Nellie"s Needles

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Violets #1

A year ago my wild flower series was begun with five pieces featuring trillium. This spring I'm continuing it with violets. The first was completed today ...

"Wild Flower Series - Violets #1 (21"x 17")

Last years series featured a micro view of the flowers on a woodland floor. I began this new series with a long view of the woods in the distance ...
How the light filters through the stands of trees in the spring intrigues me. I love  the sprinkle of new leaves ... so many of which are yellow and orange and of course, bright yellow green. Here in Tennessee there are Dogwoods blooming in the understory of trees, so they're there, too.

A bright green tulle was quilted over that stand of trees and undergrowth in the upper half of the piece while a camouflage printed tulle hold all the bits and pieces of my composition on the bottom half. The log is a piece of actual Birch bark.
Leave shapes and violet petals were cut from disassembled silk flowers. I glued pieces together to form the blossoms. They and the leaves are just laid on the surface in this picture to test  the composition. I wanted to present the perspective of leaning down to admire ... and pluck ... a small cluster of these delightful blooms.

Here I've captured the leaves with quilting under green tulle. The excess netting was trimmed away close to the stitching. The leaves were then shaded with pastels and defined with paint.

I cannot tell you why I changed the arrangement of the flowers from how you see them in the previous photo ... extending their stems above the clump. I suspect it's how they're suspended from the curve at the top of their stems that swayed me. I'll revisit that first arrangement for the next piece in this series. It was at this point I started to think about the possibility of a border and where the edges of the composition could be.

From the beginning it was in the back of my mind to mount this piece on a stretched canvas frame.
That involves another layer of quilting to hold the finished art to a separate piece of fabric that wraps around and is stapled to the wood frame. I cover those staples and raw edges with Duck tape.

I made this piece specifically for the charity auction, "Art in the Garden" on June 16th to raise funds for Random Acts of Flowers here in Knoxville.
Random Acts of Flowers (RAF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity improving mental health through the power of giving flowers. RAF volunteers collect donated flowers from weddings, memorial services, florists, special events, grocery stores and churches – to recycle and repurpose them into beautiful bouquets for delivery to patients in area hospitals, nursing homes and hospice care centers. As a recycling “green” charity run almost entirely by volunteers, Random Acts of Flowers is committed to nourishing the health of the environment, individuals, and the community.
What could be better than for me to create an art piece for them with recycled flowers and leaves plus bits of fabric from other people's quilted projects.

Go here to see blog posts about the trillium series.


Heather said...

It is so interesting to know the working process of your wonderful fabric art - so much considered thought and work has gone into it. I love violets too - they are so delicate and such a joy to see. This piece is beautiful and I am sure it will find a new home very quickly.

June Calender said...

They're beautiful, Nelly. Thanks so much for the step-by-step description, it's fascinating to know how you did this. The woods in the background is, I think, more interesting than the forest floor behind the trillium series.

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

Always love seeing how you construct these step by step.

Maureen said...

So GOOD to see your latest series and read your thoughts for working the way you do. I adore violets so I really love this piece Nelly.

Karen H said...

Love your violets and since it is #1 I expect there will be a #2 and #3! The incorporation of bark adds an even more organic feel to you quilt. Just beautiful!

WendyK said...

Wonderful, love your violet series. What a brilliant idea to cut it up, it has worked so well.