Monday, March 31, 2008

Fiber Art Community, By the Inch

The deadline has come for our latest Twelve by Twelve challenge. The last two months we have worked on community. Sadly to say, I have struggled with Community! I had more false starts than I can count and lacked the technical skill to take the picture from my head and work in to fiber.
Finally, this quilt came together so easy that I feel like I cheated. I created the background for the quilt with silver painted fabric and gold metallic thread for quilting in honor of the song "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold." The inchies I received from a swap at FiberArtBits last summer, with a couple Christmas inchies thrown it to fill out the grid. The artists that I exchanged with are Kate North, Gill Boughton, Gretchen L Van Nostvand, Gwyneth Green, Emily Randall, Steph Winn, Barb Hill, Priscilla Stultz, Ella More, Lorraine Strohkirch, and Diana Becka. I also added a few of my own inchies that I traded. The swirling, spiralling quilting lines are for the chaos of each of our lives, while the grid is the touch of structure that ties each of our lives together, our passion for fiber art. I am so grateful for the community of artists that I have meet on the Internet through Twelve by Twelve, blogging, and exchanges. The supportive environment has helped me to grow so much as an artist and gain confidence in my work.
Add here is a little peek at some of the rejects. Some of them I should be able to recycle into something, just give me the rotary cutter, some paint, and a lot of embellishments.
My first attempt was a contrast of the neat and clean ideal community and the messiness of real community. I worked a little with some knotted, sewn cord, perhaps couching it down in a heart shape -- an attempt at the love that ties a community together.
I thought my first messy quilt was a little monochromatic so I tried it with another paint rag I had laying around. More color, but I just couldn't get the idea to a place I liked.
I also thought of a woven quilt. I used various upholstery fabric samples. I liked the differences in texture and weight. I may have been able to bring this together better than my first experiment, but the family has been distracting and my love for the idea quickly faded.
My other idea was to create fabric paper using pages from the community pages of our phone book. I cut our heart shapes and collaged them down. The big problem came when it was time to add the layer of tissue paper. Where did all my white tissue go? I have a feeling some little hands got a hold of it or my husband helpe with the cleaning. Needless to say, I couldn't find any. I tried to improvise by using dryer sheets. They created an interesting texture, but the paper underneath was all but lost. I also used too bright of colors. I couldn't bring them together in a pleasing manner.
Lots of lessons learned, and I guess that is one of the benefits of living in communtiy. Now its time to be a good citizen and recycle!


Kathy - Pink Chalk Studio said...

I love this piece Nikki, it captures a sentiment that I certainly struggle with. The way the inchies float above the chaos is especially meaningful. Well done.

Ulla said...

I like the upholstery fabric samples! And I'm all for recycling and re-using almost anything.

katelnorth said...

Great inchie piece - how nice to see a few of mine in there! Also wanted to let you know that my friend really liked her birthday present - thanks again :)