Friday, October 26, 2007

Under A Silken Moon


Under a Silken Moon

Hand dyed Silks and Cottons, fused, machine quilted, 36x12.5" Sold

(click for large view)

see detailed views here


Questions like "Where do you get your ideas?" come up on a regular basis. I don't always have an answer that satisfies. So instead I will explaing what happens before I make a quilt.




really tiny thumbnail


After making October Gift, I thought about making another one in the series, and this time I would change the format or layout of the composition. I had mountains in my mind and the big moon that was in October Gift and so many other of my works. Where did this moon theme come from? I have no idea. Matchstick Moons, Moonstruck, November Moon...and now Silken Moon. What is it the Car Guys say, "undistracted by the thought process". I digress.

So I made this sketch. Sketches like this one are so important, like bookmarking a page. I can think about other things once I have recorded the idea in a sketch. Then coming back to it, it acts like a road map for the final work.


Really light drawing on translucent release paper, which doesn't photograph well. Sorry.


When I am ready I must make the full size cartoon, on Wonder-Under release paper since I have so much of it lying around. I determined the finished sized would be about 3 feet by one foot, so that it would easily fold up into a Priority Mail envelope which I have lifted from my local post office. I am planning to mail it to it's future owner, whomever that is, even before I have chosen the fabrics. I am thinking ahead for once.


Then I make a tracing of the original on another sheet of W-U release paper. This tracing is cleaner than the original, with only the important lines and shapes included. It beats erasing everything superfluous on the original drawing.


From this second drawing I will trace the specific shapes of each piece, starting in the middle, and build the composition, fusing one piece at a time to the previous piece, and lining it up with the cleaned up tracing. This is majorly important. I do not trace and cut lots of pieces and then assemble them. When fusing one needs to get each piece to fit together with either an underlap or overlapped edge.


In my last few multiple day workshops I had the students make a small work in which the design required lining up the pieces so that each fit properly and continued the line of the design. It was a trick for some to get things to fit, but was a good lesson for larger more complex work.


Since this piece has so many leaves and tiny branches, I left those off until the entire background was established. Then the lines of the background piecing gave me the placement of the trees and leaves.


I have seen lots of applique type quilts where the applique is just pasted on the plain background, and imho, this results in a lazy and boring piece. So in designing my backgrounds I try to integrate them with the foreground image, and add something structural to the composition.

22 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:31 AM

    Love the new quilt, "Silken Moon". Do have a question. The moon is almost, but not quite centered. On purpose? Mary Leakey, from your last workshop in Monterey

    ReplyDelete
  2. Um, Yeah, OK.
    Melody

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lovely! You are really showing your expertise in the comment about building a structural background. I will be pondering this and striving to implement it in my work.

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  4. Wonderful quilt!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Shirley12:08 PM

    Wonderful and gorgeous with more to look at than first meets the eye. The curved green pieces and the texture in the left and right green fabrics make shadows and give a lot of depth...and...and...and...ANYWAY, it's really lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rhonda12:18 PM

    Melody, your initial sketch looks like wine glasses on a shelf. Is this what happens when you look at the trees from the porch, with vino in hand?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Rhonda12:21 PM

    and I didn't include my main reason for posting earlier was to pass along - - what a beautiful piece.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Connie12:23 PM

    Even though the figures are the trees, the dominant feature in this quilt is the moon, which is in the background. And the curves in the pieced background, which almost look like moondogs or the light rings caused by moonlight on haze in the air, integrate and relate the background to the moon.

    ReplyDelete
  9. bonnie1:14 PM

    You must be settled in now...for a while you did the lines/stacks almost like you were looking for order in your life...now that the order is there we are seeing more shapes/circles/curves...I love the direction your art is taking you..and you must too.....

    ReplyDelete
  10. oh, i love under a silken moon! i just watched the art of quilting from pbs home video (which i picked up on the way out of the library last night!) and started googling around! i love the idea of fusing! it makes quilting an actual possibility to me!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. When you overlap... by how much do you overlap? (a min and max of overlapped material would be great to know)

    The quilt is awesome. I love fall, all the fall colors, and the moon so this one really appeals to me!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I overslept! Darn. I would have loved to have had this beauty hanging on my wall! Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Rebecca6:03 PM

    Love, love, love it!

    And I like Bonnie's analysis...interesting thought.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  15. beautiful! somebody got really lucky!

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  16. Nice job--I so want to start to do these myself. thanks for writing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow, Melody! You do know how to captivate us poor autumn-deprived Texans!
    -v

    ReplyDelete
  18. Gorgeous as usual. Finally getting on line after many days off.

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  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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Hello,
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