Blossom Joy 1
© Ruth de Vos 2016
Size: 77cm by 77cm
Hand-dyed, machine-pieced, hand- and machine-quiltedFibre reactive dye, cotton homespun, cotton linen blend, cotton threads
© Ruth de Vos 2016
REMINDER: Don’t forget that you can currently get 30% off all my artquilts by using the code ARTQUILT30 when checking out! Code expires Monday 12 Dec.
90cm high by 90cm wide
Fabric paint, cotton fabric, cotton batting.
Screen-printed, hand painted, machine-pieced, machine-quilted.
This artworks has a sleeve stitched onto the back for hanging purposes, and can be hung using a gallery-style hanging system, or with two screws in the wall. More info including pictures here: http://ruthdevos.com/blog/how-to-hang-an-art-quilt/
Did you follow the Tour de France? If you've read along here for a long time you probably know that the tour features in our annual calendar here at our house. Phil loves cycling. A lot. So we've developed a bit of a tradition where we take time out from our regular schedules to enjoy the tour for three weeks every winter. The timing here in Perth is quite perfect – from 8 or 9 pm until somewhere between 11pm and midnight. It's the only TV we watch all year. (No, not kidding). So we stay up far too late and enjoy a glass of red wine and some chocolate along with it. All together, it feels like a bit of a winter getway without actually getting away – and it doesn't use up any annual leave!
I should clarify: Phil watches the tour, while I spend the time sewing furiously. I love the fact that for three weeks I get to sew long into the night for nights on end. I always make sure I have plenty of art projects lined up to keep my busy. The TV is set up in the studio, along with a comfy couch, so I still catch a fair bit of the commentary too. Hurray for cosy studio nights!
This time I spent the three weeks piecing. So now at the end of the tour, I have a stack of pieced artworks waiting to be quilted.
Earlier this year, Hannah's teacher broached the idea of my 'teaching' their year 6 class a textile-based project for Design and Technology. I loved the idea of introducing these young people to the work I love so much, and I also welcome opportunities to spend time in class with my children and their peers. Deciding on a suitable project was a bit of a challenge, though. I was keen to incorporate dyeing, because it's such a fun way to learn more about colour. Learning to use a sewing machine was also going to be very relevant to the Technology component of the subject. And I wanted the project to reflect my work as an artist too, because that's what I know best. So we settle on making little art quilts, inspired by leaves/seeds/branches.
To me, it was important to work through the design process, beginning with sketching the plant material to familiarise ourselves with it.
From there we talked about our compositions. Students had the option of making something more abstract or more realistic, as long as they used their plant drawings as their starting points. We talked about colour choices too. I would have loved to devote more time to working through composition and talking about colour, but it all got rather busy!
Once our compositions were sorted my we spent a lesson dyeing fabric. In groups of three or four, we dyed colour runs around (red to yellow, yellow to blue, blue to red) and across (yellow to purple, red to green, blue to orange) the colour wheel. As the students were busy dyeing, I came around and diluted some colours with water, and darkened others with black dye, so that we could see those effects as well.
The little quilts were made by fusing with vliesofix, so, essentially appliqué. We talked about colour choices, and I encourage the students to select a background fabric and six other colours including the following: a main colour, in light and dark; a light neutral colour and a dark neutral colour, and two other colours, preferably at least one brighter one. In the excitement of selecting colours, these instructions got a little neglected! I ironed vliesofix on to the chosen fabrics at home, so that at the following lesson, each student had a set of six fabrics backed in vliesofix, ready to start cutting.
We worked from our to-scale drawings, tracing elements of the design onto tracing paper, and then cutting them out of fabric. This proved to be quite laborious, and we may have been better off not worrying so much about our 'pattern' and cutting more 'free style'.
We persevered, though, and it was exciting to iron all the pieces into place on the background, and trim the design into shape. Even more exciting was learning how to use the sewing machines. I am super thankful for the other class mum who came and manned the sewing machines through three intense lessons!
The class teacher participated in the project too, making his own artwork, and using a sewing machine (and iron – take note, Mrs B) for the first time. What a great opportunity for the kids to see in action that we can always keep learning! His piece is the wattle quilt at the end of this post, and demonstrates colour selection as I had intended it to happen.
Didn't they all do a great job!?
And I also have to say, hats off to school teachers! This one lesson a week left me exhausted! I don't think I could do this full time!
(c) Ruth de Vos 2016
“The beauty of creation is a universal hymn in praise of it's Maker.”
Blessed Ildefonso Schuster
151cm by 155cm
Fabric dye, cotton homespun, cotton linen blend, cotton batting
Hand-dyed, machine-pieced, machine-quilted
During my 100-day drawing project many of you suggested a colouring book of my drawings. There are so many colouring books at there already that I’ve hesitated about the whole idea. But I gradually accumulated suitable drawings anyway and finally got to the point of collating them. So now I can present to you my new ‘A Walk in the Bush’ pack of colouring cards. Because I’m ‘publishing’ these myself, and because I personally prefer colouring on loose pages rather than in a book, I’ve printed these on loose leaf card (200gsm). This means that your completed colouring can be easily popped into a frame, or pinned/washi-taped to a display board when you’re done!
Each card features a different drawing inspired by our local Australian flora (so the package also makes a great ‘Australian souvenir’).
The cards come packaged in a black card folder and slipped into a protective cellophane sleeve.
Oh, and you can find them here (price includes shipping within Australia, there’s a little extra international shipping charge).