Thursday, October 01, 2009

"Jockeying in the Queue"

"Jockeying in the Queue"
12" x 16"
2009 Sheila Mahanke Barnes

It's time again for June & I to exchange original works for the other to be inspired by. My offering is another in my "jockeying" series which is using up triangle shapes trimmed off during the making of another quilt. You saw me start to play with this idea here.

My background is a cotton sunprinted with ferns and I've stabilized it by fusing Decor Bond to the wrong side. On the left you can see I've fuse the triangles to scraps of Wonder Under and they are ready to be trimmed. I've place my paper window frame delineating our agreed upon dimensions over the fabric to help me with placement.

I played with the arrangement over several days. This is the hard part for me - attaining what I feel is a balanced and interesting placement of the triangles. I really liked the way these rust and tan triangles looked against the blue/green background so limited my triangles to those two colors, succeeding in using every one left. Once I was happy with the arrangement, I used the little iron to tack them in place before moving the whole thing to the ironing board for fusing.

And then it was time for the inevitable auditioning of threads. The colors a bit off here, but basically, I was trying out reddish/brown variegated cottons.

I nearly got stuck at this stage as I often do. I want the thread to show, but not take over and often just draping the thread over the top doesn't read the same as it will in the actual stitch. I also waffled about whether I wanted batting in this piece. It will be framed (confession: the photo at the top shows it in a photo shopped frame), and frankly, I didn't think I wanted any dimensional texture.

In the end, I opted for no batting, and chose the less bold of two threads I was considering. I'm still wondering if that was a mistake. My original intention for "quilting" lines was to stitch about a 1/2 inch away from the top and bottom silhouette of the line of triangles, but in draping the threads, I fell in love with the curves forming in the angles. I truly would not have thought to do that on my own. And so when I ran across this bit of wisdom from Randel Plowman of A Collage A Day fame, I could only nod in agreement:

"It's all about accidents. You can't control it. If you try to control it, going into the process knowing what you want, you'll never be happy."

Well, that explains a lot...



June said...

Sure will be interesting to figure out how to respond to this one! I love the title and the concept -- and the colors -- and the stitching -- but the point of the challenge is not to imitate the other, but to use it as a prompt. Oh well, I have a whole month to ponder:-)

RHONDA said...

I love this piece, and the way the triangles seem to float against a blue sky. I think it's because it reminds me of Michael Riley's photographic work, which I also really like.
You can see what I mean here -

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks for the link, Rhonda. I'm not familiar with Riley's work. Such a simple ploy makes such a big impact and sets his simple images apart from the rest. I'm happy to know you see what I see - I love the optical illusion of the triangles floating, and this may be one reason I chose to stitch without batting, so that the surface would remain flat and the triangles looking detached from the background.

Naveen said...

thats good work