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.
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.
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.