Friday, 30 January 2015

IQF 2014 Post 5: Nature

A slightly broad category this week, encompassing a range of styles and techniques, and even subject matter. The unifying feature is that they are all part of the natural universe, moving from the most human-shaped nature to the least. Hopefully, it will all become clear!

Bijou (Jewel) by Christine Alexiou

Up first is this eye-catching quilt by Christine Alexiou, whose Little Blue Planet quilt we saw a couple of weeks ago. Bijou (Jewel) is an homage to Art Nouveau and this picture has failed to pick up the beautiful quilting in the silk that frames the koi in the lily pond. Christine has used appliqué, painted silk, thread sketching, and hand-applied bias tape outlines to create this quilt. I'm generally a big sucker for anything with a stained glass effect, but the colours used here combined with the apparent simplicity of the lines, but the beauty of the interweaving in the shapes keeps me happy for ages when I look at this quilt.

Canola Fields by Leah Gravells

Next we have another quilt that I kept going back to have just one more look at during Festival. Canola Fields by Leah Gravells is QAYG using 3/4" strips. There are 199 different batiks in this quilt and it was a combination of the simple colour palette in a simple arrangement still managing to create an evocative picture that brought me back to this quilt each time. There's a large field just like this one right near the estate I grew up in, and while you wouldn't be lucky enough to see a sky like the one in the quilt every day, those colours just sing of a perfect summer day to me.

GMOs Gone Wild by Betsy Brandt-Kreutz

This is GMOs Gone Wild by Betsy Brandt-Kreutz. Unfortunately, I've lost (if I ever had) my picture of the entry form so I've no details on the techniques used. I like this one because it's completely mad, totally in keeping with its title. It reminds me of coral reefs, but also of those funny little glass ornaments relatives would bring you back from holidays that they had filled with layers and layers of coloured sands. Which you'd use as a paperweight until you knocked it over and it smashed, or all the layers got jumbled and it just looked like regular sand...

Conflagration, Desolation, Rejuvenation, and Jubilation by Vicki Conley

Conflagration, Desolation, Rejuvenation, and Jubilation by Vicki Conley shows the aftermath of a forest fire and subsequent recovery. I love the colour gradients between each block, but also within the background image in the sashing. We're slowly starting to move into how nature copes without humans with this quilt.

Arizona Starry Night by Alicia Sterna

Vincent van Gogh is the inspiration behind Alicia Sterna's Arizona Starry Night. The catherine-wheeling stars are all I see at first, but slowly the cacti distract me, and finally the lights of the villages beneath them draw my eye like gold bars shining out into the desert. There's a nice overview of her work and links on daniel buckley arts, it's from 2012.

Eight Branchlets by Janet Steadman

Eight Branchlets by Janet Steadman is just lovely, the colours and textures (not at all well captured by me but this quilt looked like it would feel like suede) combine to make me want to own it, big time coveting. The quilt is inspired by deciduous trees in winter, and uses Janet's own hand-dyed fabrics which she free hand cut to insert the fine curved branched lines. It is machine pieced and machine quilted.

Abstracted Eucalyptus by Kathy Bachofer

Kathy Bachofer uses Abstracted Eucalyptus to explore the meeting point of organic and structured forms. This quilt was inspired by a photograph of rainbow eucalyptus by Cedric Pollet. Kathy used computer software to abstract the photograph and create a quilt pattern, which she then machine pieced and quilted. I wonder if the structured forms Kathy's mentioning here are the computer and the camera, or are they rigours we apply to quilt making? Either way I really like the resulting quilt, another one I would have stroked if I'd been allowed.

Felted Trees #1 by Charlotte Hickman

Felted Trees #1 by Charlotte Hickman remind me of Mayo, in the West of Ireland. Gnarled, windswept, battered, but still standing. Providing stark contrast to beautiful sunsets and sunrises, reminding us of strength and resilience and the beauty in that.

The Color in Action by Cecilia Koppmann

Finally, we make the leap off world with The Color in Action by Cecilia Koppmann. A triptych of planetary orbits, with colour gradation happening throughout. The perfect continuation of the quilting lines and 'planets' makes me think it was made as one piece and separated into three before binding.

Fireball by Candice Phelan

And our last quilt for this week, it's been a long week this one, lots of photos! Fireball by Candice Phelan. The quilt is raw-edged applique using hand-dyed fabrics, thread-painted and machine quilted with a variety of threads. This is the fourth in a series of sphere quilts. You can see Candice speak about making this quilt on Quilt Alliance's Go Tell It. I always find hearing a quilter speak about their work brings it to life that much more than just looking at a picture with no background to the why they made it.

Ok, next week's post is nowhere near as long as this one, so well done for making it this far! Enjoy your weekends :) Go some American football team!! I will be enjoying being sarcastic about the ads.

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