Anatomy of a Quilt

Tumbleweed 2015

Tumbleweed 2015

Earlier this year I posted about receiving the package of fabrics for the Trend-Tex challenge from the Canadian Quilters Association. The fabric was full of possibilities. So now the piece is completed and mailed off.  This morning’s  blog will analyse the creation of the quilt.
This analysis will be a look back to my design (plan) based on the design elements and principles. Different publications divide the elements and principles in different ways.  However the words are the same.  I chose to  use the Canadian Quilters Association categories. Their standards show under elements: line,shape, pattern, texture, colour. Principles of design include balance, rhythm, harmony emphasis and proportion.
Part of my design was a given. The colours of the package were determined. Thus design development began there.  The colours are: navy blue, marsala (red), yellow rust print, a floral print incorporating marsala, gold/yellow with a grey background and last of all a grey print. So eliminating the grey, not a colour that leaves blue, red and yellow or the three primary colours thus a Triadic colour scheme. I view the colours as tones with the addition of grey to each one. The colours taken together are harmonious (principle), i.e. working together in a pleasing way.
I set the fabric out and put the design problem in my mind. As I pass it, I think about the title of the Trend-Tex challenge “Blowin’ in the Wind”. I also think about Lethbridge. The wind blows incessantly in Lethbridge (at least on the occasions when I have been there). Lethbridge is arid prairie and there are portions of spectacular cliffs exposing the strata of the earth below. So my mind evolves to a landscape that will incorporate the sense of wind i through some of the quilting and the embellishment. The piece will be horizontally oriented and the lines and shape (elements) will echo the topography of the location. Consideration has to be given to how I can get the horizontal length of fabric to provide the emphasis (principle) that will tell the viewer that this is a Lethbridge area landscape.
To construct the piecing of the wall hanging I refer to “Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts” by Rayna Gillan. She provides the details for free-hand cutting and sewing. I find them a wonderful review and as I often have a visual problem understanding this technique I took notes and made a sample that I can keep. This book opens me to all kind of ideas for abstract quilts but due to time I limit my enthusiasm and keep focused.
As the top evolves from  the fabric I am concerned about the balance (principle) between earth and sky. As I am thinking about the line between earth and sky. I also consider the weight of each fabric. Certainly the yellow is the most dominant. However the marsala and the navy blue balance are used to balance out the amount of yellow. l decide to make the earth ⅔’s of the piece and the sky and sunset ⅓. This achieves a horizontal balance.

Lines in the quilting are used to support the horizontal design of the quilt. The earth echoes the strata of the earth while the sky quilting lines  are slightly modified to give a sense of movement in the clouds and still maintain the horizontal image. The middle section representing the surface of the earth is quilted with long diagonal sweeping quilting lines to emphasize (principle) the blowing wind.
Now for the focal point (emphasis). This is created by a series of hand painted loosely interpreted tumbleweeds across the earth surface of the wall hanging.
I felt that the quilt needed a boundary but a minimal one, in proportion (scale) to the piece. I chose using the 4 different strip method I learned from Yvonne Porcella some years ago. They form a narrow binding and minimally contain the piece. I could have chosen a piece without a visual binding but felt that the binding was needed to complete the piece.




About Elinor Burwash Designs

I am a fibre artist, teach quilting and am a quilt judge.
This entry was posted in art, creativity, Design, Journaling, Textiles and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Anatomy of a Quilt

  1. Elinor Burwash Designs says:

    Thanks Anna, It was a good learning experience for me.

  2. Anna Hergert says:

    Elinor, great information packed into a personal account! Love it! Thanks for your insights!

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