Sunday, January 23, 2005

Simple and Elegant: New work #3

Medley in Rust and Gold

~41 x41" (It's not all that square)

Please click to enlarge.

My new piece was a quick one to compose but it took over eight hours to quilt it. So I am showing several quilting details. My intent was the continuing exercise of working within a limited color palette, always a difficult task for me. I also worked at simplifying my design. I left out much more than I allowed in on this one. This seems like a big leap, since so many of us quilters want to fill every inch with another shape, or line or decorative element.

If this were a painting I would be happy to have just large washes of color, complimented by elegantly painted lines, so that was the approach I took, to hold back and make a quilt like I would a painting.

I left some areas unquilted for some variety in textures.

Most of the palette was warm and it needed a cool color to contrast with it, so I chose this 'sky piece' which shifted from pink to lavender to yellow. Though the clouds are simple lines, I took the time to match the threads to the fabric colors which are very subtle, allowing me to use some thread that never usually finds its way into my quilts.
What does that tell me?
I am getting better at including many more values...

The tree shape is aquamarine and royal and jumps out of the orange and yellow background.

Below is a detail of the central bottom section which is really a rich dark emerald green, and looks weirdly dusky navy here.
I think this piece is more 'me' than the previous day's piece. Maybe I am finally catching onto my new direction.
Part of my plan to consciously move ahead with my work is to make a few decisions before I start a piece. Limiting my palette and simplifying the composition are two of the newer features in this approach. I have so much pre-fused fabric that I have been 'saving' for something somewhere down the line and now my plan is to use it all up, just dive in and pick the best stuff and let the quilt devour it. After seeing Robin Ferrier's quilt, I also must use the silks I dye, both the satin side and the crepe side...woowoo!
I had also planned to make a quilt which I could enter in Michele Hardy's new show, because the size limit was 40". I figured I would make this one for that show, and when the quilting was done it was one inch too large width wise, so darn, I'll have to try again.


  1. Hi Melody,

    This is my favourite of the three so far. The quilting is beautiful


  2. The quilting IS gorgeous. What an inspiration! I was wondering about fiber content. So, Medley in Violets and Greens, and Dusk and Dawn are cotton?

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  4. Lovely work and quite different from your other works. Almost austere, but with an attraction of its own. Your quilting amazes me. Definitely something to try myself.

  5. Yes's great. Still, I like Violet and actually would look GREAT in my room right now!! (it's violet and green...too bad I am out of wall space).

    Ok, so now you need to get one done that will actually work for the keep going too big and I'm still going too small.....


  6. Hi--I deleted my earlier post because I thought, "Gee, I wonder what this little icon over here is." Oops. I admit to having an icon disability. I can never figure out what they mean until...

    Back to the comment: I like this very spare approach to art. I'm finding as I look at artists who produce "stripped-down" work, I am immediately struck by the piece as a whole, and then I am compelled to look closer to figure out why the piece is so striking. In exhibition with "busier" (but beautiful) work, the spare, simple pieces always seem to jump off the wall and set themselves apart. I was quite taken with your other recent pieces, but as I scroll between this simpler piece and the earlier ones, this is that draws me in.


So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com