Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In Light Of

As I began working on this quilt, I had in mind Kirsty's suggestion to use "predominately gray."

I began -- as I always do -- by pulling out a stack of fabrics. I went all the way from black to white and anything in between. Ultimately I chose just six fabrics. The print on the left has a bit of blue and the print on the right has a bit of green, so I allowed myself threads and floss in those two colors.

I added the branch shape with paint and a freezer paper stencil. But I was still searching for a theme or motif that fit with the color palette. I settled upon the idea of words on a page, columns of text, or papers full of paragraphs. I decided to make tiny books as embellishments. Each tiny book is made from two rectangles stitched down the middle, essentially creating 8 pages. In my first attempt, I used fabric I had printed with text on only one side. That meant every other "page" was blank. No good. I was able to run a second piece of pre-treated fabric through my printer on both sides to create doubled sided pages.

Some of the pages are upside down suggesting that they are not meant to be read, but rather act as a symbol of study, or story or communication. I think my title suggests an open mind or a change of opinion or a bit of growth. Plus, the word "light" emphasizes the moon shape stitched at the top and the selection of light and dark fabrics. (Too contrived?)

I struggled with stitching both by hand and by machine. Everything ended up a bit indistinct because of my color choices. Maybe the branch and the books provide enough contrast. Sometimes gray gets muddy. I suppose I was right in the "gray area" between obvious and subtle.

9 comments:

Renate said...

What an interesting piece. I really like the combination of machine and hand stitching. How did you manage to get your printer to print on both side of your fabric?

Diane said...

This is very pleasing! I have read about your thinking about each element and while I see how your thinking got you to this, I don't think I need that to just love the exquisite balance of this. Yes, there is a sense of night, and light, and reflection, but the softness of this piece gives it a sense of quiet contemplation. You worked really successfully with this color!

Gerrie said...

I love your tree embroidery so much and was tempted to add them to mine! I love the different tones that you have used in this. It is a very calm, lovely piece.

Terry said...

So beautifully balanced in composition and in value—then those little bits of green that add a touch of life to a somewhat solemn landscape. These piece feels very contemplative, even poetic. Lovely!

Kristin L said...

I don't think it's muddy at all! I love the silvery moon-lit quality of everything (contrived title or not). Terry's description, "poetic" is so very apt -- especially with the books. And what is it about wooly heathered grey fabric? It is just so quintessentially grey!

Karen said...

Terry said it for me also, the composition is really wonderful, and all the hand and machine stitching balances it out beautifully.

Connie Rose said...

This is really lovely!

Terri Stegmiller said...

I love this one Deborah and my favorite part is the wild, free-motion stitched circle in the upper section.

Vicki said...

I love the simplicity and peace in this. The design is almost zen like. lovely