Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Making of Gardens and Galaxies

Since I'm unable to sew after having surgery on my shoulder (it went very well... the physical therapy starts later today), I thought that I would post about a quilt I made several years ago. It began at a workshop with my art group, ArtsEtc. on how to paint with dyes on silk. We were told to bring a drawing or a photo and that we would be working with brightly saturated colors. When I visited a plant market in Ecuador, I took this photo of a succulent. I liked the shape of the leaves and thought that maybe I could use it someday.
A succulent
To get it ready for the workshop, I manipulated it in Photoshop Elements 10 and added bright colors.
Colored-in photo
I printed that photo out on paper and took it to the workshop. The instructions were to sketch the main outlines on the white silk with pencil. Then we painted the pencil lines with gutta resist. Once the gutta was dry, I painted in the shapes with dyes that were close to the colors in the photo above. I ended up with a very pleasing silk painting that looked like a batik. Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of it.
     The question for me, was what to do with it? I could turn it into a whole-cloth art quilt (but I had never quilted on silk before and I was afraid of ruining it). I could make it into a pillow cushion (but I didn't have a room in our house in which it would coordinate).
     Later that year, I traveled to Vietnam and bought a bunch of silk remnants literally off the floor of tailor shops and when I got home and was putting all silk fabrics together in a bin (including the one I painted) inspiration struck.
     I cut the piece into squares and paired it with some squares of silk from Vietnam, did some embellishing with sashing, netting, sheers, and beads. And so Gardens and Galaxies was born.

Gardens and Galaxies

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to hear your surgery went well. Take care of yourself and heal quickly.


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