Monday 1 August 2016

Four in Art 3: Colour/Purple Passion - "Anemones"

This is the third quarter's Four-in-Art quilt reveal.  Themes for the year and for the particular quarter are suggested by members of the group and the theme for this year is "Colour" and the sub-theme for this quarter is "Purple Passion".

When I first read that this was the quarterly theme I was a bit stumped.  I wondered at first if this was because I didn't like the colour purple - I don't wear it, and I could only find one thing in my house that colour.   But the one thing I have is a little coloured drawing of flowers that my mother did for me. This made me remember that I do actually love purple - in nature, especially in flowers including hardy geraniums, perennial wallflowers and so on. I currently work as a gardener,  so flowers are a big part of my life; you could say, a passion.  With this in mind, I decided to do a flower-inspired quilt, using anemones as my flower.

Another picture highlighting the texture of the quilting and embroidery.

The rationale behind this quilt is that it follows on from my first two for this year's "colour" theme.   My first one was monochrome black and white.  The second quilt progressed to one colour and worked with several variations on that.  With this third quilt I thought I'd expand further on the theme by using purple, the primary colours it is made from (ie blue and red), together with its opposite on the colour wheel (yellow). Anemones were a great flower because the shades they come in made it possible to use several purples containing different amounts of blue and red.

My other FIA quilts have generally been abstract in design and I had been thinking about what an art quilt is, and worrying if I was being artistic enough for the group.  I looked on the Internet (as you do) to see if I could find a definition of "art quilts" which matched the way I think of them and needless to say there was a lot of variation in opinion.

Apart from the fact that it explores the colours in the way that I described this quilt actually has less 'meaning' than the more abstract quilts I have made.  I don't think an art quilt has to be pictorial, but one of the aims of Four in Art is to challenge ourselves and I really just wanted to use fabric and thread in a way that was a bit painterly and impressionistic, for example I tried to piece the background in a way that would be the fabric equivalent of broad, thick brushstrokes - it is made out of lots of scraps of 'low volume' fabrics fused to a backing fabric and quilted into place.  All the scraps have raw edges which I hoped would add to the textured effect.

I outlined stems and leaves with machine embroidery using colour in the same way as I would in a watercolour painting and I used shot cotton for the flowers, because it has a lovely sheen and catches the light beautifully although it is difficult to capture the full glory of it in a photograph.  The different colours in the warp and weft make it far less 'flat' than a standard coloured fabric.

Fused applique
Raw-edge applique
Machine embroidery
Hand embroidery using French knots in Perle 8
Straight line quilting
Background: Quilting cotton
Flowers and jug: Oakshott shot cotton

I enjoyed thinking about and making this quilt so much and am always so happy to be part of this group.  I am looking forward to seeing how the others have treated the theme.

We have a blog, Four-in-Art Quilts, but you can find the other Four-in-Arters here!


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