Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The last issue of Quilting Arts announced a challenge called "What's in a Name?" where you are supposed to make an art quilt interpreting one of the phrases they provide. One was "the devil is in the details" and to me that immediately suggested all the "great" ideas that don't get done because they don't work out somehow. I thought about how to express this, and came up with this result.
I never really thought I'd finish this, so I didn't take pictures in early stages and I'm sorry I didn't because the process was interesting and very unlike what I usually do. I usually have a plan, but this time I started with the idea of cutting up an orphan block and using that, then went to the four skewed nine patches and one perfect nine patch. That was boring, so after sticking it under the table for a couple of weeks, I tried what Libby Lehman calls "pot-luck applique". It's really reverse applique using a pieced fabric underneath, stitching the design on a top layer of fabric, and then cutting away, not really knowing what will show through. I was a bit hesitant to do this, but Nellie of Nellie's Needles had done something similar and encouraged me. That change made the background more interesting, but even after some thread embellishment it was drab because of all the dark colors, so I stuck it away again. Then last Sunday I got it out for one last look, intending to pitch it. Then I remembered the batik flower-garden patches I made two years ago, and when I put them on top, the thing came to life, IMHO. I glued them on, leaving the cardboard and the basting (not sure that was a good idea) and then put net on top and quilted around them. The silk and fleece flowers sort of jumped out of my ribbon and flower embellishment drawer and wanted to go on, and so did the pieced binding (but that doesn't show up much in the picture.) This was fun--totally no rules, and I like the result. I hope it suggests the way ideas pile on top of one another, unfinished and maybe poorly conceived, but sometimes turn into something interesting after all.
I'm calling it "The Devil is in the Details": a Quilter's UFO's". Even former academics love subtitles.