Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chinese Food--Debra

Chinese Food
50 x 70
commercial cottons
machine pieced and quilted with embroidery machine

When I first saw Rian's Chinese Food picture, I was very interested in all that I could see going on!

I particularly liked:
  • the subject--food
  • the twisted noodles
  • the round plate
  • the rectangles represented by the french fries and the chopsticks
  • the orange and green colors
I used what I liked to build my design concept.

I chose to repeat the rectangular shape represented by the chopsticks and french fries as log cabin blocks. I thought the log cabin block illustrated the co-mingling and yet separateness of the food on the plate.  The log cabin blocks also gave me an opportunity to use a wide range of fabrics effectively.
To further support my design concept:
  • I chose fabrics with a light cheerful feeling much like I imagine when ordering Chinese takeout
  • I used fabrics that had either:
    • a Chinese motif (or suggested a Chinese motif) or calligraphy
    • swirls to imitate the noodles
    • circles to emphasize the circular plate
    • straight lines to highlight the rectangular shapes
    • organic shapes to signify nature; ie vegetables
    • and printed vegetables; especially the snap peas and the french fries!
  • The quilting motif was stitched on the embroidery machine.  To emphasize the circular plate I designed concentric circles and stitched them randomly across the quilt's surface.
Overall, I am delighted with my wallhanging!  It is a happy combination of fabrics that play together well.  I feel I was able to take a traditionally styled picture (with the more traditionally implied Chinese style) and craft a piece of work that was true enough to the flavour of the picture but true to my own personal style as well.  I think this shows that any picture can be made one's own.

Your comments are welcome!  This was a fun challenge for me.  Thanks, Rian!


  1. You certainly made it yours! I like the circular quilting very much. Did you stitch in the ditch first, or is the circular design the only quilting?

  2. FUN! and YOU! Elements taken from the photo and incorporated into your "scrappy" style is a clever interpretation.

    I find its cheerful pinkness with addition of happy colors reminiscent of "girl's festival day".

  3. Rich in color and texture. Definitely gives the chinese food message, love the circular quilting, it is you! Great work.

  4. Wonderful! I love your fabric selection - playful and sophisticated. I especially like how you separated the top three blocks.

    Wallhanging, sure, but looks perfect for being curled up under watching an old black & white movie... while eating Chinese food, of course!

  5. Good adaptation of the elements while staying true to your style. I do like how those circles turned out as well. Excellent addition:)

  6. Love it! I'm with Kim: curl up under this with an old movie and take-out. Love the fries and peas fabric, too =-) Great job!

  7. My first thought on seeing this was how large it is!!! You did a fantastic job. Fabrics and quilting both.It is very much 'you' and still true to the photos theme. Wonderful!

  8. What a fun, lively piece, it is so YOU! Your idea to use the embroidery machine to quilt circles is inspired! Circles are impossible to do. And they are red, which makes them look like chops! (Chops are those Chinese stamps in case someone didn't know.) The food fabric is a riot! Love that!

  9. I did not use batting in this piece because I was not sure how the embroidery machine would take the layers. The top is machine stitched (only by the circles) to a piece of drapery weight cotton. I think this is just the beginning of the possibilities for the embroidery machine to quilt.

    When I saw the picture I knew I had to use some of my hoarded food fabrics and I am so happy that I did. I thought it was quite lucky that I had the french fry fabric and the fortune cookie fabric in my stash. Actually, all the fabric was in my stash. I went through a small graphic oriental phase so I was very happy to finally do something with those fabrics. Check another idea off the list!

    I am glad everyone is enjoying my piece.

    As always, we have gotten off to a roaring good start! this group rocks!

  10. I love it that you used so much color instead of restricting the palette! It just explodes with life! And I love the fortune cookie border. I have a fabric that is very much like it.....somewhere!

  11. This is so much fun-especially since I have some of those fabrics right in the closet. Nicely done Debra.

  12. Love this, Debra... the colors are killer andthe whole thing is totally you. It's very cool that you were able to get everything from your stash!

  13. First,I can't believe you got a quilt done in a month that is this large- I'm in awe! I like that you were able to take the picture and make it 'you'. I especially like the circular quilting, and how it contributes to the overall design.


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