Tuesday, September 28, 2010
1. The act of transforming or the state of being transformed
2. A marked, thorough or dramatic change in form, appearance, or character, etc. especially one for the better
3. (mathmatics) the replacement of the variables in an algebraic expression by their values in terms of another set of variables; a mapping of one space onto another or onto itself; a function that changes the position or direction of the axes of a coordinate system
4. (linguistics) a rule that systematically converts one syntactic form into another; a sentence derived by such a rule
5. (genetics) the alteration of a bacterial cell caused by the transfer of DNA from another, especially if pathogenic
6. (politics, South African) ideologically driven government policy - becoming more conformant with socialist African national groupthink
Metamorphosis, transmogrification, conversion, permutation, revolution
Transform: alter, change, convert, make over, transmogrify
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Although common in much of its range, the American Bittern is usually well-hidden in bogs, marshes and wet meadows. Usually solitary, it walks stealthily among cattails and bull rushes. If he senses that he's has been seen, the the bird becomes motionless, with its bill pointed upward, causing it to blend into the reeds.
In other words, he "STRETCHES"...
This piece stretches the definition of a quilt. It is made of two layers, not three. The background is a vintage National Geographic map from 1959 which includes part of the range of the bird (New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts) and the coastal town where I now live. Collaged onto the map is a marshy scene of rushes and cattails made of fabric and thread. The bird is made using raw edge applique, and the entire piece is machine quilted then framed behind glass. For those who may wonder, the second layer of the quilt is a stiff interfacing: Peltex 70.
Let me start by saying that I am very unhappy with the end result of this piece, although the exercise was great for me and it's the experience of the challenge that is most important. This theme was the most challenging by far for me. But that's the whole point, isn't it?
More importantly, I probably have more ideas to explore from this one exercise than any of the others we have done. It's hard to see that from the piece itself, but it's true. In the end, it was a great "stretch" exercise. It stretched my understanding and development of symmetrical quilts and pushed my toward some new directions. In the end it was good!
If you want information about the construction of this quilt you can find it on my blog.
Onward and upward......
Since I've been working with digital images a lot lately, I decided to stretch the boundaries of what might be possible with a reinterpretation of a single digital image.
For this piece I started with a fabric that I created about a year ago. I loved the colors but I thought the front was too bright so I turned it over and used the back. I just started adding layers of fabric and paint.
The green leaf on the upper left actually is made up of 11 layers including the quilting. Here is a closeup. The layers are: backing fabric, 2 layers of wool/cotton blend batting, background fabric, orange fabric, red felt covered with organza with designs created by using a soddering iron, green leaf, painted misty fuse, black tulle and finally the quilting.
One of the things that always takes me forever is deciding on how I want to quilt a piece so this is really where the 'stretch' comes in on this quilt. Usually for the background quilting I do some sort of all over consistent pattern. My crutch seems to be stippling.
After starring at this pinned to my design wall for an hour or so I decided to just start some real random allover quilting with no real pattern in mind. At first I thought I would just use clear thread in case I didn't like it but at the last minute I selected a variegated that I had never used before. In this closeup you can see the results.
This quilt proved to be quite a challenge for our group's required size of 16x20. Even with much basting and pinning, trying to do my hand stitching truly stretched my patience ... the background simply wouldn't stay still! This is definitely a process better suited to small, more managable pieces. Despite my many frustrations during the making, I love the texture of the finished quilt.
16x20 - various torn cottons ... some rusted or tea dyed, linen, lace, sari ribbon, silk organza, automatic writing, rusted leaf buttons, a few glass beads, perle cotton, hand stitched, free-motion machine embroidered tree.