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:


  1. This solution is beautiful and I love the echo quilting. You were over the top with the backside ,You DO respond so originally and romantically to the Material Mavens challenges. Thataway to go!

  2. The batiks are so appropriate as well as beautiful. I love the abstract designs and the representations of all 4 elements. I also love curved lines. Congratulations!

  3. Alice, I love the colors -- and the movement of the sea with the dolphins and fish swimming towards the waves of the ocean -- also love the three seals I see proudly watching. Great look! ss