Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Black Cross

IMG_8044-1Black Cross

Hand Dyed Cottons, fused, machine quilted 47x40” Date unknown.

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I was unable to find a date associated with this quilt and the Cross series which will be posted over the next couple of days. It had to be since 2004 until now, but nothing exists in my blog entries showing it. I may have deleted those posts.

I loved this fabric and thought that it would be great in a quilt. This quilt was made from one large piece of multi-colored fabric. I had an idea for pre-historic cross shapes, as though they were carved from great chunks of stone and wedged together like the great walls of Machu Picchu in Peru. I thought it was a great leap forward for me, not my usual type of work. But it met with great spans of silence. I kept working in the series with the hope that the next one would be greeted with more enthusiasm.

Comment: BethB raised an interesting question that I would love to hear your thoughts on. Do you ever go back into a piece & do more alterations (stitch, paint, etc.) or do you simply let the work stand and move on to the next piece? If you do decide to alter, is there deliberate thought with it or do you go with your gut & experiment?

Answer: I don't go back and rework a finished piece. Especially one like this. I was going for bold simplicity and adding stuff to that would have defeated the purpose. I don't believe that adding embellishments or paint or beads or whatever (what I call gooping it up) to a piece can fix a design. It usually screams "I am trying to fix a bad design". If the design is good, it doesn't need alterations, and if it is bad, alterations won't help.

16 comments:

  1. I'm enthusiastic! I just keep going back and looking at different areas. I think you could sit for hours and find something interesting over and over!

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  2. It's very moody and yummy, and I love the fabric.

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  3. BethB9:46 AM

    Would you ever take something old like this and rework it (by cutting, overstamping, new threadwork, etc.)?

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  4. This is a very powerful piece. It's giving me some ideas for my own work. I have been on a bright binge for the last few years and am feeling the need to "darken up." This shows me some possibilities.

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  5. I would have to see this in person. Because of the way the fabric took the dye, it looks kind of wrinkly... although there is a blue piece that looks like there is a black tree in it that is interesting.
    I prefer your lighter more colorful pieces...it picks up my mood and makes me happy. What can I say? I am shallow!

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  6. Mel, go to your December 4, 2005 blog entry. You refer to doing wanting to do and you talk about Georgia O'Keefe's Black Cross. So maybe that's the era.

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  7. Oh, these are expressive and the fabric designs are WONDERFUL! To me they are deep and resonant, I for one, love them!

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  8. Absolutely love this piece & wouldn't touch if for the world, but BethB raised an interesting question that I would love to hear your thoughts on. Do you ever go back into a piece & do more alterations (stitch, paint, etc.) or do you simply let the work stand and move on to the next piece? If you do decide to alter, is there deliberate thought with it or do you go with your gut & experiment?

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  9. Hey Mel.... I loved your crosses!!!

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  10. BethB7:49 PM

    I wasn't implying with my question to say it WAS bad...and I didn't mean glop it up either! I was musing from your comment that you kept working in the series hoping the next one would be greeted with more enthusiasm. I thought you meant there was something that wasn't clicking with the original and wondered if you ever reworked things that didn't resonate the first time to see if you could make them something you DID like. I don't even know HOW you would do that--off the top of my head I thought cut apart/cut out parts/sew in parts...who knows... Beads are not the answer :) (For the record, I like this as is!)

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  11. What wonderful comments & thank you so much for addressing "embellishments". I hadn't thought about fixing "bad" design as much as adding a little something extra or tweaking just a bit. Sometimes I live with a piece in a semifinished state for awhile before I determine if it is truly done. I totally agree with bad simply being bad! Thanks Melody!

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  12. Laura8:50 PM

    Some might consider beads an embellishment and some might consider them just another artistic medium, part of the design process.

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  13. I really like this; I love your "style," but this is very different and, as someone said above, "moody." Very nice. I've thought about going back and reworking a piece I wasn't happy with, but I could never figure out what to do with it to make it better!

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    ReplyDelete

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