It Began As A Quilt

My last big project of 2022 has been finishing a quilt I called “Happy Accidents” because it was inspired by a piece of woven paper my Roomba had chewed up. You can read about it here and here.

I thought it was done, and started the quilting. I managed to quilt most of what I wanted with a walking foot, and planned to do details with hand stitching. Like many plans, that didn’t go as expected. I found that working needle and thread through four, sometimes five, layers of cloth was challenging. After doing a bit of backstitching, my aching hands told me to give that up.

So, there I was with a partially realized quilt that was probably fine as is, but I wanted more. At this point I left the domain of fabric and thread and entered the painting zone. I ruled out acrylic and fabric paint as too runny for a quilted piece. I considered Inktense briefly, but decided I wanted the flexibility of fuzziness that Neocolor II crayons give.

Of course when you make one change everything is affected, and more changes ensue. That’s why I have expanded the name of this piece to “Happy Accidents/Chaos Theory.” I also think parts of it look chaotic.

Here’s how it looks after several applications of Neocolor II to change the brightness or color of a part, and to emphasize lines that were formerly implicit.

The clipped on black and navy edge strips were to audition binding color. I chose the navy.
The top before quilting and painting.

I managed to spin the quilt many, many times as I quilted the circles and curves.

Finished size is 29 inches wide by 44 inches high. I have only to add binding and hanging sleeve, and I can call it done. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. Maybe someone will hold a chaos theory art exhibit. If so, I have the perfect entry.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.

8 Comments

Filed under Art quilts, Fabric Printing, Techniques

8 responses to “It Began As A Quilt

  1. Brenda Hamilton

    Oh, Gurl! I randomly but often follow you & very much like these effects, eceteras. My own days of extensive handwork are fast coming to an end. I do love it so. So I get it. Thanks for shaking up the quilt police!

  2. Penny Bruce

    And I suppose you got that all done yesterday since I couldn’t make it to the art museum?! Chaotic indeed, but in a good way!

  3. I’m amazed by how your addition of Neocolors and stitch have enhanced and adding more depth to this piece. You make it clear why exploring and experimenting with different supplies/mediums is a good idea. Having some knowledge of how they may behave is a plus. I like how you’ve quilted this piece and I think navy was a good decision for the binding.

    • Thanks. I think it would be an interesting experiment to give three quilters copies of the same top and ask them to quilt it. I’d love to see the different interpretations. I think the “paint” changed the piece to make it more solid and less amorphous. Like any piece you do more work on, you lose something but also gain something.

  4. I like your experimentation quilt Chaos Theory. It encourages me to be more willing to experiment.

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