Nellie"s Needles

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


"Reflections" - 26"x26" - 2002

This piece had its beginning in the workshop, Twisted Ribbons, conducted by Ricky Tims in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The objective was to learn curved piecing. I decided to choose my fabrics by value rather than hue to get the effect of a dimensional ribbon twisting through space. Those values were selected from pure hues to go on a muted background. I learned Ricky's technique, but the result was the ugliest, most garish thing I had ever made.

I cannot throw anything away ... there had to be a way to "recycle" this piece. I had also taken Ricky Tim's "Harmonic Convergence" class the same week, so decided to use aspects of that technique to salvage this piece. The ribbon piece's background was a fat quarter of batik fabric. I had another fat quarter of a similar batik. I cut the ribbon piece into 1" strips and inserted 1" strips of the new batik. That helped, but it still looked awful, so I cut and stripped in more fabric from the other direction. That was better. Now, I don't recall if I cut and stripped in additional fabric one OR two more times. I mixed up the order of the ribbon strips in the process. I stopped cutting and sewing when I saw what looked like reflections of lights in river water to me. I needed something to cast those reflections. A dive into my stash came up with 2" squares of silk fabric samples.

The gold metallic threads around the silk squares float away from the surface. Tails were left at the beginning and end of the zig-zag stitch seams on each side. Yarn couched in a wave pattern is the quilting in the center panel.

Since this obviously was "night" I needed a dark frame. The velvet border fabric that was discharged (bleached) and painted by Jan Lewis of Evanston, Illinois was perfect. She had given me the piece in exchange for working out of my fabric stash at workshops we both attended at Arrowmont in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

This piece is one of the few out of the 244+ quilts I've made over the last 12 years that I've kept to hang in our living room. Its hanging space gets a rotation of a selected small group of quilts. I'll indicate which those are when they get described in the future.


Finn said...

Good Morning Nellie, I didn't see an email offering for you, so I'll talk to you here..*VBS* I really love your blog. I found it while browing in Technorati, I had entered "quilts" as a search word.

Your quilts are amazing, and I love dropping over and seeing what you have to show us today..*VBS*

I wanted to thank you for your visit to my blog, Pieces. Usually I ask permission before I put someone blog on my sidebar, but I just went ahead in your case, because your blog is TOO good to be missed.
Our maverick group doesn't do art quilts asa focus, but there still is much creativity happening.

I'm a pretty much old fashion kind of quilter, but I love seeing what the creative mind can do. I'm sooo happy if traffic has increased. That is what ususally happens with a sidebar mention..*VBS*

Believe it or not over a couple of evenings, I read ALL your archives. Saw you MI place and your work and Peters..all wonderful. Thank you for sharing with the blogging world as well as the public domain.
Please don't feel you have to post every day....we love your work enough to keep coming back looking for new posts.
I wasn't sure how you felt about comments, so I haven't left many, but if you like them, I'd love to leave them.
If you choose, you can email me at the addy up by "see complete profile". Hugs, Finn

Finn said...

Reflections is such a neat piece Nellie! It's just right for what it is. I love that you kept going. I think most of us could benefit from that leap of faith. If you already don't like what you've done, why not just take it further?

When Ilook at this piece, I can't imagine it would be right, if it were made any other way! Great job!

Sharon said...

I'm with Finn - I don't think this piece would have looked right any other way! It is great to just look at and move my eyes around with the colors and shapes floating. Did you by any chance keep a picture of the ugly duckling before it grew up into the beautiful piece that it is today?

Nellie Bass Durand said...

Sorry to say it never occurred to me to photograph the "ugly duckling" piece before transforming it. Besides, that was a time before I had gotten a digital camera. Now it's so easy to document everything and most times I think to do it. However, there are still moments when I'm on a single-minded track and doesn't get done.

Nellie Bass Durand said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ForestJane said...

Neat! I followed Finn's link here, and I'm always looking for interesting stuff to do on quilts!

I too wish this one had pictures of the process along the way, a Then to Now series... :)

And Hello, nice to meet ya'll, from the other side of Tennessee!