Nellie"s Needles

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Fading Memories"

"Fading Memories" (26"x 26")
Since you last saw this piece back in mid-January, it has been finished.  Seed beads are scattered among the colored leaves as well as in the background just off the edge of the muslin overlay, a variegated red rayon yarn strip was couched over the "horizon line", the trim with the glass leaves was added to the bottom edge, as well as the binding and a hanging sleeve have been applied.  There's just the label to make and it'll be ready for entry to the Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild Show.

Here are photos of the composition as it progressed.
Initially all the elements came together easily.  However the more I worked on it, the more WORK it became.  This piece started out simply. Just leaves pounded into a piece of muslin fabric on a sunny day up in the mountains.
When I got back to my studio I painted the piece on the back side with the hope of not disturbing the natural images while adding a wash of color to the background. As you can see, I got the background color, but lost definition of those original leaves because the base fabric wasn't treated to hold pigments. To remedy that, I gathered and pounded leaves from my yard to add defined leaf images.
Seed stitches with single strands of neutral colored floss were scattered between the leaves, both to give texture and to attach it to the foundation. In retrospect two strands of floss would've been more effective than one, which had seemed counter productive to keeping it delicate. Two would've been more visually effective for those stitches that spilled over the edges into the background. Then the layering of oil stick pastels and paint began to make this piece work. Which is okay, because layering is a signature of my style.
Diluted black acrylic paint was added which helped. The value contrast between the muslin piece and the background was lessened, but it had also became dull. A touch of contrast was added with black oil stick pastels which made it better. In the meantime, I also gave the leaves added strength and definition with more color and a coat of Acrylic Medium that made them prominent and shiny. This was a good thing. They now had the same shiny texture as the glass leaves on the the trim that hangs along the bottom edge.  The glass seed beads could've been left off.  However, I had just the right colors, amber and brown, so they became reflecting points of light.

Visually this piece looks simple.  However, the construction of it is complex.  Because of its origin plus the great amount of time, effort and thought put into this piece it is being added to our personal art collection.
It is now one of three pieces that rotate being hung on this wall.  The other two are "Ode To the South Pacific", my first crinkle quilt, and "Reflections", an imperfect quilt that I love.


Vicki W said...


Kay said...

This is lovely! The leaf piece seems to float on the background, and the unexpected touch of the stripe fabric on the right side adds so much interest.

Anonymous said...

Love it Nellie! I'm looking forward to seeing it in the show!

Karen said...

Love the changes. A treasure for sure!

Heather said...

This is lovely Nellie - it would be the perfect souvenir of a visit to the States in the fall, if I could afford it!!

Plays with Needles said...

Everything that you did to this quilt was worth it!! The pounding, the painting, the beading, the stitching...all resulted in a wonderful composition -- I can't tell you how much I enjoy the black reverse stencils on the background contrasted with the foreground leaf's wonderful -- and you're managing the the transition of background and foreground was mastery!

Mermaid's Purse said...

I love it, the design, the processes, everything ....... !!

Kim said...

This quilt is stunning! I loved reading about the loooong process this piece went through. I would have lost patience and given up, but Fading Memories just got better and better.

Thank you for sharing the process

lia-t said...

love it!!!
es maravilloso. Haces cosas diferentes y preciosas.