Thursday, January 17, 2013

Earth Spirals

As usual, I had an idea rattling around in my head for a while and in a moment of clarity how I would execute it became clear.  I wanted to make a quilt with 9 spirals but I was going to make each one a different color with various shading variations.  But, it just wasn't working out right in my visual interpretation in my brain.  Then it came to me - just pick a bunch of earth tones - forget the brights I usually gravitate toward and make it more subtle.

I began picking out fabrics and lining them up by color.  All the oranges together, reds, greens and so on.  I had a good variety of fabrics and when I counted them all up, I had 90 different fabrics.  Which reminded me that I really do have a rather extraordinary collection of mostly fat quarters.  Anyway, I separated the fabrics and made 9 piles with ten fabrics each.  From these 9 piles I made this quilt.

First, I cut each fabric so that I had approximately a 7" X 7" square of each.  Then I applied Mistyfuse to the back of each one.  Next, I used a rotary cutter to cut varying width arcs out of the 90 fabrics.  Of course there were more arcs than I needed, and they have been formed into another quilt that I don't have ready for blogging.

The result left me with arcs of the same fabric but never any two arcs the same size.  So, I created 4 panels with each of the piles of 10 fabrics and put them together to make this quilt.  The repetition of fabrics is random but it keeps the eye moving.  The fact that I used all earth tones keeps it from being too overwhelming in color.  I hung it on a deep burgundy wall which also makes the quilt really look rich.

The quilt from a distance also makes these squares that sort of pop back and forth with the spirals.  Which I think adds quite a bit of interest and movement to the piece.  This picture in particular shows how the arcs in the top left part of this square and the bottom right part of the square are from the same fabrics but look completely different because none of the fabrics are in the same place or of the same size.  Repetition without accurate repeat.  The same is true for the bottom left arcs within the square and the set of arcs at the extreme top right of the picture.

The quilting is hard to see because of the lighting but, I used a neutral medium beige on the spirals and a black on the black sections.  The spirals are quilted in an irregular spiral and the black sections are quilted with a pebble stitch.  I also added coconut buttons to each center to pull it together and give the eyes a place to pause.  Without the buttons the quilt was really popping in and out.

One last shot of the spirals just for good measure.  The background fabric was Kona cotton in black.  The 90 fabrics that make the 90 circles were mostly cotton batiks, with a few hand dyes and commercial cottons thrown in.  I used Warm and White batting, my personal favorite and Sulky Rayon threads.

Thanks for checking it out.  I will have the sister quilt that I made from the leftover arcs coming soon.  The top is fused and pieced and ready to sandwich.  Which reminds me that I have to go hand dye the backing fabric.  Feel free to leave a comment and have a great day from here in snowy New Jersey.