Connect The Dots

My rhythm piece for Elizabeth’s master class has evolved painfully. Despite its plainness, I spent a lot of time to try out several half baked ideas and come up with this.

JMMJuly blocked rhythm resized

My Statement:

This month’s effort is more done with fabric markers and fabric stickers than cut fabric. I wrote the Morse code of “A line is a dot that went for a walk” three times on the zigzag fabric, following the zigs and zags at the breaks between words. It was too long (and I didn’t have enough fabric) to do this as a straight line. I used orange, rosy red and purple markers. My original plan to do this as satin stitch was scrapped once I saw how puckered up my sample was even with backing and how my machine couldn’t make the stitch as wide as I wanted.

Then, I filled in with circles cut out of Zen Chic fabric and fused to Wonder Under. The top group of circles follows a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 grouping to suggest how a bunch of dots become a line. The bottom group uses the different circle sizes to suggest the spoken rhythm – a LINE is a DOT that went for a WALK a LINE is a DOT.

I plan to do linear quilting in the non circle areas, echoing the zigzags. Any suggestions for more/different quilting is appreciated. At present the only permanent part of my piece is the Morse code.

Elizabeth’s response:
I think it’s a great idea and it looks good.  what’s so nice about it is the very clear structure…that looks simple until you get closer and then you realise all the complexity of it.   I’d love to see the idea too on a plain background….the Zen Zags are very strong…so I do hope you repeat it some time…
you could do the code in big white stitches on black – say linen – which is a pretty open weave and not too difficult to needle – similar to Dorothy Caldwell’s  xantha (might have the incorrect word here but it’s something like it!) stitching.
The sparkly fabric of the green dots works well too and I do like the way you’ve lightened the tops to give a sense of volume…that works very well…it all adds up to the meaning but it all goes together very well too.   I can’t see any changes necessary!  And yes, keep the quilting very simple, you really don’t want to distract from what’s already there.


Filed under Art quilts, In Process

11 responses to “Connect The Dots

  1. Barbara

    I think it conveys the idea of rhythm very well. I played with morse code in bead weaving a hundred years ago. The cool thong about Morse code is the design is intriguing even if you can’t decode the under lying message, but what you did conveys the theme and illustrates the message in the Morse code. Bravo! I am so glad I found your blog.

  2. I am really enjoying seeing what you are creating and learning in class. I like this piece a lot and it’s clear that the class is excellent!

    • Thanks. The class suits me, though I suspect it’s not for everyone. I’ve noticed that at least 10 people have stopped participating, but then, a year’s commitment is big.

  3. I love it! Especially the way the background fabric changes and the thin lines of Morse code following those angles. The only thing I would change (if it was me) is those three big green dots all in a row in the top right. I would have to swap one of them out for a different fabric. But I won’t let two green ornaments or two circular ornaments hang next to each other on a Christmas tree, they have to vary in color or shape to make me happy. So it is your quilt and if you like them there, then okay! It is such a fresh composition!

    • Thanks. I understand your concern about the big green dots (sounds like a childrens book) but I was dealing with a limited amount of fabric and I ran out of other colors. I cut the circles out of one piece of fabric, and others I tried with it just stood out like sore thumbs.

  4. What a great evolution from your initial ideas! I love the the depth and complexity hidden in the strong graphic image. The zigzag fabric is a perfect background, adding another level of movement.

  5. Doreen Kuster

    My hubby is a ham radio operator and he picked up the Morse Code right away. I love how this turned out.

  6. The photo popped up in the reader and I thought YES! That clearly shows the rhythm! Elizabeth is right: it looks simple at first but then, even without your explanation or needing to know the “line” is Morse or what it says, there is so much more, just on another look. And that is really what we want, yes? A piece that invites one to look again. Very good.

    • It’s a big step forward for me to try for work that speaks to several levels of meaning. Of course, color and value are what come first to me. But now I’m edging toward additional layers that may or may not signify to the viewer, but that’s OK. Each viewer brings a fresh perspective, and I love that. so, thanks.

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