Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Secret Garden: Door In The Wall

This week I worked on a piece that I will send in for the 2014 SAQA Trunk Show. The piece has to be 7”w x 10”h and they will travel around the country/world as several groupings to hopefully be an example of what kind of art quilts and techniques are being done in the fiber art world. I decided to use a motif that I use often so that it represents my work, which is the leaf.

The background was quilted to echo what I would be putting on top of it, cascading leaves and a path to the door. Not a whole lot of the background is visible once my leaves and door are attached. I zig-zag stitched some yarns around the edges to finish them. 

I made the door by using heavy-weight stabilizer between two pieces of fabric and then quilted it. I cut out a window in the door and placed a cotton fabric with fields of flowers and a piece of organza behind the cut out window. I added a bead doorknob as well.


Unfortunately you can't really see the effect of the organza layered over the floral fabric, but it is very interesting and does create kind of a depth like you are looking out a window to the fields beyond.

Some of the leaves are hand stitched to the background and a few are dangling from bead strands. The bottom seemed kind of naked and needed more weight so added some leaves there and then couched yarn over it. I added a purchased beaded chain at the top by hand tacking it onto the piece. 
I created a number of fabric leaves the same way as the door, layered with heavy-weight stabilizer and quilted.  Then I cut them out and the edges where the batting shows were colored with a marker so they aren't so white. 

There is quite a bit of dimension to the piece with all the leaves and beads, but hopefully it will still fit in the envelopes they use to protect the pieces. I didn't start out with the intention of it being so dimensional since it will travel a lot and that might not hold up as well as something flat, but that is what it came out to be and that is what it is!

Now that I look at the piece, I guess I was probably inspired by the book, "The Secret Garden", which I have read a couple times and I've seen the movie a number of times.  I always loved the idea of a door to a secret garden that is hidden amongst the leaves and vines.  Good book if you've never read it!  This is not the first time I've surrounded a door, window, or opening of some kind with dangling leaves--and probably won't be the last!

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