Thursday, May 27, 2010

Spring --jdemilo

Silk, organza, wool batting, cotton cording, driftwood
29" by 42"

Pink like a blush
Sweet scent with petals,
falling at spring
                                       Akiko Feng                                     

I wanted my fabric to be pink like a blush to represent the petals.  The fabric is silk (remember the really good deal I got on silk a few months back?).  I dyed it with three shades of pink using a Japanese resist dying technique called Shibori.  To bring out some of the stitched flowers, I used some shiva paint sticks.

I wanted the quilt as a whole to represent the tree so I bought white cotton cording and dyed it black and then softened the black with shiva oil sticks.  Using large eyelets I wove the cording in and out of the fabric to indicate the branches of the tree.

I wanted heavy texture for the blossoms on the tree.   I found a wonderful book named Stitching to Dye in Quilt Art by C. June Barnes that showed how to use wool batting to distort a quilt in interesting ways.  I got my batting from Cederview Farms because I needed a batting that would shrink if abused--so many commercial wool battings are treated not to shrink.  After spending days (and days and days) dying and quilting, it is a leap of faith to throw the quilt in the washing machine and hope that it shrinks in interesting ways.  I think my sample turned out better  (I did more interesting quilting on it) but I did get really heavy texture.  This is a technique I will experiment with some more.

I was stumped for some time on how to hang the art quilt till I found a piece of driftwood  in my stash and decided to paint it blue for the sky.  The quilt is hanging from fishing line from the driftwood.

I hope you like the result!


  1. Absolutely an amazing interpretation. I love all the techniques you used and the textured results of the shrunken wool! I can see that being useful down the road.

    The quilting is wonderful and the cording as branches so very clever of you.

    Final touch using the driftwood sky to hang your tree is the perfect finish. This is definitely a favorite of mine!

  2. I agree with Barbara. You've done a wonderful job all around. Hasn't that silk you bought turned out to be a fabulous tool?

  3. Your best piece to date! Very clever and very well done. Bravo!

  4. I love the graceful shape of your tree and its shaded outline. Seeing the colors, textures, and depth in real life must be amazing. Your ideas and how you implement them are sooo clever ;)

  5. Wow! I love how you took this out of the box! The branches are such a great idea! Amazing all the way around. Impressive!!

  6. Love the result! Wonderful textures and I really like the sculptural aspect.

  7. I love the texture you achieved with the stitch and shrink! I think this is an incredibly imaginative interpretation- I'm very impressed!

  8. That is a very clever way of interpreting the picture. Very innovative.

  9. Wonderful result!! It's a home run! It is so unusual and airy.


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