I was rifling through some deep sewing storage looking for a specific piece of fabric. I didn’t find it, but while searching happened across these “little quilts.” They were neatly folded and tucked away waiting to be rediscovered.
People who know I work with fabric almost always ask me if I quilt and I always say, “no,”when in fact I do quilt from time to time. What I mean when I say no, is that I do not quilt as my main creative outlet; I haven’t spent my lifetime perfecting my quilting skills like the artists whose magnificent creations adorn quilt shops and shows. Rather, I am a little quilter of small projects… offering happy little diversions from my more seriously focused fabric pursuits.
Each piece carries with it a memory, like small snapshot in time… oh yes, I remember when I made that…..
While shopping during the Christmas season, I came across some decorative accent towels that inspired me to try making some of my own. The thing I like most about this type of project is that they are simple to sew and offer a myriad of opportunities to use up scraps of fabric and trim in unlimited creative ways. They can be as elaborate or as simple as you want to make them and are easily picked up or set aside to work on later. I find this a good fit for my creative outlet during this very busy period of my life.
Paris in Spring
Saint Irene Piroska of Hungary
I put the finishing touches on Empress Irene (pronounced eye-ree’-nee) today. Thank you to everyone who made a guess about who she might be. I think she looks pretty good for a mother of eight children. 🙂
I still have to get it pinned to a foam core and scanned, but that will take a bit and I wanted to share before I go on my summer blog break. Below is a cropped version and another image with the border that I use for a matting effect when I frame it.
The source of inspiration for my fabric mosaic was the famous mosaic found on the south gallery wall of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
close up view
Art Meets Fashion
linnyjcreations and I were talking about the latest Dolce & Gabanna Byzantine inspired fashion collection today . Check out her blog entry Religious Mosaic Fabric – Dolce Gabbana.
As it happens, I am currently up to my neck in a Byzantine fabric mosaic project. One of the hallmarks of Byzantine style is the high degree of detail and ornamentation. I’m sure that’s why I’m attracted to this historic period; it provides a perfect outlet for my tendency to move toward increasing complexity in just about everything I do. I can get lost in the world of details for hours as though I were transported to another universe. For example, today I decided that I wanted to highlight each pearl on the dress with required the cutting out an additional 43 circles approximately 1/4″ in diameter. Very close work, indeed.:)
Any guesses on who the subject is?
I think I’ve done it!
Wow, what a challenge creating a braid in fabric, but I think I’ve finally done it.
One down, one to go.
I’m going to have to be very careful to make sure the second braid is cut so that it looks like it “belongs” with the first braid. There is a lot of color variation in the fabric I’m using and it really shows way more than than I thought it would if it’s not done right… learned that the hard way. I’m going to have to make careful visual comparisons to get it right. Time to take a break before tackling that.
Maybe I’ll work on that luscious piece of purple linen I bought last week. Hmm…
Trying Something Different
I’m in an art mode at the moment and even before finishing up the detail on Our Lady of China, I had sketched out my next project… another Byzantine saint. I’ve done lots of hair before, but never braids. Creating braids in a fabric medium is going to be an interesting challenge, I’m sure. Adding to that, the braids are blond and finding just the right color is usually a bit problematic… it can’t be too yellow or too orangey or too gray, etc. So it was off to Fabric Depot for a couple of hours of roaming through the hundreds and hundreds of bolts of fabric looking for the perfect piece which may or may not exist.
Here are the two I found. I am hoping the one of the left will work, because the color is right, although the zigzag design may be too prominent… it’s impossible to know without cutting it up and trying it. Designs change so much after cutting and re-assembly… sometimes with wonderful results and sometimes disappointingly so. The one on the left is a bit darker than I really wanted… more light brown than blond really, but the texture is perfect for hair, so we shall see.
Wish me luck. 🙂
Blessed Virgin Mary
Back in 2007 I came across a very sweet Marian image in one of my internet searches. I often use art for inspiration and began with a preliminary sketch. For whatever reason, I set to sketch aside and never got back to it… until last month when I had reason to sort through the drawer where it had been stored. I looked at it, thought about it, and decided maybe it was time to consider it again. After some redrawing, I was ready to begin and here are the results.
Part of what I like about working with fabric art are the avenues of learning related to the subject that open up that I might otherwise never have reason to explore. One example of this type of discovery is the fact that Our Lady of China refers to the Marian apparition that occurred in 1900 in DongLu, a small village in China. The story of deliverance is charming and a source of inspiration to millions. And, I knew nothing about it before taking up this project.
I took a few photographs with my digital camera (not the best quality) and put together a brief video. In the next couple of weeks, I’ll get it mounted and professionally scanned for high-resolution printing.
On Checking Out
It’s been several weeks since I posted anything on Sewville, and that’s because I’m knee-deep in a new fabric art project. Here is a sneak peek of what I’m working on.
I still have some mountains to climb before completion, but I’m inching my way along and am hoping for good progress over the next few days/weeks. Wish me luck!
I know I’m getting ready for re-entry, because I find myself thinking about sewing Mandarin collars with increasing frequency. 🙂