The final Contemporary Quilt Journal Quilts for 2010 use fabrics I created in Rayna Gillman's amazing masterclass at Festival of Quilts in August. . The printed fabrics are combined with hand-dyed poplins, mainly an extraordinarily vivid red I dyed some time ago. For me red symbolises life and energy and I have tried to use this symbolism in different ways in each one. Technically, I have also tried two things. The first is to focus on the use of contrast in composition; the second is to use a more minimalist way of free-machine quilting instead of the all over complex patterning I have done in the past.
The September one contains a fern in a layered screenprint containing various elements. I wanted to get the efffect of light through trees and shrubs; those of you who read this blog know that for me ferns are a potent symbol of life and continuity. I've added two hand-dyed fabrics here, using fused applique, and the whole is lesss simplified than the later ones.
The October JQ uses a ready-made thermofax screen over hand-dyed fabric screened in a low-contrast colour in two directions over corrugated cardboard to make a grid. I printed several layers of the pattern to create something a little more complex. I also wanted to get the sense of looking through something to see the seedheads (another image of continuity and new life, now I think of it).
The November JQ uses multiple printings with another ready-made thermofax screen using squares of different sizes over a "failed" screenprinted piece. This seemed to be like a city to me, with the line where the fabric had folded and not been printed suggesting a river. Rivers were once the life-blood of many cities, including Leeds, where I live, bringing in goods and raw materials and taking out manufactured items for trade. Leeds also has many underground streams (one runs down the middle of our back alley and has been known to reappear in exceptionally heavy rain) and the unprinted 'river' under the superimposed thermofax has become one of these, the main river is in the red fabric, and the only quilting other than the rivers is a branching river that has become a plant. This is the least quilting I have ever done on a piece this size, and the jury is still out on whether it needs more.
The December JQ uses fabric which was not my favourite at the time but which has become the one I like best. It is a ghost print, i.e. a second one made without reinking, just using the ink left on the screen after the previous print, which had been made using pieces of sequin waste some of which had been removed before the second printing. The image it made suggested dust, smoke and urban decay and I wanted to contrast this with curves in the red applique; the quilting adds the suggestion of more curves.
I must admit to being fairly pleased with these pieces. My favourite is the last one; my sister-in-law's is the first. I'd love to know which you like best.
And - oh yes - these were the first photographs taken on my new Lumix G10 camera which the cats (in a fit of reckless extravagance) gave me for Christmas, so they should enlarge well! (Though having checked that I've discovered there is such a thing as too clear - apologies for the cat-hairs!)