Sunday, June 1, 2008

Swimming pool reflections

I cannot guarantee that the inspiration for this quilt is unique but I suspect there are not many art quilts out there that represent a Unisex toilet door! It may also be one of those inspirations that should have inspired but not actually gone in the quilt ... but, too late now!! My previous post mentioned my swimming experience and I decided to go with my impressions of the reflections on the moving surface of the water.As with the other quilts in this challenge I decided to use techniques I had either never done before or only done once and hadn't done to my satisfaction before. So for this one I used stamping with fabric paint using the back of a Sherrill Khan stamp that just happened to be the first thing my hand rested on! It came out much better than the lettering on my Community quilt. That represents the mosaic floor of the pool. Hand seed stitching represents the 'scratchy' marks on the water that came from the bare tree branches outside the window.I painted the wavy reflection of the door of the aforementioned Unisex Pool toilet door, and then tried to disguse my heavy hand with the paint by quilting narrow lines over it with varigated thread. (Following my self imposed rule above I may well have to paint on the next quilt before I can move on from that technique! Brenda - is there any chance your next theme will be Kindergarten art?!) Over the whole lot I machine quilted the grid formed by the tiles of the pool wall and added 'slubs' of close quilting and small beads to show the glittery shimmers on the surface of the water.
Finally, I finished it with Terry Grant's method of couching perle thread to the edge of the quilt, except that I had already trimmed it to size before I read her instructions not to do so until after the couching, and except that I didn't have perle thread so I used embroidery thread, so the state of it should not be taken as any reflection ( pun not intended) on the quality of her tutorial.

Overall I am content with this quilt, though, as being a move forward for me from strictly representional to impressionalist/ abstract. The edges remain a little wavy but,if that is not allowed with this quilt, when will it ever be?!

12 comments:

Kristin L said...

OK, so what's the story behind the toilet door?? I would have guessed that the shape was the reflection of a diving board. I think that your slubby quilting is very successful -- it definitely gives the impression of sparkles on water.

Helen Conway said...

Thats the official story then - a diving board! I should not have 'fessed up should I?! There is no story to the toilet door as such its just that there was a poolside door that was reflecting in the water and the lines were all wavy in the reflection and it made me think...

StegArt said...

I kind of think the door looks more like one of those floaty things that you lounge on while drinking yummy things and relaxing. I like the kindergarten art idea.

Karen said...

And I thought the little slubby things were tiny fish! I think you achieved you're goal of abstraction if we all see something different. The colors are wonderful, and the shapes are really interesting

Diane said...

Helen, this is great. It does say water to me, very clearly. But it's interesting that the specific concepts you had for applying the shapes are different from what each of us sees. Those slubs (that Karen thought were fish) to me seemed to be bits of leaves and debris floating on the water surface. I associated the rectangle with a diving board reflection, too.

But whatever the individual way we look at it, the piece really does say "water." I love how you've done the light shimmer with the water fabric.

Gerrie said...

I really enjoyed reading your description of how you created this quilt. It made me smile. I love that you are stretching yourself by trying new techniques. I think you have done a great job of abstracting this image. Your composition is very nice which is important because the color is fairly monochromatic.The quilting is very effective. Of course, Ilove this bit of handstitching! I am ready to jump in for a swim - oops, I don't really like the water.

Karen said...

Helen, How fun this quilt must have been for you! working outside your normal range and having it turn out so well,content is an understatement!! I love the slubby bits, I saw it as sparkles on water. Turned out really very beautifully.

Terry said...

Oh I think this is just perfectly expressive of watery reflections. Love the sublety of the color. The pink really makes me see a reflected twilight sky in the water.

Nikki said...

I totally see the swimming pool, but I'm not sure I want to jump in. The weather doesn't look quite inviting, more like the dreary, cold spring we have been experiencing. I wait until the pool has a good scrubbing and the tempertures climb into the eighties.

Françoise said...

I also saw a diving board at first,.. but if you say it's a toilet door, okay, I believe you of course! I liked reading your explanation, and your quilt is great. It really looks like water. Well done.

Deborah said...

I love your combination of techniques here. You've used lots of different surface design, quilting and stitching and it all comes together beautifully. I think the mosiac floor done with the stamping is fantastic. I love the subtle mix of colors.

Brenda said...

As a long-time lap-swimming afficionado, I can really relate to the reflections and imagery used in your quilt. It's such fun to see your exploration of new techniques and development as a quiltmaker.