AHIQ Linkup – In Search of Wai’ale’ale (Rippling Water)

The Inspiration

We were lucky to spend a week on Kauai in March, and I’m holding on as long as I can to the sensory treat of being on an island in the middle of the South Pacific; the warm, fragrant, soft breezes, the green of the land and the blue of the sea. It’s all about water out there, everywhere you look. We traveled to the ends of the roads to catch glimpses of one of the wettest spots on earth, the top of Mt. Wai’ale’ale, which receives over 400 inches of rain a year on average. The top of the mountain is actually a crater, so it’s not all that easy to pinpoint the exact spot…but there are clues. This one was at the end of the road, and start of the trail at the top of the Kalalau Valley, in Koke’e State Park. We were in tourist mode, not hiking gear, and all of the people finishing this trail were covered in mud up to their waist.

DSC00671Usually, it is shrouded in clouds, but we got lucky one day driving through the Waimea Homesteads in the hills to the East of the mountain. When we looked back, the clouds lifted just long enough for us to snap a shot in the general direction. DSC00891

Anyhow, I have had an idea for a water piece in my head for months and months, and I found a beautiful little collection of nine fat quarters in my donation store. These were mostly from a line by Andover called “Jewels of the Sea”.IMG_2136 I wanted to experiment with different ways of depicting falling, flowing and rippling water. Since I had only spent about a dollar on the fabric (half-off Friday) I figured I could be brave and if it didn’t work out, I’d always have a few pieces I could use for a small bag or something of that sort. In other words, I gave up my expectation that it would result in an actual quilt, and just started cutting. As it turns out, that was a good call, because I did not succeed in realizing my vision!

I did not take a lot of process photos. I started by cutting each of the FQs up into several strips, between about 2″ and 4-5″ wide.

Image_2The first set of blocks (right) I made by putting sets of three strips together lengthwise with freehand cut curvy seams. I originally intended these to go vertical, but ended by putting them into a horizontal orientation and joining them end to end, representing a river.

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The next set (left) I made using essentially the same technique I used for my “improv bargello” piece a few weeks ago, and this yielded a panel more or less representing falling water (rain or waterfall).

 

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For the third set, I cut approximately square pieces, stacked them in fours and cut a curve horizontally across the middles, then shuffled the layers and re-stitched them. These I put together in rows to represent waves.

Water Three Ways

Here are the three panels together.

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I tried to let the prints in the various fabrics provide needed value contrasts in this exercise, since my intention was really to work on piecing methods and to create some pieces that imitated the movement of water. I think the various prints in this set of fabrics did help to contribute light and reflections, but there are still too many straight lines here for the look I’m after. I like the colors but am not satisfied with the piecing. I think that these may go into the ‘made cloth’ pile as potential material for some other work later. Meanwhile, I’ve had another brainstorm how to accomplish what I’m going for, but I’ve been busy with other projects and haven’t tried it yet. While pondering all this, I read Kaja’s recent “What if?” post where she said

“There are so many techniques in quilting and indeed in other forms of sewing, like garment-making that we could regard as options for improv, tools to enable us translate the ideas in our heads into fabric – let’s be encouraged to keep pushing the boundaries.”

This is very timely advice for me, because I keep trying the same things expecting a different result…and we know what “they” say that means!

Linking up with AHIQ and cannot believe that April is almost gone by!

–Sue

Made on Monday 21 – April Showers

After some very warm weather, we’ve had a string of cooler, windy and rainy days. This week’s piece includes layering of cottons, tulle and even some torn, paper towel used for cleanup during the recent dye session, foiling, machine stitch and reverse applique.

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There will be May flowers eventually, but the showers here threatened to knock down all the roses blooming in the yard, so I thought I’d take pictures before they are all gone again.

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Thanks for coming by, and have a great Monday!

 Made on Monday is the brainchild of Canadian textile artist Kate Bridger.

Some Fun in the Sun

Had an enjoyable couple of hours playing with my Jacquard Dye-na-Flow textile paints. As much as I would love to try dyeing larger pieces of fabric, I just don’t have a convenient setup at home to do it. Textile paints are a good alternative for creating little bits and pieces I can use in my projects. I especially like Dye-na-Flow because it doesn’t affect the hand of the fabric much at all. I bought a few yards of Kona PFD (prepared for dyeing) on deep discount at my local big-box fabric store, and cut it up into fat quarters and some smaller pieces and have been gradually using them up. I got some very good effects with Dye-na-Flow and sun printing, by variously folding, scrunching and pleating the fabrics as they dry. The exposed surfaces of the cloth dry darker and more intense, and the insides of the folds and valleys become paler. Also, the more diluted the paint is, the paler the colors will be, and the two “scrunched and pleated” pieces were very wet to begin with. Here are my pieces when they were wet and first put out to dry in the sun.

