Sunset in Cancun
24 x 35 inches
commercial fabric scraps machine quilted to a painted background
This month I decided to be a bit more spontaneous with the challenge picture. I looked at it a few times and then didn't refer to it again until I looked at the picture this morning. I decided to take the color orange as the sun and blue as the ocean to represent a sunset over a beautiful horizon on a vacation's night in Cancun. (I debated calling the piece "Sunburn in Cancun" from my own personal experience in the Mexican town!). I thought that if a person looked at the picture from a reclining position, it almost looked like an ocean, beach, sun. I wanted to experiment with more embroquilting (using the embroidery machine for the quilting) and this approach was a perfect background for the machine.
I had a piece of drapery sample fabric I had monoprinted with some turquoise and orange paints so it proved to be a great background fabric to use. I had also recently finished my batik patchwork pillows so the strips and cutoffs from them were dangling from my scrap basket. Like Nellie, I see many possibilities in even the tiniest scraps and they have their own dedicated buckets under my studio table. When I started pulling possible candidates the composition designed itself.
This is the first time I have designed machine quilting that was so intense -- although I have been wanting to do it for quite awhile. I was able to load the machine's hoop with the strips casually held in place, hit the start button and let the machine do all the surface stitching. It was fascinating to see it run through the stitching. In some areas I had to overlap the hoop with a previously stitched area so the stitching became very intense which on this piece was very appropriate.
When it was done, I showed it to the Art Board Authority here at my house and he immediately saw it as an ocean with a sunset; as opposed to last month's piece which he still has not figured out (!). So, I felt the concept was strong without any further embellishment. I also got an Attagirl for working "outside the box" and "moving in a new direction" since the Art Board Authority was really getting tired of birds, butterflies and flowers. I have to agree that this idea has many new possibilities (and I don't think it is exactly like Nellie's idea either--no tulle, no batting). I do expect to do more compositions exploring where I can go with the idea.
Your comments are welcome!