Sunday, February 12, 2012

Red Poppy

Red Poppy
 I love flowers and growing them. One flower in particular that has really captured my attention in the last several years is the poppy. I received a packet of red poppy seeds free with an order I placed. I decided to sprinkle a few in the garden one year.

detail
That year a few poppies grew. I was a little frustrated with them at first as I felt the emerging foliage was somewhat weed-like and ugly. They continued growing and soon there were some long stems shooting upward with a down-turned flower bud that reminded me of a cocoon.

detail of seed packet
Then that down-turned cocoon was suddenly standing upright, proud and tall and soon after a beautiful flower erupted. They look so delicate, yet strong.

detail from angle
As I continued to watch them change and mature, they eventually formed a seed pod that was just as beautiful as the flower. Throughout the whole life of that flowering plant I was amazed at it's transformation, from ugly to beautiful.

detail
Of course, they reseed like crazy and the next year I had poppies growing everywhere. But the funny thing about them is you cannot transplant them. I have tried like mad to move a young plant as carefully as possible and no matter how careful I am, they will not survive it. Maybe there's a trick that I don't know about.

I made my quilt with many layers of fabrics, starting with a base layer of collaged cottons that were either leftovers from other projects or small pieces that had some printing/stenciling/paints on them. On top of the cotton fabrics I started layering different sheers, like tulle, chiffon, netting, lace. This was a very fun process for me and one that I am going to pursue some more. I like this new size we are working in.

18 comments:

What Comes Next? said...

Poppies are magical and one of my favourite flowers. They do go from an ugly straggly look to something that will completely transform the garden. Wonderful job of interpreting them.

Becca said...

I've never tried to grow poppies myself...maybe when I move to Seattle. This is a lovely piece and I love all the added texture you've used. :-)

Karen said...

I love the layering, it adds so much dimension to this piece. The top right flower is so cool with the white showing around the edges.

Diane Perin Hock said...

Oh, Terri, this just might be my most favorite of all of your work. I love how you've captured different aspects of the poppy, and the layering adds such richness. I would love to see this in person and could study all of the wonderful details for a long time! The stitched outlines of the buds are gorgeous.

Jeannie said...

I also love poppies and you have captured their beauty. I love how they change from a weedy looking thing to a gorgeous flower. A gorgeous quilt. (I have transplanted seedlings in the early spring - maybe 1 in 10 will survive. The long tap root is difficult to transplant.)

Helen Conway said...

This is so much looser and less stylised than your previous work. More imoressionistic I would say. is this a direction you are deliberately taking with this new challenge?

Renate said...

Terri, your ability to morph all those different textiles and techniques into this piece is inspiring. You have given me a new appreciation for the Poppy.

Terri Stegmiller said...

Thanks everyone. Helen, I've been seriously thinking about this as a direction for these challenges and think I will give it a go.

Kristin L said...

Oh yes Terri, I think it's definitely a direction worth pursuing. I too love the layers and subtle patterning. Poppies are one of my favorite flowers too, and you have captured their delicacy quite well.

Deborah Boschert said...

Fantastic! I really love it. I keep zooming into all the details and examining all the layers. You and I settled upon the same concept -- representing the metamorphosis of a flower from seed to bud to bloom! I found it a bit difficult to combine all the stages in one image. I love how you did the buds and the seed pods in outline stitching and the blossoms in full color. Perfect. I also really love that wispy green tulle suggesting foliage.

Brenda Gael Smith said...

I love the delucate quality of this piece and the way that you have been able to incorporate the various stages of the life cycle of a poppy.

Françoise said...

I love poppies too. They grow very easily here and they re-seed themselves.
Your quilt is beautiful. I love all the layering and on top of it your lovely black stitching. So pretty and delicate, especially the small flower buds.

Gerrie said...

I love, love this, Terri! When you had your sneak peek, I sensed a metamorphosis in your work. This is just delightful. I love all the layers. There is a need to come back over and over to peek at what is going on.

JB said...

This piece shows a new sophistication in your approach. Your plan to peruse this "new you" I heartily endorse.

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

Another winner Terri. I too love the layers and how you travel around the quilt noticing more interesting details.

kirsty said...

Yes, yes, follow this path, Terri! Your quilt is so distinctly you but...more! Like the others, I think the layers have very successfully added to your work.

Terry said...

Such lovely delicacy in this piece. It really has such a beautiful hand-drawn quality. I love what you have done here.

Nikki said...

I love the layering and the looseness of quilt. Your poppies are beautiful!