Tuesday, 12 June 2012

May Journal Quilt

Yes, I know we are now well into June but I have now finished my May journal quilt.  The Jubilee weekend provided plenty of opportunity for hand stitching while keeping half an eye on the television coverage.  I have managed to stick with my personal challenge of making these quilts 'in the style of'' various twentieth century artists although it is not always easy to think of artists whose styles adapt to the medium.  I also wanted to try doing some more pojagi so began by dyeing a lot of fabric yellow.

These are pieces of silk organza.  I learnt from this exercise that organza soaks up the dye.  I put organza and ramie into the same plastic bag based dye and the organza mostly came out quite dark while the ramie in the photo below was much more pastel.

I also did a range of other fabrics that I am sure will be used in some of the other yellow quilts. The next  photo includes linen and cheesecloth along with cotton sateen.  I love yellow and am very happy to use it in quilts but I had used up almost all I had in the wedding present quilt I made my nephew last year.

I settled on Mondrian as the artist for this month.  His work is actually quite easy to mimic because it contains so many squares and oblongs.  I was thinking of the fields of oilseed rape that surrounded our village in Northamptonshire and the bulb fields down here although I was surprised at how few photos I had, particularly digital ones.  I chose to use ramie for the first side of the quilt but I used much smaller pieces than I had in the January Rothko quilt.

As it is not normal to quilt pojagi I decided to make it a 'reversible' quilt and do a second one from organza.

This photo is not brilliant but I forgot to photograph it before I attached it to the ramie side!  And the bottom is straight - it is just the camera that lets me down.  I included two red patches to represent the narcissi that have red centres.  We have lots of commercial bulb fields in this area and they are mostly planted in blocks of different varieties so that the overall impression is of bands of colour.  Again the photos I thought I had are just images in my mind.

I put the two quilts together with two rows of hand-stitching in variegated yellow thread.  Then in order to 'quilt' it (a condition of the journal quilts challenge) I used variegated thread in yellow and orange to stitch some stars in randon squares.  I worked from the ramie side but with such a thin item the embroidery is also visible on the reverse, albeit not in a planned fashion.

I think my June quilt may be inspired by one of the St Ives modernists although when I began this project I thought I would try and avoid them as being a little too close to home.

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