Thursday, September 22, 2011

I am Not in Love

Well, I've been cutting and sewing up the pieces of that batch of eco-dyed fabrics that I showed a glimpse of in my last post, and I believe that the bloom may already be off the rose, so to speak, for my feelings about the whole project.


Number one buzz killer is I am not as crazy about the fabric cut up as I was when it was in larger pieces. If I didn't know better I would have guessed that this quilt top was made out of earthy, looking batiks. Not appealing to me in the least. (I say "earthy" but in truth it's actually bad memories of baby poop colors which comes to my mind!)

(And let's face it... this is a pretty uninspired, been there done that, layout. Can anyone say ZZZzzzzzzz? What was I thinking???)

The second buzz kill is that I thought I better do a light fastness test. So I grabbed 3 pieces of scraps, covered them partially with a piece of paper, and taped them to a window. Here are the results after just 2 day, (and that was 2 cloudy and rainy days)...


If you look at the markers on either side and draw a straight line across, you can see that the top half is already faded. Yikes! (And yes, I used mordants). On the up side, maybe after this quilt has faded I will like it a bit better... who knows? I really don't think I could like it any worse!

And just for the record, I'm not giving up, (yet) I want to poke around a bit with rust dyeing... maybe that rose will stay blooming a wee bit longer then this one did!

P.S. As for this ugly quilt top... well, I am now thinking about digging a hole and burying it, (seriously) then digging it back up in the spring to see what happens. Years ago I saw a quilt at a show where the artist had buried the fabrics in a riverbed, and let mother nature take her course, (the natural decaying and marking that occurred was fascinating). Ever since viewing that work, I have wanted to bury fabric. Seeing as this quilt is DOA already, I mine as well give it a proper send-off and hope for a better reincarnation!

40 comments:

Ursula said...

You are right, cutting up the fabrics really destroyed the beauty of the prints. But I can see you patching larger parts and accentuate the graphic structures with quilting!
Best regards
Ursula

Sweetpea said...

How refreshing...to happen across a blog post that's not all sugar & spice! Kudos to you for confessing - I LOVED reading this :>]] Must say, tho, the light fastness test has me a bit scared...two days?! yikes. I shall keep following & see what transpires next!
Christi

deanna7trees said...

glad you posted this. I was thinking about cutting up my eco dyed pieces but then I thought they might lose their appeal. you just confirmed that. maybe you can eco dye the whole stitched piece now to put some life back into it.

Munaiba said...

Maybe now is the time to "paint" this quilt top with some more and different dyes to add a bit of interest and movement. Some indigo splashes might be nice. Just a thought

Rachel Hauser said...

I'll admit that the light colors don't appeal to me either in this small piecework way. Buuuuut, I do like the idea of seeing what happens when you let it age. Would have never thought of that. Interesting!

Kit said...

I like your burying idea a lot.

(Which reminds me, I have a bundle in our cold cellar which should be ready to come out!)

You could also do some big leaf prints over top of this, mount it and hang it behind archival/conservation glass (if you want to keep it - if not recommend to your buyer that they do the same).

Or - some of your fabulous hand stitching might bring out it's natural beauty again - or add a new feature with your stitching with the lovely fabrics being the backdrop.


There's probably lots more you could think of to do with it - you're imaginative and clever. :)

Patricia said...

I guess I am in the minority here, but I sorta like the quilt. The fading would certainly be a problem, but I don't think it is too bad. Would really be interested to see what happens when you bury it!

Kathleen said...

I love the idea of burying it... why not try burying it with rusty items bundled up inside? Have you seen the erosion bundle blog ( http://erosionbundles.blogspot.com/ )? There are lots of ideas for weathering over there....

GerryART said...

If your quilting thing
does not pan out
you can always go on the road
with your comedy comments.

You had me choking on my hot cider at your closing DOA comment.

thanks for the giggle

hugs

Kim said...

Okay, so its not your favorite....but honestly I have certainly seen much uglier and worse looking creations.

How about painting the little quilt with words?

I know you'll think of something clever, but just remember not every
effort is a winner :0). You certainly have more successes than failures!

Happy Sewing

verobirdie said...

Apart from the fading problem, I like this top, but you are the one dealing with it. I understand your feeling. When I'm not in love with what I'm doing, I do a mess with it.
Burrying it maybe the solution. Just don't forget where you have buried it :-)

Ethne said...

When reading through this I though, 'she'll bring it to life with some stitching', then I read you want to bury it - I'd never heard of this being done to possibly change the fabric by 'natural dyeing' - this is one experiment I'd love to see the result off. Plus I love the idea of adding a selection of rusting items to give it extra depth - a bit like a time capsule - fun

stitchinglife.com said...

If you're quoting Joan Armatrading in your title, the next line is '...but I'm open to persuasion' - and I think persuaded you will be. Like Christi, I really enjoyed reading this. I'd love to see what happens to buried cloth.

anne said...

i just love what my children call " pooy nappy colours "... added to purple shades and greys....

Diana Angus said...

Dipping it in an indigo vat can add some magic.

Elsa said...

