Friday, July 21, 2006

Lush Serendipity

This is another page I've been working on for the book project I mentioned in my last post. The theme for this one is "Touch Me" so I tried my best to make it tactile. I had to write a bit about how I made the piece, so I thought I might share that here as well.

After much thought (most of it vague and without direction) I decided to let my sense of touch guide me. I moved around the studio, picking items up and discarding them, until I came across a piece of faux felt I had made a couple of weeks earlier.

Just for fun one evening, I hauled out a kit for a ‘Guliette scarf’ purchased from the Thread Studio some quilt show in the distant past (or maybe it was last year). I laid out the silk fibres on the length of guliette (water soluble stuff) and added some lengths of yarn acquired more recently, whose lush colours blended perfectly with the silk. After folding the guliette and pinning to form a neat package, I stitched and stitched and stitched some more (on the domestic machine, in case you’re wondering). After soaking away the guliette, I ended up with a soft and pretty length of something far too fragile to be worn (at least by me, notoriously hard on garments). I added this gorgeous but seemingly useless item to the pile of detritus on my studio desk....

where I happened upon it while searching for inspiration for Maggie’s book. An item more lusciously tactile was unlikely to be found. However, I needed to give it some body to make it suitable for the project. Digging into my stash of hand-dyed fabrics, I located the perfect purple and loaded a piece of the appropriate size onto the longarm machine. The perfect thread was chosen for its shine and shimmer, despite being horribly finicky to use (I am a martyr to my art). I quilted the piece with fun fizzy bubbles, which I think is one of the most tactile designs I have used of late – everyone wants to touch it – and adds dimension and movement.

And then (gasp) I hacked off a chunk of the scarf, plopped it down on top of the quilted piece and stitched it till I thought it would stay put. I chose not to fuse or glue, as I was afraid that would detract from the softness of the piece.

I trimmed it, zig-zagged the edges just to hold them, then decided that some sparkle was called for. Having attended Lisa’s beading class just last week, I jumped right in and added some beads, trying to stay with the organic, flowing nature of the work.

I hope you like it Maggie! Posted by Picasa


Anonymous said...

It had the desired effect. I would love to touch it.


Susan said...

How could she not? It's sparkilicious!

MG Quilts said...

I know her pretty well and I think she'll LOVE it!

Linda Teddlie Minton said...

... must ... touch ... want to pet it like a kitty. Really special. I'd say, mission accomplished!