Sunday, July 5, 2009

Of Moss and Muslin... The Birth of a New Art Quilt... Finally!

Inspiration has been low for me lately. I keep looking for a new direction but keep hitting dead ends...

But then this little lightening bug showed me the way...


I spotted her the other day crawling on a planter. I was taken by how her clay colored head was the same color as the clay pot, and at how vibrant the bright green moss was. This led me to look up and notice the moss growing on the tree trunk...


Which led me to impulsively run in the house grab some plain muslin fabric, soak it with the hose and rub it all over the tree trunk, (reason #325 the neighbors think I am a kook.)

While I was at it I also rubbed in some clay earth and a couple of decaying mushrooms...


After baking the wet and stained fabric in the sun, rinsing it well with the hose, hanging it to dry, and heat setting it with an iron, this is what I had.

And from there I started to quickly cut and sew my new stained fabric with plain muslin...


The colors faded a bit after a final wash in the machine... but I love the subtle shifts, how they melt into each other. I like the quietness of this quilt. It is very much in line with how my life feels currently.


There was never any question in my mind as how it should be quilted.


The understated colors work great with the densely quilted lines.


The backside is plain muslin... I like this, too. Just texture.



Due to the fact that I am unsure of the long term light fastness of the colors, I have decided to not put this one up for sale. I need to do more experimenting and testing before I felt comfortable. This also gives me a good excuse to keep it as I have just the spot in my not too sunny, pale green foyer to hang it!

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Mo and I really and truly appreciate all the continued loving thoughts and wishes shared with us from the last post.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. xo

34 comments:

Linda Zimmerman said...

This piece is lovely!

connie said...

Oh, what a cool piece. I love hearing about what inspired you to make this. I think this is incredible and even better is knowing where the colors came from. Keep going I think this was worth the wait.

Deirdre said...

I love the look of this quilt and I especially love the story of how it came to be. Very cool!

VirgĂ­nia said...

Truly creative!! Very inspiring!

shellysquilts said...

V, You are a freakin genius!! There is not one thing about your work that doesn't make my skirt fly up! You are an inspiration!

Andi said...

I'm impressed that you took that inspiration and created something so quickly.
A beautiful piece.
Andi :-)

Allie said...

This is absolutely brilliant. I love the story of its creation, the colors, the quilting, the pattern, oh my. Just brilliant!

Hugs to Mo...

Amy - Park City Girl said...

Great come back!! I love the muted tones.

Sarah said...

It looks quite nice in that subtle colour scheme. Also, that's a lovely photo of the beetle.

Fer said...

Wow, that's amazing. It has that lovely Gee's Bend feel to it as well, and the quilting is perfect!

Cicada Studio said...

.... but you're my kind of kook...

Nice way to bring nature into your work. Quite literally, too.

nicolette said...

I love the story, the process and the result. Absolutely Gorgeous! It has a sense of serenity. You should definitely keep it to remind you of new found inspiration!

Hugs)

Hey Harriet said...

Haha! I'd so love to be a fly on the wall at your neighbour's house while you're running around being a goof-ball! I can imagine the funny remarks they'd be making! "Ted, come look what that mad Vic is doin' to that tree...what is she doing Ted?" "Ummm...er... cleaning the moss off it by the looks of things" says Ted.

I love where you find inspiration! And I love even more what you do with your inspiration! Beautiful and brilliant! xo

Hens Teeth said...

V,
Your quilt is so special, inspirational and very beautiful. I think you have hit a theme here.

Give Mo a kiss on that pretty nose for me. x

ARTISANNE said...

Beautiful, I love how you get your inspiration :0)

Miriam said...

Lovely and soothing.

marjay said...

This is the a very special piece. I hope you keep exploring in this vein.

Minka's Studio said...

Love it! Just think, you are making art and entertaining the neighbors at the same time!

Florence said...

mo told me to tell you thats a lightening bug,,,,,,,,,

Victoria said...

Duh!
Major typo on my part, thanks for pointing out my mistake!

littlebyrd said...

whoa! - this is seriously the coolest creative thing I've seen in long time! And lol about the neighbors - that is too funny.

Jean Synodinos said...

What an amazing process! The result is beautiful, but the process is just leaving me speechless. How do you keep your eyes so wide open in the world?

henny said...

Cool experiment!!
It reminds me how natural colored batik made here in my country-Indonesia. I even never try this method. Congart, Boo...lovely works :)

picciolo said...

wow that is absolutely stunning Victoria, I love your process and that you even made the colours yourself. The end result is beautiful
: )

Sarah in Houston said...

I just looked at you sight and work for the 1st time. I love it. The dolls are wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Sarah in Houston

Amy C said...

this is so earthy and beautiful

jacquie said...

you truly amaze me...i love how you talk about how this came to be....i'll bet your quite a conversation starter for the neighbors. a good thing!!

High Desert Diva said...

Your neighbors are the kooks....to be missing out on your genius!

Love your inspiration and the final result.

What about setting the natural dye with vinegar?

Victoria said...

Thanks Charmaine. I thought about that after I washed it... should have added in some vinegar... will try that next time!

Cheryl Arkison said...

Hmm, I should be doing something with my natural dyed stuff. Although, I was looking at my neighbour's mountain ash berries yesterday and wondering what they would do to some muslin...

LOVE the quilting on this. Such texture.

Bec Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bec Clarke said...

How clever you are to think of all that from what you saw. I am hoping that I will do more than just appreciate from now on and that I can find my muse as easily as you seem to.
I also send my thoughts to you and Mo we have a special friend here just like Mo and I know exactly how you feel.

evision said...

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Mrs Moen said...

That is so cool Victoria, creating your own fabric like that! Moss is usually very hard to get off cloths, so it might not fade that fast. I love how subtle the colours are and the simple straight line quilting. That must have taken for ever!