Yet Another Finish

August has seen one finish after another, and when I say finish I mean I’ve even sewn down the facings. Here’s “Mean Streets” (33 by 22.5 inches) which I began as one of the last assignments of my Elizabeth Barton master class.

I used a grab bag of fabric – eco-dyed linen and silk organza, painted silk organza, coarse weave linen, netting, and a fabric softener sheet. There’s non-woven interfacing under the top to help stabilize the varied assortment of fabric.

The inspiration for all the shadows was a photo of a rough town on the Mexican border. A harsh light filters through a grill to cast stripes of light onto the buildings and street. Away from that light the scene dissolves into shadows.

I really did a lot of free motion quilting on this. In fact, it’s so stiff I think it can stand up on its own.

I made the graffiti with a freezer paper stencil and fabric paint.

I used black netting to give shadows to the side of the building.

Electric wires are strung haphazardly across the buildings.

This piece won’t hang in my house, if my husband has anything to do with it, though I’m proud I managed to realize my initial idea of danger and menace.


Filed under Completed Projects

14 responses to “Yet Another Finish

  1. I love the faded “Revolution” graffiti under the more noticeable one. Also the wavery colors on the tops of the walls, and those sagging electric lines.
    If you ever want to do another in this series, you can look online for the photo of “Lotters will be SHOOT,” that was going around for Hurricane Harvey. A series of “dudes so bad they don’t HAVE to spell right.” 🙂

  2. This isn’t an “easy” quilt–it is tense and unsettling but that’s the effect you were going for, and you really achieved it! The attention to detail is amazing!

    • My success in conveying tense and unsettling is the reason this quilt won’t be hanging where my husband can see it. OTOH, he did say “your Mean Streets is better than this stuff” when he flipped through my latest copy of the SAQA magazine.

  3. You did a great job on this piece. The shadows and light, the darkness, texture and perspective truly conjure up all kinds of feelings. I wouldn’t know free-motion wasn’t one of your favorite techniques when viewing this piece. I love it!

  4. Jane

    Wow! You definitely captured the edgy, foreboding, menace, … This piece came a long way from the basics you showed several months ago. Great details! And yes, you do need the right venue for others to see this. I also agree regarding hanging at home, though. Most of what’s on our walls, whether fiber or paper, are pieces that draw us in to explore and make us smile. This piece draws me in but with one eye always watching for an escape route if needed. I’ll look forward to seeing it in person in a few weeks.

    • My husband loves traditional floral quilts, exactly what I don’t make. We compromise on the common walls, and I hang what I want in “my” rooms. Thanks for the vivid description of the feelings my quilt gives you. Escape route, indeed.

  5. Wow. Hard to know what to say on this piece. To me it embodies the best characteristics of art quilting. It IS art, in the sense that it makes me keep looking at it and thinking about what it means, and as Barbara said, it provokes a story. I love that it’s not photographic but still captures the scene so thoroughly. I do hope you’ll enter this in … something. MORE people should see it.

  6. Diane

    Every time you post a finished quilt I say, “This is my favorite!”. Then you post another one and that one becomes my favorite, but this one really is my favorite! It talks to me.

  7. Barbara

    This is a piece of yours I have admired greatly. Congrats on finishing it. You have really captured a sense of foreboding and danger. It is edgy, and full of nuance that holds attention and provokes the imagination to create a story. You captured light brilliantly. I would love to see it in person.

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