Friday, 18 July 2008

Quilt design..... tentative beginnings

As mentioned in a previous post I have been working on the final assignment of module 4 of my embroidery C&G.
The brief was to make 3 samples for a throw to be commissioned by someone for a contemporary studio-lounge.
As this is a colour module I decided to create my brief as follows:

My client is a single man in his late 30’s living in a modern flat in London. His passion outside of the work place is for Fungi. He is an authority on the subject, but treats it as a purely therapeutic interest that helps him unwind from the stresses of his work.
My client’s flat is in a large modernised Georgian house situated in a quiet London Mews.
The room is furnished in a minimalist style with cream walls and curtains, so he would like to bring some colour into the room, and have it reflect the shape and tones found in some of the fungi he has studied. He has supplied me with copies of photographic works that he has hanging in his study and would like me to construct my colour scheme and design from them.

My next move was to select a suitable photo from a decorating shade chart and float the pictures onto it to see how the room would look.

As I had decided from the beginning that I would make this throw into a quilt, as this is an area of textiles that I wanted to explore, I started working with the Sandra Meech book Cotemporary Quilts, Design Surface and Stitch, page 24/25, on a series of colour exercises to determine a colour scheme from the 2 photos.

The next thing was to assemble some colour swatches that might be usable for this project, although I already had in mind to dye my own colours.

I was now a bit stuck as to what form the quilt was going to take, all I thought I wanted to do was stripes, so I painted a couple of ideas with spent dyes that were close to the colours I thought I might use.

Needless to say these weren’t working for me so I scanned them into the computer to see what a spot of montage might do and here’s the result.

Still not right, but interesting. I took the name and info of the purple fungus and pasted it over the stripes together with the original photo. The little circles are the recorded months that the fungus can be seen growing.

By this time I was seriously doubting the colour scheme as nothing seemed to be working, but fortunately I spotted Pippa’s post and felt a bit better as her colours were close to mine and looked great. So I decided to go and dye up my colours and see if that made any difference.

I made 10 Procion colours and chose 10 different natural fabrics of varying weight and textures to work with, plus a range of threads.

After making up all these dyes I was reluctant to waste any so had some fun painting my sketchbook pages.

I used some funky foam to carve out the stamp for these pages, another useful tip from Shirley, and used the mop up paper towel on the right, which gave me the lovely paternation when I accidentally left a damp dishcloth too close. The brown paper is old packaging treated with a peeling paint stamp and the newsprint was used to blot off the pages.

And finally this is the page I posted up in a previous post, where I’m trying to break away from my desire to make everything look “beautifully executed” as my ex print tutor instilled into me.

So this is very much the first part of this project, but there has been a lot of development this week so I will post that when it’s all collated.

BTW thanks to Pippa’s continued support I’m feeling a lot happier about the loose WIP sample.


Julie said...

Goodness you have been busy! Your exercise from Sandra Meech looks very impressive. I like the combination of lilac and orange and I always like weaving. The dyed pieces have a lovely rich colour. I'll look forward to seeing how this progresses.

Shirley Anne Sherris said...

Did you take the photo of the purple toadstool or find the picture somewhere? Love it whoever took it.
There is a trace of my hall wallpaper relief pattern on the left hand page of your last image!!
Have you superimposed this colour scheme page into the room you are designing the piece for - as you did with the pictures or colour the sofa with it as it would be a throw?
Looks like a good weeks work.

chrissythreads said...

This is looking really interesting I can't wait to see the finished piece. I love your comment about breaking away from the perfectly executed - I'm still getting into trouble with tutors for being to neat but they'll just have to accept that's me!

hippopip said...

Well done Sharon you have been busy the fabrics look stunning & I love the colours together.The stipes didn`t "grab " me but they are masculine. A question how do you float pictures onto another ?I am most impressed

Debbi Baker said...

Fantastic work Sharon!! And so fascinating to read your thought processes and sources of inspiration. I look forward to seeing the final result! PS I too am in the neat-freak-but-trying-to-bust-out category.

Jacquelines blog said...

Hi Sharon, great to see how you are developing this!!!I love the colours.

Aussie Jo said...

I love your experimentation with the colours. I love the earthy colours with the mauve/purple. Maybe too many blues in the stripes??? Superimposing some of the fungi motifs could look really sensaional too. It looks like you're having great fun here.
There's an interesting conversation at Art Bead Scene blog (sorry can't do the link) regarding colour and breaking out of the comfort zone.

Homeleightigger said...

You sound full of self doubt Sharon but your work looks full of confidence! Absolutely brilliant! Yoursketch book looks amazing - look forward to seeing the next stage. Val

Sue McGettigan said...

How amazing, thanks for sharing your creative process, just wonderful!

Joanna van said...

Your sketchbooks are amazing. True works of art in themselves.

Purple Missus said...

Its fascinating seeing the development of your thought process. I too know where you are coming from with the 'beautifully executed' part. As much as I admire others sketchbooks I still tend to make mine neat & tidy.
Very clever trick with the room setting. Wouldn't mind an a print that size of the toadstool myself. :)

Ro Bruhn said...

What a fabulous project Sharon, I love the way you've gone about it. The process looks fascinating and the pages in your journal are divine. Love it all.

Sue Smith said...

Hi Sharon,

I really enjoyed reading this entry. I loved seeing the process you went through to design the quilt. It's even got me itching to get sketching and plan (which I rarely do).