Friday, April 13, 2012

My Element Quilt

For the Material Mavens internet group that I am a part of, our fourth quilt (which was due March 15) was to depict the theme of "Element."  We had such a great variety of interpretations of this theme!

I chose to go way back to the ancient philosophers, who believed that all the world was made up of four elements:  air, water, fire, and earth.  I decided to do an abstract quilt.  I sketched a number of designs and chose one of them.  Curved lines always appeal to me, and so each of my sketches involved lines that curved and intersected one another.

Once I had my design, I made templates by tracing the shapes the lines formed onto freezer paper.  I used all batik fabrics, selecting blues that reminded me of sky (for "air") and water; for the latter, I had some wonderful fish-motif batiks.  I likewise chose batiks that spoke to me of fire.  And then, fabrics in browns and greens--some with leaf designs, some that looked to me like tree bark--for the Earth quadrant.

I prepared all the fabrics with Wonder-Under, and then I ironed the freezer paper to the fabric and cut the various shapes out with scissors.  These pieces I then adhered to some polyester felt for the batting.  I saw that a few areas needed some additions, so I free-hand cut a few other shapes.

I echo quilted around the shapes, using thread colors that blended in with them.  For the backing--applied after I had quilted--I used what I had first intended to be the front:  a 12"x12"piece that I had string-pieced to tear-away stabilizer, using many of the same batiks but also some regular quilting fabrics.  I loved this design, but it didn't have the abstract look I was seeking, and thus it became the back!  Lastly, I bound the quilt with some pale green batik that appeared in the Earth section of my quilt.

Here is the back of the quilt: