Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Searching for Inspiration

I wanna get going but too many choices prevented me from getting ANYWHERE in the studio yesterday. I know you have been there too. So this morning I went to my old photos and looked to see what I used to do, many many years ago. I found these two pieces, which are ancient, but I think were the beginnings of my small quilt exploration. The red/pink one on the top was a bit busy, but the blue one under it is more controlled and I like this one very much. It is owned by Keiko Goke, so that gives it good marks.

I also saw how my early work (not pictured here) was so intensely 'all color all the time' and over the years I have calmed down a bit and began to think in color schemes. I collected some pages from Crate and Barrel catalogs and found those this morning too. Ahhh. Nice.

So I will begin by selecting some fabric and colors and just arranging them in a harmonious composition and see where that takes me. I don't have to have more of a plan than that to have fun with fabric, do I?
I promised to explain to a reader how I can incorporate commercial fabrics into my fused quilts without allowing them to have their raw edges exposed (preventing future peeling and fraying).

Here I have tucked the prints under the hand dyed solids and then quilted on the prints (underneath layer) not the top hand dyed layer. This keeps the prints in place and the hand dyeds are the majority of the quilt top, which keeps them perfectly fused in place, quilted or not.
Commercial fabrics have a surface that repels Wonder-Under after a time, and I learned to secure them this way after many a bad experience. Now I can use them (sparingly) to great effect.
I prefer to make my own surface patterns with my fabrics rather than to rely too heavily on the prints.


  1. I do love this collaboration with the commercial fabrics but I agree that usage should be kept to a minimum so your glorious hand dyed pieces will shine in your composition. I once had an art professor remind us to study the "Un-Art" publications for trends in colors and textures when playing with too many ideas. Catalogs usually have their trends throughout and they can give your mind a place to rest until your personal inspiration breaks ground. Imagine Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  2. Hi Melody,

    Isn't funny that you seem to struggle with about the same things reg. colour as I do at the moment..?

    Do you feel happy to be (a little) back to quilting?? Looking forward to what you come up with,

  3. yay melody, I am so glad to see you quilting again. Your paintings are gorgeous, but your quilts are what I love!


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