Nellie"s Needles

Sunday, May 07, 2006


You've been reading about a collage technique I use to make art quilts. There's a variation of collage that I use extensively which involves utilizing mostly scraps of threads and fabrics. The British term for leftovers or scraps is "orts", so I call it "ortwork" ... my play on the word "artwork". It began for me in the year 2000 with this piece.

"Twist and Shout" - 48"x48"(approximate) - 2000
Materials: cotton & silk fabrics, cotton thread, rayon yarns, organdy ribbons, and buttons. Hand and machine quilted.
Exhibited: 2000 Smoky Mountain Guild Dogwood Arts Festival - Knoxville, Tenn.
Award: Surface Embellishment

The patterns throughout this piece twist and shout with the joyful exuberance of the Beatles in the 60's. The center square is the result of a workshop, Organdy Ribbon Transparency, presented by Dianne S. Hire

I couldn't bear to throw away the scraps of ribbon. They were placed under the silk organza that I layered over the black&white checked border around the piece I made in Dianne's workshop. The black border with the small dancing white squares got the trimmings from the rayon yarn that I had used to tie on the buttons. They're layered under additional strips of organdy ribbon. From that point on, I have not discarded any thread or fabric scraps.

"Twist and Shout" was gifted to my younger son and his wife. It hangs in Oak Park, Illinois.

Previous postings that feature my "ortwork" are:
Here I am
Last Flowers of Summer
More Sunsets

With all the bags of scraps I've saved, or rescued, I really should be making nothing but "ortwork". I'll feature more pieces in future postings.



I love yor quilts.


Sharon said...

Nellie, all your quilts are so free, but so perfectly composed! The squares are really square, the circles are perfectly round. How *do* you do that? I love the "ortwork", and the play on words. Thanks again for sharing such wonderful work!

Finn said...

It's a really dynamic and forceful piece Nellie, and I love the playfulness of the techniques. You do a fabulous job!! Sooooo much whimsey..*VBS* Keep up the great work!

dot said...

This is a really pretty quilt. Who knew so much could be done with orts. Thanks for sharing.

Shelina said...

This one (Ortwork) is so incredibly beautiful! You did a wonderful job with the colors, and finding use for all those bits of fabric. You have greatly inspired me.

arlee said...

Love your Ortwork, love the term! I've ben saving miniscule scraps forever and now i know what to do with them! Thank you!
WONderful quilt, lucky "gift-ee"s" :}

Diane said...

This is so charming! Very happy. I really like it!