Nellie"s Needles

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Rubbing and Pounding

I have done a lot of rubbing and pounding here in Colorado. Whenever we take a hike I carry along a square of muslin and a crayon to make rubbings from interesting surfaces ... mostly trees and logs.The poundings are of flowers and leaves. This one commemorates the area in which we stay.

Memories of Rockmount - 12"x 12"
It has crayon rubbings of surfaces within our cabin and the top rail of the bridge leading to it. The pounded flowers and leaves were picked from the shoreline of the stream as well as the basket hanging outside the cabin. It was gifted to the retiring managers of the complex.
I made two pieces from these rubbings and poundings that are similar to each other. Rubbings were painted to look like mountains. Each corner represents a time of day ... sunrise, noon, sunset, and night.
The first was made as a wedding present for my husband's cousin who was married in the mountains. The center of this one features wild flowers which the bride carried in her bouquet. It also has small stones from one of the hiking trails couched with metallic thread to the four corners of the center. This one was presented to my brother-in-law who has a house in Aspen for his 70th birthday.
It's center features pansies from his garden and Aspen leaves from the trees in his yard. The stones are from his collection that have been found in the mountains and then polished. I took a small selection from the basket in the guest room, telling him he'd get them back.
I had not treated the fabrics before pounding the flowers and leaves. The natural dye is strong at first, but fades. To ensure that the color lasts, I lightly colored the flowers and leaves with crayons and set the wax and pigment into the fabric with an iron.

11 comments:

joyce said...

What a wonderful idea. I had never heard of pounding flowers but will give it a try asap. Love the finished products and what a great way to remember a place and time.

Doreen G said...

Wonderful Nellie I love the rubbings especially.

jude said...

hey, great textures nellie, i've been working more and more with crayons, love them. and there always seems to be some around when you need them. i am amazed how well they stand up to washing.

arlee said...

What beautiful gifts they make! Hmm, Greyman and i are going hiking today.....

Waltraud said...

Great Idea, I like these little quilts.

Quilting Journey said...

Beautiful finished projects and wonderful techniques. Can you explain a bit more about the poundings. Have done rubbings but not poundings. Are the flowers on top and pounded in, or underneath and the pounding brings them through? Love them!

Micki said...

Love your little quilts. The rubbings are a great idea.

McIrish Annie said...

Nellie, your little quilts are fabulous! is that your cabin in the woods?? I am soo jealous. what a lovely spot.

Karen said...

Nellie, I love flower poundings! I had not thought of doing rubbings on growing trees..But of course! Beautiful original work as always. You inspire me!

Nellie's Needles said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments.

A bit more about my process. I place the botanical between 2 layers of fabric (many times just folding over a single piece). The image from the underside of the "object" is usually stronger. The best thing to use for pounding is a rubber mallet. Although, I've used a hammer and river rocks. I've also found it's best to pound on a smooth cutting board. I cover it with a plastic bag so as not to leave stains behind.

As I stated, sometimes I touch up the finished piece with crayons. I also have outlined the images with permanent pens. Treating the fabric to retain dye would be helpful, but I haven't done that.

teodo said...

Ciao,
It's a great idea.
I like very much the first one where there is the top of the mountain with the snow.
And then on the left I see the daybreak and on the right the sunset, and over the day and under the night.
WONDERFUL! It's BELLISSIMO.
ciao ciao