I'm not a big fan of batiks either, however, this top is really quite appealing to me. So many quilts are so bright and made with modern fabric these days (I do love them) but it's really refreshing to see something different.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I see a background just waiting for something to evolve ... layering, applique, long lines of colorful stitching ... the background is supposed to be neutral so the topmost layers can shine.

No burying just yet.

Angela said...

I still like it, no matter what you say, no matter what you do. With the fading problem, it will not last for long, sure, but what about the impermanence of things? Think Zen.

Nifty Quilts said...

You may not like your new quilt top, but I love it! Maybe it's just asking to be buried.

FryeStyle said...

I think you should bury it! I want to see Mother Nature at work! What a cool idea!

Char said...

I really like it. Except for the fading problem, it's great!

Diane J. Evans said...

How generous of you to share something that didn't turn out the way you expected it to. And, to tell you the truth, if you had posted this photo of the quilt-in-progress and said that you were pleased with it, I would have agreed with you -- it has a subtle beauty that even People Who Like Bright Colors (yours truly) can appreciate.

Someone told me recently that you don't have to keep every quilt you start. She gave me permission to throw away a piece that I wasn't in love with -- I wasn't even in LIKE with it. So, I give you the same permission -- bury it, toss it, give it away. You needn't ever have to look at a work that doesn't make your heart sing.

Diane

susie w. said...

Wow! I have had more than a few projects over the years that might have benefited from being buried. Now I HAVE to try it...and pretty soon, too, b/c it's getting darned cold in these here parts.
I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing your projects. Thank you.

gnittinknam said...

The piece is a bit quiet, but I think you may have a fun experiment on your hands....why not let the fading be a part of it's transformation?

You could place stones, sticks, stuff on it and expose different areas to the sun and let the fabric fade to different depths...you have little to lose. Even placing rusty elements and a vinegar spray could transform it into something cool and different.


Againyou could cut it up and do more with it as an element in another pieces..

Pamela Price Klebaum said...

Okay, this is what I see -- something that reminds me of the spectacular SAQA "Sightlines" exhibit! I think you should develop your light fastness test piece!

meli B said...

I haven't seen poopy nappies for a long time and the quilt top did bring back memories but I don't think all is lost. The burying is an interesting concept but probably it will just become even poopier. It may be worth working your magic with some stitching to bring the whole project to life or just packing it away and looking at it further down the track. Sometimes time out helps.

Mary Keasler said...

I love how your mind works. The whole process has been a fascinating exploration. If it is indeed DOA in your mind, then why not go ahead with your thoughts of a reincarnation plan. Perhaps a service for all Hallow's Eve celebration. What fun!

patty a. said...

If you bury this I will take one of mine and bury it too! I have heavy clay soil that is sort of yellow orangey and I have a couple of sad quilt tops.

Penny Berens said...

My first thought was to cover it in red stitching but I think burying it for a while will be a great idea! I too worry about colour fastness.

Filamental said...

This is one of the only posts I have seen where the possible problems are discussed.
I think the most amazing thing is that all over the world there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of people doing the same thing, as in eco dyeing. One person CAN influence the world.
So, what is next? World?
I too want to know where you go with this.

Kristin L said...

Yes, bury it! Our work shouldn't be so precious that we can't push the boundaries. Your identification that this is not making you happy, that you wouldn't miss it, and that there are precesses you'd like to try all add up to a great big GO FOR IT! I'd even be tempted to cut it into quarters, tape one to the window, wrap another around something rusty, bury one, and leave one alone (or do more eco dying or painting on it). It would be an interesting experiment to see how each process affects the fabrics, and maybe it would open yet another path for you.

Cheryl Arkison said...

Call me crazy, but I think if you quilted indigo circles all over it would throw some life into it!

sheila 77 said...

How about doing some shibori dyeing over the whole piece and cutting up and reassembling, maybe in a wonky way? Or if you do some overdyeing you might get some bits you could use in another project. It can also be very liberating to bin it or burn it if you have really taken a violent dislike to it! Good luck whatever you do and thanks for a very enjoyable blog.

Amy said...

Although it is very different from your typical quilts, I really like it quite a bit. It's got a nice, earthy quality to it.

deemallon said...

I saw the quilt before the dyed pieces, which maybe contributes to my view that it's not THAT bad...
But then I saw the whole pieces and understood the disappointment.

Kudos, however, on sharing something that you don't like and that didn't come out anywhere near expectation...

Deborah said...

Your idea of burying it has possibilities. That's what I'm thinking of doing with the scroll I made from my erosion bundle results.

XUE said...

It isn't that bad, Vic & I actually do like it but perhaps I am biased since I like all that you do ! The comments above are equally interesting as yr post. Have a good week.

Clare Wassermann said...

It needs a vat of indigo that's all

Peggy said...

Overdying, go for it. The yellow tones could go to oranges or greens. Isolate some of the areas by tying them up in plastic bags. Paint areas with bleach try anything. Not always knowing what it will exactly be is a learning process in art. Enjoy the process and don't always worry about the outcome.

Lily M said...

I love it. It reminds me of the colors and textures of the old, worn marble staircase and golden handrail in my favorite library.