29 October 2008

Zen Garden

You all know that I joined ALQS2 (Another Little Quilt Swap 2), don't you? I was in the Art Quilt section. Since I have already received my little art quilt (you can read about it in this post) I thought I should tell you about the one I just sent out.

Like I normally do, I stalked the blog of my swap partner. She likes nature and when I saw her February 2008 post, I knew exactly what I was going to do. You see, I happen to have 9 of these bamboo tops. Yes, you read that correctly -- nine. This is the only one with the dragonfly on it, however.

Here's the back story on all these little quilt tops. I have a degree in art although I make stupid mistake as in this case. I was taking a design class and as part of my final art project I proposed a king sized quilt that was, in essence, a large nine-patch made of rectangles with a large border popped onto it. As a new quilter, I really underestimated the time it would take to complete the WHOLE project and was only able to get this block painted onto muslin.

But I gave a presentation to the instructor showing the block and the rest of the design and he bought into it and I got an 'A' in the class and graduated. I finished painting the other 8 blocks and completed the top and it became my oldest UFO: 25 years. I once pulled it out of the closet hung it on the wall and thought that if I over-dyed it. would I like it better? I over-dyed it green and still didn't like it. Another time, I pulled it out and it hung on the design wall for months before it FINALLY dawned on me what was wrong: scale.

Scale is one of the principles of design and I had totally ignored it in the big picture of a whole quilt. I did not have a king-sized quilt top with borders. What I had was 9 small quilt tops!! Plus some odd shaped pieces that were former borders.

So, Debbie, received a hand painted quilt, the first in a series called 'Zen Garden'. It is painted using Deka Fabric Paints which are no longer available in the US. I over-dyed it with Procion MX Fiber Reactive Dyes. It is the approximate size of a fat quarter, maybe a bit smaller. I machine quilted more bamboo into the background and then filled in with a stipple. The painted dragonfly is a simple couched embellishment, using two different weights of Kreinik thread.

There is one thing you may not have noticed: a lack of a binding. I did not want a binding to catch the eye so I faced the quilt using the bits leftover from when I squared up the quilt. I like the way it turned out.

It is so simple. So zen.

13 comments:

  1. Amazing how you creative people pass things like this off as 'simple'. Great design - Great quilt....

    Don't you feel so good to have it done?

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  2. It is very zen! Soothing and relaxing to look at. it was just waiting all of this time for this special moment. :~)

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  3. I still want one of those from the last time that you showed them...

    (I can remember stuff that I have no need to remember, but the stuff that I need to remember - forget about it!)

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  4. You must add 'artist' to your profile! Very nice.

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  5. Simple perfection, all things coming together in space and time. It is lovely, Paula.

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  6. It is great. I'm glad you found a way to repurpose an old project into something spectacular.

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  7. I love a classic mitred binding but, as you have found, this doesn't work for every quilt. So glad that my facing tutorial was of assistance! I've compiled a listing of Alternative Quilt Finishes tutorials which features other useful techniques that you might like to try sometime.

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  8. It is simple and calming. Very very zen. Thanks for sharing it's story.

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  9. Love what you got and love what you sent! They are both fabulous.

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  10. I like it so much too, so creative!

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  11. Very Zen indeed, and I really like it.

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  12. That is one creative quilt - from start to finish! I'm sure it will be treasured! Thanks for the link about how to "face" a quilt...I have never heard of that.

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  13. Wow you make it sound so simple.
    I love the design, it and the space work well together.
    Vicki

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