Through The Gate

Back in the spring I set aside some custom made fabrics with similar colors for an improv project. After I began arranging the bits on my design wall I found I needed the wall for another project, so I took the picture below and removed the bits from my wall.

Ginkgo leaf idea

Six months later I decided to revisit the bits and the photo. This time a different arrangement happened which reminded me of a Japanese temple gate.

torii gate itsukushima

I decided not to fight kismet but build on it.  Some of my fabrics are stamped with ginkgo leaves and I have silk screened dragonflies, so I think they reinforce a Japanese theme. The circle and half circles also echo symbols in Japanese art.

ToriiRight now my gate is in two pieces which I plan to join after much of the quilting is done. At this point I’m mulling how to quilt it. I have some coarse weave fabric plus velveteen and silk organza to quilt over, and I may use hand work there. Otherwise, my plan is to layer the top pieces with batting and crinoline (yes, the petticoat stuff which I use for stability), quilt them, and do an envelope back. Once the pieces are enclosed I plan to slip the bottom piece into an opening left in the top and sew them together.

I have never tried such a technique before, but I want to echo the shape of a torii (the Japanese name for such a gate.) I fear that I’d mess up the acute angles if I tried to finish the pieces as a single unit.

My method will result in a false back, which will disqualify this piece from many quilt  shows, but I don’t care. Honestly, I feel like a carpenter. Maybe I should try wood glue.


Filed under In Process

4 responses to “Through The Gate

  1. I like this a lot and the idea of using the gate as inspiration really works for me! I realized, while at our guild show this weekend, that no one, really, in the guild is doing art quilts at all! So, it’s especially fun to come back here and see what you’ve come up with!

    • As I’ve said before, quilting is a big tent with room for a lot of acts. The guilds I’ve known have had maybe one or two members who try art quilting, so I’m not surprised that type of quilt wasn’t well represented at your show. And thanks for the kind words about Torii.

  2. “…wood glue.” You are so funny. I enjoyed reading how you plan to tackle construction on this piece. That is always something I’m curious about. It looks wonderful even now. I hope you will post some detail photos as you go or when it is finished, I’ll like to see how you stitch it too.

    • I’d sure like to see how I stitch it, too. Right now I’ve found quite a few other sewing chores to do in order to postpone quilting this one. I’m putting hanging sleeves on quilts that are seven years old and sewing down facings that I had left unsewn for a demo.

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