Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spring Revival

It's moving rapidly toward summer and I am finally finished with my art quilt titled 'Spring Revival'. I have always loved springtime but I think now that I live in the frozen tundra of the midwest I relish spring even more.

When I was a kid it signaled that glorious time of year when I could shed my shoes and go barefoot. Yes, I am a country girl at heart and going barefoot -especially on cool green, freshly mowed grass is such a delight. Of course I lived in the south and it was warm even before spring approached but I could never convince my mother to let me go barefoot before mid April.

Now that I live in the north it seems like spring takes forever to get here and even when the calendar says it's spring the temperature DOES not. BUT, the thing about living here is that it makes me so much more aware of springtime and all it's glory. Long before the weather is warm enough to go walking barefoot in my lush green grass, all of nature has awoken from it's sleepy winter dreams and puts on a magnificent show.
I'm not sure if I just never noticed how vibrant the world becomes in spring when I lived other places or it's just the simple fact that I'm so relieved and happy that the freezing cold and snow has disappeared.

So during these last few months while the world around me was coming back to life I was putting this little art quilt together. It started with the piece above. It is a piece I created while in an NSNG workshop with Barbara Schneider. I made it using disperse dyes that were first painted/stamped onto paper and then the paper was laid down on polyester fabric and heat pressed. Voila! the dyes transferred to the fabric and came out in much brighter colors.

I fused this piece to the center of a piece of felt and began fusing other fabrics around it. I used the colors from the disperse dyed piece- blues, greens and goldenrod yellow. I also used some setacolor paint to stamp
the same leaf pattern onto some of the green fabric along with some other stampings to dress up the otherwise BLAH commercial fabrics.

It took me awhile to get the pieces together like I wanted. I cut random sizes and moved them around like I was working on a puzzle. When I liked the placement, then I fused everything down.

I wish I had taken photos throughout the process but I didn't. It was certainly a learning process. I did this without any pattern or forethought so I think next time I might do things a bit differently. I did draw a rough sketch of what I wanted to do before I started but this looks NOTHING like the sketch.

I free motion stitched around the center and then stitched each block individually. As I was going along I kept holding it up and trying to decide if it 'needed' anything else. So I added the little tumbling blocks of yellow and used a satin stitch around them. I think they really help make it 'pop'!

When I was done with all the stitching, which took WAY longer than I thought it would, I decided to add a few buttons in coordinating colors.

Here's a few close-ups of details. The bottom right corner and the top.

Right now I'm working on the second of what appears to be a tree series. Again, no planning or forethought went into the first piece, the second one started with
a very loose design plan. I will post the first piece in the next day or so and I will try to take pics of the second piece as I move through the process.
Happy springtime! Now go take your shoes off and walk in your cool, green grass~


Beth said...

That is a very cool quilt! I love the print and all the colors.

Terri Kahrs said...

Sometimes the most beautiful things are created when we do them intuitively! Cathy this quilt is gorgeous!!! The colors are beautiful and all of the textures are luscious. No wonder it "took so long"!!! Your work is getting better and better! Hugs & Love, Terri xoxox

whymsicalmusings said...

Oh Cathy this just takes the breath right out of me! Beautiful! You have such a special talent your quilts are such a visual blessing to behold!

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

Thank you for visiting my small blog...i love the sacred marks you have made and the composition is restful and serene. The colors and pattern of your stitching unite the focus and draws you into this dyed journey. Just Lovely! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Melissa said...

Cathy...absolutely beautiful!! You are so talented and insightful with your designs!! You truly need them on display!

Cathy Spivey Mendola said...

Thanks Melissa!

June Sunflower Theme Reveal

Over at Art Elements Sue had the pleasure of choosing June's theme . She chose sunflowers. How could anyone not want to participate, ri...