now hangs near the dining table so I can contemplate it when I have meals.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Illustrating a Poem

Moved by an experience last Tuesday I wrote a poem, then made a quilt and added the poem to i

At the MFA

An overcast autumn day, warm and wet as spring --
from a window above the Japanese garden
I mistook many-colored lilting leaves
for a flock of fast flying birds.
Only laggards fainted
upon raked gravel
writing a random calligraphy
reminding me
summer had flown.

The entire quilt has become the blog header. Above is the left half of the quilt, and here is the right half. I'm sorry I cannot get a clear photo [inadequate light, camera moving] but the white strips flying below the "birds" and drifting downward, are the lines of the poem.

The MFA of the title is the Museum of Fine Art in Boston where I was on Tuesday, Truly for a moment the mass of leaves flying on a gust of wind -- not falling but rushing past my sight -- seemed a flock of birds actually flying north.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another Paper Pieced Star

Designer Carol Doak has come up with so many paper piecing patterns for stars that I don't think I'll ever run out of different ones to make and if I should I could, of course, always do them in different colors -- I usually don't use the colors of her illustrations. This one is for a swap and meant to be bright and festive for the holiday season. That's one down -- I'll be making another -- different but the same idea, some time in the next week. Making the Doak stars from her two major books of star patterns is, for me at least, almost as addictive as eating peanuts.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Inspiration from others' quilties

Two quilties I recently received in swaps. The flower above was painted with soy based paint. It will hang on my design wall as a reminder that very often less is more. The tulip [or whatever the flower] is artistically painted and nicely quilted. Although the quilter apologized for not yet being a proficient free motion quilter, the background quilting is fine, it adds to the piece and that should be it's only aim.
This black bordered little quiltie, which is a bit larger than the one above, uses yo-yos as flowers very effectively, with the basic black and white scheme. Their various sizes keep it from being static and the flowers, commercial artificial flowers taken apart and held on with a bead in the center of each add the cheery color that make the quiltie fun to look at. This one will hang on the design wall to remind me not to be too serious, that especially small pieces, like quilties, are opportunities to have fun with design.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Same method, different results

I made this block exactly the same way I made the block in the previous post -- except at the last step I rotated the pieces differently and came up with these pinwheels.

In this case there was not enough contract in the blue batik and the gray-green one, there are four pinwheels but only the two with high contrast show. I never stop experimenting and never stop learning.