Thanks to my master class I’ve become better at front end quilt design, sketching out ideas, if only to reject them. However, I begin some quilts with absolutely no idea of what they’ll be. My Torii Traces is a good example.
Here’s the collection of fabrics I began with. Almost all of them were altered with dyeing, painting, stamping, etc.
In fact, I labeled this photo Ginkgo Leaf Idea. I view it as an embryonic stage where it could easily have taken a totally different direction. Those scraps were up on my design wall for some months before I began to play with them.
The blurriness is caused by my lack of photographic skills, not your eyesight. However, you can see I settled on the gold mottled circle and the bracketing half circles early on. The dragonflies were flitting around and I was determined to use organza I had stamped with leaves.
At this point I realized I wanted to make a torii and spent time looking at photos online. Once I sorted out a symmetrical structure I built the top section and began constructing the lower parts. I layered organza in shades of gold and turquoise.
I constructed the quilt in three sections, sewing false backs on all. I left the bottom of the top and the top of the bottom open so I could slide in the middle section and sew the sections together. All the hand stitching was done before I added the backs, which help conceal all the knots, etc.
This piece is entered in the Akron Art Prize exhibit, which will be on view from September 3 to October 1 at the Summit Art Space in downtown Akron.