Friday, 28 September 2012

Sea Edges

I don't normally take this long over a quilt.  This one took just over a year.  It began with a workshop with Jo Budd on monoprinting and collage and a sketchbook full of drawings paintings and photographs of various bits of the Northumberland coast in the north-east of England, up against the Scottish border, an area of warm welcomes, windy deserted beaches, abbeys and castles, seabird colonies, farms boats and inshore fishing, saints and wildlife: my favourite part of the country.

My monoprints were of the organic rather than formally-patterned kind, sort of messy but deliberately so.  Organising them into a collages (including layering with organzas and chiffons) was a lengthy process, from here:

to here:
over a period of about three weeks.  Simply pinning on a design wall, moving elements around until they appeared to balance.  I discovered that the striped bits (originally greyscale samples) were essential to give the piece a bit of structure.  The fabrics chosen were ones which suggested the colours and weathering of the coastal landscape.
The rest was about the quilting.  Though I'd originally planned it as a machine-quilted piece I found that certain areas needed hand-quilting, and it was this that took the time - a mediatative process that meant the quilt evolved slowly (my hand won't let me hand-stitch for too long at a time) and developed in unexpected ways.

The end result (above) combines areas of texture with areas where stitching has been used as a medium for drawing - close-ups below: