Recycled Two

One of the art groups I belong to, California Fibers, is participating in a recycled fibers show called Diverted Destruction 8 at The Loft at Liz’s, where we were asked to used recycled materials to make our art. The group has a wide variety of fiber artists, from weavers and quilters to basketmakers and sculptors and dyers to painters and embroiderers. Some defy description.

I’m a quilter though. Really. I do a bunch of different things, but mostly I quilt. So I approached this exhibit with the idea of using different materials to do the same type of quilt I normally make…the challenge being in the materials. The first one is done and photographed (supposed to hold off on putting the final on here) and was made largely of upholstery fabrics from a sample book, not something that was foreign to me due to years of crazy quilting and starting out with some very different types of quilting in the early days, but certainly not how I usually approach the fabrics in my quilts. In fact, some of my quilts have satin, lame, and sequin fabrics in them, all of which were their own special challenge.

The second quilt I didn’t want to do in the same types of fabrics, so when over Winter Break a quilting friend called to say she was getting rid of her excess fabric (wait, what is that?) and did I want any of it, hell, I jumped on that. Mariah’s a mostly traditional quilter, using lots of batiks and fun prints to make some pretty gorgeous quilts. She has good color sense, and batiks have always been my favorite as well, and because I often deal with some awfully small pieces, the off-cuts from her traditional quilts actually come in useful. I brought home two or three bagsful…

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and it’s taken me three months to sort through them into color piles

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and then into bins where all the likes were together. I suck at filing; what can I say?

This afternoon, I grabbed the blacks, whites, and yellows, and sorted their asses…

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Then got all of it in the same room…

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It looks like a lot, but it’s hard with all the prints and colors, which won’t necessarily flow together, to see coherence at this point. Obviously, I’m not going to use all of these. Honestly, I’ll probably use maybe 20-30 of them. Then the rest will go into my stash and people will walk up to my quilts and go, “Oh hey, didn’t I give you that fabric?” Happens all the time.

Mariah had lots of owls…

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Then there was this pile…

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She had a lot of partially finished blocks or trims from piecing, and I just took them because I thought I could use them somehow. I personally hate piecing, so I’m glad to let others do it.

There were these two chunks that I put together, trying to visualize a background…

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Although I think it might be too busy. But maybe…maybe this is Mariah’s quilt and the background should be busy. She’s a young mom of two…that’s what your life is really like…and then the main figure can sit on top of that. It will be difficult to make the coloring work, but let’s say I have 25 years of experience and I can make it work.

Maybe. Here are some more of the pieced bits…one whole block…

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Some more pieces of strips…there’s one pile in the middle of pieces that could make another part of the background. Maybe. She tends toward blues and browns. They’re all in that range.

But then she has this skinny strip of pieced triangles…I like it as a border maybe or a base for the figure.

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although they are a completely different color range. Things to consider. Obviously I’m not making decisions about those tonight, because it’s time to make dinner. I too am a mom with many distracting things in the background of my art self. More later…but this one is definitely coming into existence this week…whether I like it or not.

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