A big project over recent weeks was dyeing a new batch of fabrics. By batch, I mean something like 360 pieces of fabric (0.5m by 1m each).
I needed a whole lot more light fabrics, as well as darks.
Above is my existing colour palette, while below are the new fabrics, and in the crates you see the new fabrics mixed in with the existing palette. There’s definitely a better palette now than before, although I’d still like to work on some more dark fabrics. The thing with making artwork by piecing bits of fabric together is that you need fabric in every colour, unlike painting where you can mix the colours as required.
I feel that the darker tones have been missing in my artworks, but clearly dyeing darker is also proving to be a challenge! I’ll give it another go sometime after baby is born.
Our latest fairy tale drawing assignment was to make up a ‘mock-up’ book of the fairytale ‘The Lily and the Lion’. This includes writing out all the text throughout a blank sketchbook and making draft sketches for each page. (The second stage includes colouring and developing a colour scheme, but I’m not up to that yet). I’ve decided to modify the assignment for myself (you can do that when you are not being assessed ). Instead of trying to get my head around another fairy tale, I’ve decided to fill the sketchbook with scenes of daily life, and record words to suit.
This has involved a lot of ‘drawing from imagination’ (or maybe ‘memory’ is the better word) which is great practice and similar to what the actual drawing assignment would have involved. I’ve really enjoyed the process so far. They’re certainly not perfect (the idea of drawing in pen here is to not get caught up with perfectionism). The words are certainly my week point – I’d rather draw than write! I’m hoping to have the sketchbook full within two weeks from when I started. Yes, that’s a fair bit of drawing every day, but it’s a great exercise, and will certainly ‘feed’ ideas for future quilts. Then I’ll have a go at adding colour to the sketchbook.
Things were quiet here last week. That’s because we were busy working on revamping the website, blog and bicartel shop. We’ve made great progress, although it’s not completed yet (so please be patient!)
Meanwhile, I finished completed a new quilt top – the banskia quilt which will be exhibited at Golden Textures next year. I love how this one has turned out. I played with colours that are a bit more bold than what I often use, and think it makes for a fun piece. Now to quilt it before my tummy gets too big to fit behind the sewing machine!
Fuelling the Fire
© Ruth de Vos 2011
Size: 92cm high by 91cm wide
Materials: procion fabric dye, cotton homespun, cotton batting
Techniques: hand-dyed, machine pieced, machine quilted
Available for purchase here
This quilt was made in response to the bushfires that destroyed more than 70 homes in our neighbourhood in February 2011. A few days ago helicopters flew over our house, low and loud. That always brings with it such strong memories of the day the fire started. Fire helicopters racing right above our house, back and forth, sirens blaring. Packing essentials while trying not to let on to the kids. Family groups from further up the hill gathering on our front lawn after fleeing their homes.
Nevertheless, bushfire is a normal part of the Australian bush.