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And here are the finished pieces. These three smaller green pieces were sprinkled with kosher salt but left flat to dry. The shadows of the individual grains of salt are actually visible in the prints, almost like they would be in a photo or an x-ray.

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The larger pieces were all folded. The first one below was loosely pleated and formed into a ring so the pleats would stay in place.

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This one was scrunched.

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And these three were wrapped and scrunched onto PVC pipe cylinders with sisal twine. You can see a couple of white spots in the blue ones where the water and dye didn’t penetrate all the way to the innermost folds next to the pipe. They were wrapped very tight, with spacing between the winds of string only about 1/2″, and pulled together very close. In the top blue one, about half way through the winding process, the fabric developed some folds since it was slightly off-square when I started winding it. This made some interesting jags in the design. The red/magenta/yellow one had string about 1″ apart, and was pulled together a bit more loosely, so it got completely saturated with both water and paint. That resulted in a much more uniform overall pattern.

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Now, what will I do with them? I’m not quite sure but I expect I’ll come up with an idea!

My next sunny-day project will be to do some cyanotype prints with Solarfast dye (also by Jacquard).

Made on Monday 20 – Leftovers

Over the past few weeks I have been working with similar colors and layered backgrounds. Being loathe to throw anything away, I had accumulated a little bag of off-cuts and bits trimmed from the preceding weeks’ pieces. When I started playing with them, they assembled themselves into another little abstract collage with some pleasing shapes and colors.

#20 Outtakes

Made on Monday is the brainchild of Canadian textile artist Kate Bridger. There are now eleven “artist pages” with more waiting in the wings.

Thanks for coming by, and have a great Monday!

Made on Monday 19 – Rust and Lace

A couple of years ago, I stumbled on the book Visual Guide to Working in a Series by the art quilter, Elizabeth Barton. I had just downloaded it as an e-Book and begun to read it, when Christmas came around and my husband had bought the book for me (“it kind of looked like something you might like”). So this is one of a few books I keep in a stack for bedtime reading. I immediately saw why working in a series might be important, but I was unable to put the good advice into practice. There are so many things that interest me, catch my eye, distract me from my original idea, fill my head with so many new ideas…back in THE 60s I’d have attributed it to my sun and moon in Gemini, you know…mutable air sign. Now in MY 60s, I’ve finally been given more time to fill as I please, and my ambitions have expanded accordingly.

This was what attracted me to the Made on Monday challenge. My mission, if I chose to accept it, was to force myself to work in a series. Now, admittedly, I started out in a certain direction, using various fabric manipulation techniques, and though I have veered slightly away from that for the moment, there is no telling when I may veer back. But as I approach the half-way point and look back, I do see a certain evolution and relatedness. I can see some “series within series”. This week’s piece is just a little abstract that continues with elements from some past weeks, including applique’d rusted fabric, applique’d photographs of lace on silk, couching, machine stitching, and the remains of the tiny bits of metal left on that same 6″ square of transfer foil I’ve been using for about the last two months! #19 Rust and Lace

Made on Monday is the brainchild of Canadian textile artist Kate Bridger. Lots of eye candy on view on the site!

Have a great week!

Made on Monday 18 – Spring Thing

In a previous post I revealed that my hoarding tendency extends to saving of thread trimmings cut from many projects. I’m pleased to say that finally found something to do with them! Well, some of them. Continuing on with my current lace fetish, I tried again to “make” lace using soluble stabilizer and machine stitching. This time I used a little handful of colorful thread snippets for the filler, and multi-colored cotton for the framework. Maybe not fine art, but a lot of fun to do. I allowed it to be as gaudy as it wanted to be, and added some hand beading for a center. Here’s my Spring Thing–

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Made on Monday is the brainchild of Canadian textile artist Kate Bridger. Late in 2015, Kate issued a challenge to all two-dimensional artists working in any media, to complete one small “mini-art” piece per week for a year. The only limiting criterion is that each piece must be 5” x 5”. Artists with at least 12 pieces completed are featured on their own “artist page” on the MoM web site. There are now 11 individual pages for artists from several countries participating, and more in the works.

It’s lots of fun to see what everyone comes up with each week, and I’m glad I decided to give this a try. It is helping me to learn how to “practice” my creative work, and I’m storing up lots of ideas for future. It is also quite satisfying to see that I’ve actually succeeded in producing one little piece each week for the past 20 and the more I do, the more I look forward to them.

Have a great week!