Monday, November 18, 2013

The Migration of a Shape

Few years ago in Paia, on Maui, I saw the sculptures of a very fine sculptor named Pascal. He's from France & lives in the US.

I took some photos & then started working on his alluring shapes.

I made notes in my journal.

I still haven't done exactly what he did, but he got me started on a great trip. 
And I'm not done yet. 
I have enough now to sketch out various stations & stopovers.
Here are my first configurations. 

This is where it all led.  Above it is quilted by machine & I didn't like it, so I ripped all the stitching out & hand sewed it. It's a stunning example of the visual difference between machine & hand quilting.

Then I found these amazing silk plaid bias strips.  Experimentation began: I couldn't settle on something that I thought really worked....


It finally was resolved as above.


This project was done last winter after my trip to Vermont.

I rather like the flatter look better, though maybe that's just a case of not-so-great photography!
Or it could be that my batting had too much loft & was too poofy.

This was an exercise started at Nancy Crow's class in May.

 I hand quilted it without batting, part way through didn't like it. I tore it out, machine-quilted it, & liked it way better.... oh, & I added low-loft batting into the sandwich of quilt front&back.

You just can't get those fabulous lines with hand stitching. It's faster too!
When I do this kind of machine quilting I generally make stuff up as I go along. At the beginning a few lines get put in spaced throughout. These secure the basting. Then elaboration begins.

I'm kind of in love with the transition from this... this, with slightly softened rectangles a la Pascal,...

I also love my mother's Venetian scarf coming into play.
What would she say?
She & her large shadows?

 I came home with from my May workshop with Nancy Crow with two large beginnings: one was in grey tones & one was in color.

 Because of the combination of curved seams & lines they were just awful to piece. I didn't finish that till November. This was partly because it was so hard I could only 'take it' for a short period of time. I resolved some of my piecing issues by doing appliqué, which some purists may consider cheating, but I'm not a purist.

I auditioned turquoise into the composition & decided it was a big improvement, but varying shades would be even better. 
I also got to obliterate the heinous clumsy cross near dead-center of the grey phase. 
These new color shapes were appliquéd in.
It is now in my front hall. It makes a good change there. 
 The color version went though a number of auditions too.
I did documenting along the way.

This pretty well shows most of the progression.

This is it right now, on the frame. I am making decisions about thread colors, lines of stitching, & adding more softened rectangles quilted into the overall design.
The blue shapes on the upper large brown shape shows where I am going to quilt in interior shapes the way I did with the large yellow shape.

Upstairs, on my work wall, is another piece-in-process.
The silks are the last scraps of my mother's scarf. I'm intrigued by the change of ground in the center. I was planning to put red where the white work wall is, but suddenly I think that white shape is just too much to give up.
I now have to work that thought out!

What a journey.
I've loved it, wrestled with it & am still not done with it.
I still want to get into the nesting idea.

That's it for now.