Creating art out of fiber and stitch is my passion. In no other pursuit have I ever found the rewards and joy that I find in using textiles, thread, paint, beads, yarns, and whatever else inspires me to make an object of beauty to share with others.

My work is based in the quilting tradition of three layers stitched together, but the artistry of it goes far beyond the basic piecing of geometric shapes to create a bedcovering. You will see reflections of nature in my work as I live in a valley in the Rocky Mountains of Western Montana surrounded by mountains, rivers, streams and my own garden. Color and texture inspire my work and they are my palette.

I write about what I am doing with my art and where I hope to go. I create, I write, I teach, I share and I think about my art and tell you about it all on the pages of my blog.

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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