Two Years of Mystery

Sometimes I conclude I should give up on a piece – it just isn’t coming together, an average first grader could do better, lots of effort only seems to make it worse, etc. I suspect you’ve been there.

“Blues” was my latest reason to throw in the rotary cutter. It began with lots of blue and blue/green fabrics, and included hand embroidered blocks. It ended in deep frustration and taught me there’s a reason why Paul Klee is considered an art master and I’m not.

My inspiration was Klee’s “It’s About Time.”

I mangled it to this.

Dated 10/17

Feeling utterly defeated, I hung it on a hanger, shoved it to one side of the fabric closet, and ignored it. I made other pieces since 2017, but this one kept bugging me. Damn it, I had put too much time in it to abandon ship. I cogitated and remembered another Klee painting. If he got me into this mess, surely he could get me out.

The possible solution I saw was to use transparent colored organza and narrow strips to give my poor “Blues” coherency. At first I played with tissue paper and overlays.

Then, I painted a lot of silk organza, cut it into strips, and backed it with Misty Fuse. I was so glad I had a 5 pack of Teflon sheets. Then I began playing.

I added thin bias strips, many of which I made myself (insert pat on back here.)

It didn’t seem like enough, so I added already fused spheres from an earlier project to echo all the circles in the original fabrics. By now I had certainly strayed from the original inspiration.

I added a few more spheres and will sew them down, along with the thin strips. Once that’s done I can quilt it after I cut off about 3 inches from the left side.

Oh no, more decisions. At least I have a title – “Let The Mystery Be.” Thanks to Iris DeMent for a great song. I’ve linked to Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under Art quilts, In Process

11 responses to “Two Years of Mystery

  1. Laura Lea Relph

    Its definitely your own design now, with more life and dimension, and the really colors sing now!
    Re. the goddess sheet, I bought the sheet that you put in the bottom of your oven and use it. Its the same thing, just not marketed for quilters and much cheaper.

    • Thanks, though right now I’m struggling physically with the quilting and regretting the design I worked out. The organza makes the top quite stiff and hard to manipulate. Yes, the sheets I bought are indeed advertised for baking, cooking and crafts. I’m always amused at how much more expensive products designed for quilting are, even though you can buy cheaper comparable items in a hardware store.

  2. Thanks for mentioning the possibility of a multi-pack of Teflon sheets. I bought a single one for iron-on adhesives, and it was expensive. Yes, I know that wasn’t the point of the post, but I guess you never know when what you say will help someone! And I agree that your piece is significantly improved. I may just take my new supply of Teflon sheets and go to work on one of mine that has been “set aside”!

    • I found my 5 pack on Amazon. It was billed as multi-purpose. So far it works with my iron and fusibles. Much cheaper than the stuff sold specifically for sewing. I have no idea how long the sheets will last, but I figure I can buy about 8 more of the cheap sheets for the cost of a goddess sheet.

  3. Chris

    Wow, this is so exciting! Actually I liked the original “Blues” although looking back at it I can see it was really pretty plain. Well, no longer. If I had only seen the final version I never would have suspected that the whole 3D effect had not been planned from the get go. What are your quilting plans?

    • Thanks. As you can see, I’ve become a fan of layers as they add such depth. Quilting plans??? There think will be some diagonal lines to pick up on a slanted yellow chunk of organza, but I haven’t gotten beyond that. I hope it doesn’t take me another 2 years to get the quilting done.

  4. I love reading your process with these especially challenging pieces. I like how your organza added not only another layer but more dimension too and the strips and spheres appear to be floating. What paint did you use on the organza? I enjoyed the music video too!

  5. Oh my goodness, I love the outcome! That is so cool. Sometimes those problem quilts just need to brew for a bit. Well done!

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