Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sturt's Spurt: After the Big Wet

Early on in this challenge I decided I would like to focus on the transformative power of water on the Australian outback. In 2010 and 2011, Lake Eyre was in flood bringing with it invigorated bird, fish and plant life. From this starting point, it was not a huge jump to bring this piece into my wildflower series.

Sturt's Desert Pea, the floral emblem of South Australia,is notoriously difficult to cultivate outside its natural desert environment. The plant flowers from spring to summer, particularly after heavy rain. The Heyne's Garden Centre fact sheet notes:
The Sturt's Desert Pea generally grows in the hot, arid, sandy areas of Australia. Because of the unpredictability of water, this eye-catching annual takes advantage of rains by germinating, growing and seeding quickly. In its natural habitat it then dies, leaving behind hard-coated seeds which are slowly worn down and cracked by high temperatures or worn with sand abrasion in readiness for germination with the next rains.

This is a photo that I took in Kings Park in Perth but an online image search shows the brilliance of  Sturt's Desert Pea en masse with distinctive silver green tendrils.

As I wrote on my blog, in creating this quilt, I was hamstrung by a shortage of the brown background fabric.  I cut carefully and scrimped on seams and, after piecing and quilting, it threatened to be undersize.  I resolved this by adding a binding rather than facing the edges.  A serendipitous development as the binding complements the work.  I've really enjoyed working with these 20x12in dimensions and look forward to what Deborah sets for our next challenge.

15 comments:

donna!ee said...

absolutely beautiful. really enjoy the color & pattern...thank you much for sharing, blest be!

What Comes Next? said...

wonderful colours - the binding does complete the image and tie it all together. A remarkable life these plants have, with the ability to change the desert - a colourful metamorphosis!

Françoise said...

What an amazing flower!
I agree that the binding works very well with your design. Lovely piece of work. (I like your first Metamorphosis quilt too.)

Karen said...

The border worked perfectly with this Brenda, and I love that chocolate brown. Your flowers have such wonderful patchwork feel to them.

Diane Perin Hock said...

Brenda, you have such a talent for using geometric shapes and lines to create strong, abstracted images, and you've done that again here. I also think the brown fabric works well and I'm glad you figured out a way to make it work!

Renate said...

Funny how one tiny little colourful plant can change the landscape! A wonderful way to interpret the metamorphosis theme.

Terri Stegmiller said...

What an interesting and vivid plant. Your interpretation of it is fabulous and I love the lines and shapes you've used. It reminds me of a maze.

Kristin L said...

I have never seen flowers like those -- they are really quite amazing looking. Your very graphic interpretation of them is wonderfully wacky too. They look very energetic.

Lisa Flowers Ross said...

I really like the abstract nature and colors of this piece.

Deborah Boschert said...

What a strange and unique flower! I'm so glad you chose it to share with us. (I'm continually enlightened by the 12s.) Your composition is so beautifully elegant in its asymmetry and wonkiness. I'd love to see a detail of the stitching. I can't tell if you've quilted in the red.

Gerrie said...

This is stunning. I love the color combination you have used. I love going to the desert to see the flowers that seem to evolve from nothing. We are going on a desert flower photo shoot in April and your piece had made me get excited.

kirsty said...

One of my favourite "Brenda" quilts! The colours have grabbed me but the magic is that you have truly nailed the essence of the Sturt's Desert Pea. Very clever indeed for such an odd little flower!
And, of course, that binding was meant to be. It reflects the outer edge of each flower perfectly.

Oh oh!! I just spied a little nod to Sid's Ned as well ;)

Terry said...

That is the most unusual looking flower! I swear Australia is a different planet when it comes to flora and fauna! Your piece is a masterful abstraction and very clever and engaging composition. Love the colors and I especially love the maze-like connections of the sage green lines, and I agree that the binding unifies the whole piece and extends the sense of complex connection.

Judy said...

Brenda,

So stunning, I got quite excited read the blog and looking at everyone ideas, be great to see the final results all together.

Nikki said...

Amazing flowers and you have captured them beautifully! I always love the new things I'm introduced to from all over the world.