Sunday, June 1, 2008

Down the Plughole

For this challenge, I wanted to do something quite different from the first 12in square water-themed quilt that I made sometime ago and I had plenty of ideas.

I had fun experimenting again with shibori to create various "water" fabrics as shown on my blog. I even started quilting one of the pieces. I quite like it but the overall effect is very subtle and I decided that something stronger was required as part of a group mosaic. (Is anyone else is finding that their design decisions are being influenced by this factor? I don't think it is a bad thing and the mosaics so far have been greater than the sum of their parts.)

Out of deference to my husband (aka the Laundry King), when I am dyeing fabrics in low volumes, I rinse the fabrics by hand rather than in the washing machine. Thus I observed lots of turquoise water disappearing down the plughole. This reinforced my decision to concentrate on this quilt.
Coriolis by Brenda Gael Smith
Coriolis
This is my tribute to the enduring myth that water goes down the plughole in a different direction depending which hemisphere you are in. (The coriolis force is real but is noticeable only for large-scale motions such as winds.)

I used freehand rotary cutting for the piecing and hand quilted it with a variety of perle threads in different weights and colours. I finished it off with a mitred facing (see the tutorial on my blog).

15 comments:

Kristin L said...

Water down the drain!! Wonderful! I'm smacking my forehead as the thought never crossed my mind -- and yet it's so universal and makes such a nice, graphic, quilt. Well done.

Helen Conway said...

Oh you are kidding, right? That whole going down the drain thing was somthing my husband was so lookng forward to seeing demonstrated when we got to Oz! (In South Africa all the plugholes had those covered riased thingies and we couldn't tell!) Well, who knew. Anyway, once again you have a quilt that is innovative but recognisable as your style instantly. Lovely. ( And yes, I shall get on to the tutorial!)

StegArt said...

Fabulous quilt and I have seen those lovely dye colors going down the drain, but would never have thought to interpret that in a quilt. Sheesh! this group really opens my eyes. And no, I've never given thought to the mosaics when creating my quilt.

Diane said...

Like Helen, I knew right away this was yours -- elegance, simplicity, great use of fabrics... Also like everyone else, I never would have thought of the water down the drain thing! It seems especially funny that after all your hard work exploring shibori, the spark of inspiration was watching the dye go down the drain! I guess it's the perfect example of thinking you're going in one direction and taking an unexpected turn.

Your colors and stitching are wonderful, Brenda. I can't wait to see this in person one of these days.

And rats, I too liked the idea of the directional water swirl concept.

Diane said...

Oh, and it hadn't occurred to me to think about the effect of my image in the group mosaic. Since you work so hard to create them for us, it's no wonder you're more aware.

But I guess now I'll be thinking about that. :-)

Gerrie said...

Oops! I fear my latest offering will not be an asset to the mosaic! No, I do not think of that.

I love the stitching that you have done. I, too, have seen the turquoise dye swirling down the drain.

Karen said...

Brenda, I love how you came to do this quilt! The hand stitching is wonderful ( I am a sucker for any hand stitching ) Love your fabric colors!

Terry said...

Another example (see my comments about Deborah's piece) of the not quite symmetrical composition that really sings with color and pattern. The blue fabrics are wonderfully watery and the variety in the stitching is perfect.

BTW, I could never see the coriolis effect when we were in the So. Hemisphere! Glad to see your explanation.

Nikki said...

Beautiful. I love all the colors of blue and the hand stitching. Wonderful texture. The strong, graphic nature of the drain pulls me in.

I never like to see color going down the drain. I want to capture it, hold it, savor it. Maybe that's one thing I like about using paints instead of dye. I wont let any of the color escape, but just keep wiping the brush on a paint rag with a touch of water until all the pigment is gone.
Nothing wasted around here.

After thinking a bit, maybe I will just follow that drain to see the wonderful world that is on the other side!

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Françoise said...

Oh, I love the colours and the hand stitching! Beautiful!
And I confess I didn't think of the mosaic when working on my quilt...

Karen said...

Brenda, I love the circular down the drain aspect of this, you really accomplished this with the handstitching

Deborah said...

Fantastic! I love the graphic power of this small quilt. And then the huge payoff with all the tiny details. The hand stitching is beautiful. I especially love the few brightly colored stitches in the top left panel.

Did you stitch through all three layers?