Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Moving on from the Quilting Quandary

Thank you for your comments on my previous post - they are good reinforcement on why it is good to seek out other opinions and points of view. Actually, I am looking forwards to getting this piece of work finished now. I would like to start something else that I feel a bit fresher about. With this in mind, this post is to outline what I have been working on to move my quilt along.

The basic premise for my design/headspace idea is this:

20090529_0143 Layout Theory

Air & Flying Birds Portion of Quilt

Headspace: I have thought long and hard about it. On the proviso that I work in some kind of positive counter-balance, I think that it is okay for my birds to be swooping off and up into the air towards the UK. After all, that is where my family and many of my friends are.

Design: I would like to try to keep the obvious, visual movement going from left to right as well as up and away in my quilt. From a techniques perspective, I would still like to include appliqué in my project. To achieve this, I have been toying with extending my triangular flying birds out into the border as appliqué shapes. A bit like they are an extension of the flock formations within the centre, like so:


I played with a number of different layouts. This positioning won the day as it leaves the bottom left corner empty. In effect, I can place my land anchor and design counter-balance here. Either an appliqué shape or a stitched-in quilt motif.

In terms of quilting the rest of the top and right hand 'Air' borders, I am not certain what pattern would best link the appliqué triangles together. My thoughts so far are that I either:
  • echo the flying bird theme along the top and right borders so that the appliqué triangles are linked by a set of quilted triangles, or

  • try to see if I can find a softer quilt pattern motif, perhaps something more random and airy to link them together?
What do you think? I have looked but not found anything on the web - is there some kind of symbol or hieroglyph for air that I could develop into a stitch pattern? Does anyone have any suggestions on where to look?

Land Portion of Quilt

Design: I think that the quilt needs some kind of anchor in the bottom left hand corner to counter-balance the top right movement of the flying birds. For a while, I toyed with the idea of placing something figurative in the bottom left corner, for example:


However, adding something this figurative into the mix didn't work for me. Also, I worried that my little bird might appear a little wistful, watching the migratory birds flying away. He has been consigned to my studio wall to wait for a different opportunity to come into his own. So I went back to my overall concept and thought about the headspace aspect of my quilt.

Headspace: right now, what feels like it is missing from my quilt is my positive reason for being in Canada. Without any question, this is 100% the Fella and the Kid. Awww! Okay, it is a bit obvious but I have done some research, thumbed through some quilt pattern books and this motif caught my eye:


It is a True Lover's Knot quilt motif and it is sometimes found in traditional wedding quilts. As my relationship is my anchor to Canada, I think this might be a good motif to use in my quilt, perhaps positioned something like this:


My challenge is deciding what to place with it along the left and bottom borders. I am looking for something that that relates to land or sea that I can transition over to the top and right 'Air' borders. Maybe if there is some kind of hieroglyph for air, maybe there is one for earth or sea that I could use too?

Nothing like a challenge*, eh?!


*Especially a challenge where you are concurrently performing a small kitchen reno and have half a 1950s vintage (not in a good way) kitchen sitting in the back yard waiting to go to the dump and a bunch of unfinished Ikea kitchen cabinets half screwed into your kitchen.

Next step: we have to tackle the kitchen sink. Now drainpipes are usually (always?) on the outside of houses in the UK. I am told that this is not the case in Canadian houses. This may explain my horrified shock (and the Fella's corresponding lack of shock) at finding a dirty great 4" iron drainpipe running down the wall in the corner of our kitchen.

Nice. Just what one needs in a very small kitchen, eh?!

1 comment:

Team Knit ! said...

the quilt is amazing!! I love the concept behind it, and it seems like an incredible heirloom in the making.

- Julie