Nellie"s Needles

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Scraps, Lots of Scraps, Bags of Scraps

For years I've been making art quilts with a collage technique I call "ortwork" ... a play on the words artwork and ort which is the British term for scraps. I look at all of these bits and pieces and see potential "brush strokes".
For the last month this has been the sole source of material for a major project that will be ongoing for quite a few months ahead. There have been hints of this project in previous posts. It's being revealed today in response to a campaign by Michele of With Heart and Hands for her readers to feature scrap quilts, or "quilts made with everything but the kitchen sink".
During this past month of work I've created the first layer, the one I call under painting for a large ... no make that HUGE ... commission project. This schematic represents an installation of twenty-five separate panels that all together measures 14 feet wide and 10 feet high.
My older son designed a grid template on Photoshop for me to drop a photo of each piece into place as it's completed. I am so thankful for this invaluable design tool. Without it, there would be no way for me to see all these panels together and how they interact as a whole piece. Otherwise, the only time I'd ever see them in their proper orientation would be when it's finished and installed on the wall of a lobby.

Here's a close-up of one panel that measures 24"x 34".
It, plus the other 24 panels, are packed up along with supplies ready to be transported to Studio North next week. There I'll build another layer(s) that will transform them into a large field of prairie flowers under a summer sky.

I'll post my progress throughout the summer.

PS: For an occasional break I may whip up a lake quilt from the heap of scraps. I haven't made one of those since #68 last fall in Studio North.

13 comments:

Judith said...

Wow you have been busy. That looks good, painting with out paints. You are a clever lady.

Di said...

What an undertaking Nellie. It looks good with just the first layer. Can't wait to see your progress. You are an inspiration.

Doreen G said...

Wow Nellie that is incredible and so much work--well done.

Michele's Quilting Journey said...

Absolutely unbelievable project! Totally awesome...as in inspiring awe! Talk about using scraps, woman...this is phenomenal! But then all of your ortwork symbolizes the true nature of using what you..and everyone who gives to you...has. I've always loved all of your work but this is going to be breathtaking! Can't wait to see your progress and the completed piece..someday...when it's finished!! Be a 'Raggedy Ann' quilter and hide a little heart in amongst all of the orts...because this is already taking on a life of it's own!

Nellie's Needles said...

Ah, yes, Michele, a little red heart will become part of the next layer. Elvis is already hiding in this one ;-) Thanks for the idea.

arlee said...

So glad you are finally doing a reveal of this! it's amazing that so many seemingly disparate and random scraps could come together to make one beautiful whole--AWESOME

Magpie's Mumblings said...

This piece is already incredible and as far as I'm concerned it would look good in the installation as it is right now! Wow.

imquilternity said...

WOW is exactly the right word! Your piece is incredible already, I can't even imagine how it could get better, but will be waiting with baited breath to see it finished.

Heather said...

What a mammoth task you have set yourself but I know it will be beautiful. Your design has such depth and the colours are stunning. Looking forward to following your progress.

Finn said...

Totally awesome Nellie!! And what fun to see your studio while things are in process *VBS* I love that you save all the little "bits"...way to go!! Hugs and happy holiday weekend, Finn

Vicki W said...

I'm so glad you shared, it's a fabulous project!

Karoda said...

this will be so exciting to watch this develop over the summer!

and that is fabulous design tool for such a large piece! my knowledge of PS is so darn limited!

Diane said...

What an amazing and huge undertaking! I see what you mean by brushstrokes, very interesting. makes me want to go play with my scraps :)