Welcome to my stop on the Art with Fabric Blog Hop!
A couple of months ago, Alida from Tweety Loves Quilting contacted me to see if I would like to participate in the Fall edition of her Art with Fabric blog hop. Of course, I immediately said yes!
The concept is for each participant to create a quilt or fabric project inspired by a “conventional” (i.e. non-textile) piece of art – such as a painting, a drawing, sculpture, architecture, or even a book, song or poetry. There are more than 20 participants who will post their artistic fabric creations between October 10 and 16, 2016. The complete schedule is on Alida’s blog.
My inspiration – I love the challenge of interpreting architectural structures with fabric and thread – making them look solid and three-dimensional by using perspective and value. So for my inspiration, I picked a massive piece of public art located in Westminster Pier Park, in New Westminster BC. The WOW Westminster is a 140-foot installation, comprising four forty-foot shipping containers precariously cantilevered to form a W-shape. It was designed by Brazilian artist José Resende and was installed in 2015.
I find the WOW installation to be visually appealing, due to the strong diagonal linear shapes and the interesting contrast with the bridges behind it. I’m fascinated by the angles and perspective of this piece of art.
I wanted to capture the impressive size of the sculpture, so I took many photos from various angles. These are two of my favorites. In the first one, I like the position of the bridge in the background. But I much prefer the orientation of the W in the second photo. So I decided to use artistic license and combine the two photos for my design.
My art quilt – I won’t make you read all the way to the bottom to see the finished quilt – here it is. (But if you’re interested in how I made my full size pattern and how I constructed the quilt, continue reading.)
And here are a couple of detail images.
My design process – as noted above, I combined two of my photos to make the design for my art quilt. On the computer, I edited each photo, using the ‘pencil sketch’ effect to make a line drawing, then created a mirror image. (I use the mirror image to trace the pattern pieces onto paper-backed fusible web.) I printed both photos at full size (20 x 20 inches). Then I cut out the W and positioned it over the other photo.
For an architectural structure to look realistic, it’s important to get the perspective and shading right. I needed to make sure I had enough value differences to make the structure look three-dimensional and solid. So I auditioned a lot of orange and rust-colored fabrics before starting construction. I love using commercial prints in unexpected ways, so when I found some floral prints in the right colors and values, I used them for the foremost container. From a distance you only notice the color and value. As you get closer to the quilt, the prints add visual texture and interest. I’m especially fond of the dark pink patches in one of the prints.
My construction process – I constructed and quilted the background and the W separately, then stitched the W to the background at the end of the construction process. I used eco-felt for batting.
I cut black eco-felt in the shape of the W, then fused the fabrics in place. I folded the outside seam allowances to the back of the felt and glued them in place. Then I quilted the corrugated ridges.
For the background, I quilted the sky fabric to white eco-felt. Then I added the trees, river and foreground. I quilted the background before I added the bridge. I positioned and fused the bridge components, then straight stitched the edges and the cables. I used pencil crayons to add details to the bridge towers. Then the platforms beneath the W were fused and quilted. And finally the W was attached to the background by stitching through all the layers.
The edges are faced. The finished size is 20 x 20 inches. I haven’t come up with a title yet. The working title is WOW, but I’m thinking of words like: angles, perspective, diagonal, rust. I’d love suggestions for a title for this art quilt.
Here’s another photo of the whole quilt. I love how the colors pop when it has a black background behind it.
Thanks for reading all the way through. I hope you enjoyed learning about my design and construction processes. Make sure you check out the other participants in the blog hop – the complete schedule is on Alida’s blog.