Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sugar Maple

After dancing around various "sweet" inspirations, I finally settled on maple syrup. I am intrigued by various bottle shapes and have made a few collage-style art quilts with a bottle as a central shape. Since maple syrup comes in a very recognizable "jug" bottle, I thought it would be fun to start there.


I added a painted silhouette of a sugar maple tree and various fabrics... rust dyed, hand-dyed, commercial and heavy decorator fabric, even some organza.

I love those tiny blue stitches. They are tedious to stitch and only visible upon close viewing... but I still love them.

I wanted an interesting motif to stitch in the upper part of the quilt. After some research, I found a chemical structure for the leaf of the sugar maple. Aha! I simplified it a bit and removed the notations about the elements.

My ubiquitous arch and a bit of fabric printed with leaves. (Originally, that fabric were table napkins that I made years ago for Thanksgiving dinner. I never really liked them as napkins, so they are in my stash for just this occasion.)

This quilt may not scream "sweet" upon first glance, but that is one of the things I have always loved about our 12x12 project. There was never any rule or strict expectation that any of our quilts would be "obvious." In fact, "obvious" is sometimes far too easy and doesn't encourage growth. This project has generated so much growth for me personally, professionally and artistically. It has been the very sweetest of experiences!

10 comments:

Kristin L said...

What's not sweet about maple syrup? I think you've done a great job interpreting the theme. I like that you've built upon your other vessel ideas too. You are so right about this project being a sweet experience with lots of growth too. Nice metaphors. :-)

Karen said...

I think the little blue stitches are my favorite part Deborah. Your interpretation of the theme is subtle as your work usually is. I like it a lot.

Diane Perin Hock said...

Deborah, what a great way to address the theme! As always, it is fun (and inspirational) to see how you incorporate your personal elements in different ways. I especially love the chemical lines and that maple tree overlay! This has a feeling of warmth about it that maple syrup does, too.

Helen Conway said...

I have a little dash of maple syrup mst mornings on my cinnamon porridge, bananas and blueberries and I can tell you it dsn't come in anything as elegant as your bottle!

Gerrie said...

This is a theme I should have thought of. I spent many an early spring after school canning maple syrup for our family business. We had acres and acres of maples and a huge sugar house where we boiled sap into amber syrup. This has brought back many memories. I love how you have incorporated what I call Deborah design elements into this piece. BTW, back home we get our maple syrup in gallon and half gallon cans, not jugs!!

Terri Stegmiller said...

I understand your intrigue with bottle shapes. And yes, those little blue stitches are so much like the icing on the cake (sweet)!!

Françoise said...

It's beautiful Deborah. As always, my favorite part of your work is the hand stitching.
I discovered maple syrup 30 years ago during a trip to Quebec. I was a few weeks pregnant. Maybe that's why my son has a sweet tooth.

Renate said...

Yup, I'm with Gerrie! Maple syrup does come in containers big enough to quell the thirst for something sweet. While reading about your quilt Deborah, I already recognized you signature "Y" stitches. I just love how you manage to incorporate your hand stitching in exactly the right place. This piece makes me feel warm all over.

Terry Grant said...

I think this quilt would fit your "blue, brown and sage" colorplay theme! The jug bottle is such a great image and I think you have perfectly captured a particular kind of sweet--that rich, earthy sweetness of maple sugar. Mmmmmmm.

Brenda Gael Smith said...

I would love to see this piece side by side with your ancillary orange (goldfish) piece. They seem to belong together.

I first tasted maple syrup as an eight year old. We were studing Canada and we had a wonderful teacher Miss Pearson, who made us pancakes with maple syrup. Another sweet memory.