Nellie"s Needles

Monday, November 06, 2006

Spectrum of Love

I'd like to share about the making of this piece. The reason for its creation is explained in a previous posting, "Out of the Rubble" near the end.
"Spectrum of Love" - 60"x60" - 2002
The crazy patchwork hearts and "ort pizza" were made in the year 2000. Making the hearts was a project that my friend, Alicia, and I had fun with when she visited me here in Tennessee that year. We each made about a dozen as valentines at that time. After she left, I continued to make more. I had set a challenge to limit the colors within each heart to one hue. After completing quite a few, I began to play with them on the design board and determined that a circle would be good. Then I made the transition hearts between the single hued ones using analagous colors.
The circle in the center is comprised of the trimmings from the silk and velvet fabric samples, lace, and ribbons used to make the hearts. This was an early ortwork piece. I did not intend to use it with the hearts when it was made. I was just playing. Arranging those scraps in a color wheel spectrum seemed the thing to do. Amazingly, the size and proportion as well as the color arrangement fit right into the center of my hearts.

There are beads tied through all the layers to quilt the area around the hearts. Random lines of machine stitching quilts the center circle.
I used the flip and sew method to construct the hearts. There is a center fabric shape cut with five sides. Additional pieces of fabric added one at a time were machine stitched to it, thus building a larger piece of fabric.
Each heart was completed before it was hand appliqued to the quilt. The pieced fabric was layered with a batiste backing and a thin layer of batting. A heart shape was drawn and machine stitched. Then the backing was slit and the shape turned right side out. The sewing of beads, sequins, and buttons plus embroidery quilts each heart.In the posting about couching yarns, I mentioned making patterns with couched yarn. That is how the vine pattern lacing around the circle of hearts is made.
I drew and cut out a paper pattern to fill the corners. It was traced around with chalk. I then just followed my drawn lines to couch the green chenille yarn. The batting and backing fabric were in place so this machine couching was also quilting that area. I had gone back and hand quilted between the leaves and stems with carpet thread.
The flowers among the vines were white commercial ones that I painted. They are held in place with knotted centers that go through the quilt.

This is the first quilt in which I used wool roving. I discovered the roving in New Zealand. It's trapped under a layer of tulle in the red border and gives the effect of light shining outward from the center of the quilt. Of course, the couched yarns in a ray pattern also contribute to that effect. This couching is also the quilting for these borders.

The border with the half-square triangle blocks of various black silk fabrics is made in Ricky Tims "dancing squares" technique that was presented in his "Caveman Quilting" workshop. I attached hand-painted Japanese satsuma buttons in their centers. My mother-in-law had these in her shop. When they were no longer being made she didn't know how to price them, so she gave them to me. I'm happy to have found a perfect place for these rare buttons.

2002 - - Dogwood Arts Quilt Show - Knoxville, Tenn.
received Surface Emblellishment award and
an Honorable Mention

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Mary Scanlon said...

I am proud to say I have known you and called you Friend for 28 years now and watched your art change, develop and grow. This is such a beautiful piece and I want to thank you for all that you've taught me over the years. This piece inspired me to make a crazy- quilted type Christmas Tree skirt for my Daughter, Suzie, which was all trees instead of hearts. I'm very proud of it. Love, Mary Scanlon

Ali Honey said...

That's just beautiful. I love the way the middle glows!

Anonymous said...

What beautiful work, very inspiring.

Anonymous said...

I am relatively new to blogging but when I discovered your site, I was in absolute awe! Your work is beyond beautiful, truly inspiring and a joy and delight to behold. Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity of seeing such craftsmanship!

Gerry said...

This is truly beautiful. I just love the whimsical shape of the hearts!

Karen said...

A beautiful quilt. The closeups show what an amazing range of texture and color that have gone into it. Thank you for showing this!

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

Okay,now I see what that fabric was. How beautiful and all the detail work is wonderful. Your son and his wife are very lucky.