Saturday, May 1, 2010

Simply, Kilauea

The first thing that comes to most peoples' minds when thinking about Hawai'i and color would probably be sunsets, blue ocean and white sand, or the floral colors of the ubiquitous lei.

I wanted to push things a little farther for my theme. Hopefully my choice of a volcano for theme has been challenging -- in a good way!

Conceptually, I had decided early on that I would stay abstract and probably work with simple patchwork shapes like squares and half-square triangles. This meant that the fabrics would have to tell a good part of the story. Finding just teh right fabric became the biggest challenge for me this time around.

First, I pulled all my grey, chartreuse, and molten lava colored fabrics out. Perhaps 144 one inch half square triangles would be dynamic -- with one half hot lava colored, the other half cool lava greys and black, with a scattering of ferny green triangles.

Then I taught a fabric marbling class and was pleasantly surprised at how lava-like traditional marbling patterns are! What followed was an odyssey into creating the most lava-like marbled fabric I could (see the whole story on my blog here).

My Kilauea is a simple patchwork of squares that hopefully lets the fabric tell the story of the sparse black landscape of the lava field. Molten lava bubbles below the surface and sometimes oozes forth. The little green checked and velvet triangles edged in french knots represent the leaves of the uhule fern found in and near the steam vents at Kilauea's caldera (crater). A few squares of hawaiian "Aloha" print fabric hint at the volcano's location and echo the movement of the wind above and lava below.


Deborah Boschert said...

Wow. I just love this. You do such an excellent job of combining the traditional technique of piecing with very contemporary and artistic elements. I love the slight asymmetry of the piece and -- of course -- the beaded edges!

Terri Stegmiller said...

Your fabric choices definitely make this a special quilt. I doesn't come across as a simple patchwork. Love your edge treatment too.

Gerrie said...

You have definitely succeeded in creating the feel of the Kilauea landscape. I love the addition of the Aloha print fabric. Perfect!! The marbled fabric is very lavaish - especially in the small pieces like you have done.

Karen said...

It is so difficult sometimes to just let the fabric do the talking, and you really presented it well here. A simple design with really powerful fabrics.

Diane said...

The fabric really does sing in this, Kristin -- wonderful contrasts and the marbling swirls show off beautifully. The bits of green are great contrast too.

Terry said...

Such energy! This piece really captures that intense heat and energy. The marbling was the perfect technique for lava and the way you cut the black and white fabric to explode out of the center is brilliant. Brava!