Friday, April 13, 2012
My Element Quilt
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: