Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back to the Beach

I completed two very different art quilts recently both with some shells that I collected at two very different beaches.  The first one features sand dollars that I collected years ago on a family vacation on Turks and Caicos.
13 1/2" X 32"

The quilt is similar to the stick and stones piece in that there are three separate layers of quilted fabric that are then attached.  I once again used the earthy brown silk as the focal fabric and did some hand stitching.

Here is a close up of the sand dollars, silk and hand stitching.

The three fabrics had a very cohesive feel to them.

The second art quilt is mounted on a canvas that has several layers of paint that were over painted with black and then scraped with a comb.  It is a collage of mixed media.  Although both use elements collected from the beach, they are very different in both composition and design.
8" X 8" canvas         5 1/2" X 5 1/2" mixed media fiber art

This piece has a base of dupioni silk that I quilted with rayon thread.  It has several shells collected from the New Jersey shore where I vacationed right after Hurricane Irene left town.  I also have some drift wood, beads, ribbon, fabric bead, mother of pearl buttons and hand dyed cheese cloth mixed in there.  

Here is a close up of the upper half.

I love the way the texture of the silk, fabric and shells comes together.  This piece has hints of gold in the fabric and a certain luster that cannot be accurately shown with my photography skills.  As with all our work, it looks better in person.

Thank you for looking at my work and further indulging my desire for beach combing.  I am forever in the hunt for that perfect shell, pretty stone or tumbled beach glass.  For me, all of those things make a walk on the beach perfect.


  1. These look great!! I first liked the top one best...then I liked the bottom one best. Now I just love both of them. Such lovely shells too...Perfect sand dollars and I guess even Huricanes can leave something good behind.

  2. Great pieces - I can almost hear the ocean waves.

  3. Love these! I have boxes of shells from Sanibel Island that I have been wanting to incorporate into my artwork and quilts. How do you secure the smaller shells to your artwork? Thanks so much for getting me inspired!

  4. Beautiful work! I recently learned that sand dollars from the West Coast (where I now live) don't have holes like the ones I used to find in Florida or yours from the Turks and Caicos.

  5. I love these pieces, the second one though is my favourite. As I am from the UK what is a sand dollar, or is that a nickname for a particular shell found on US shores?

  6. What beautiful work! I have some shells from a recent trip to Myrtle Beach. I might just give this idea a try!!