Friday, November 20, 2015

The Color Study (Triangles) Quilt from Beginning to End

Edited on December 17, 2015 at 3:00 pm to say that I just learned this quilt is accepted to the QuiltCon 2016 exhibit! I am so, so excited. I can't make it to QuiltCon 2016, so if you are there, say "hi" to my quilt!

After almost two years, the Triangles quilt is finished! This quilt comes from experiments working with Color Theory and fabrics.

I first studied Color Theory as a painting student in college, following exercises in mixing pigments to learn about color principles and interactions. Our first assignments were to use paint to create a representation of the Artist's Color Wheel, matching the 12 colors as closely as possible. A few years ago, I started to recreate some of the basic Color Theory exercises with fabric, starting with a color wheel.

The inspiration for this piece comes directly from one of those primary Color Theory exercises I did in college; use the 12 colors of the Artist’s Color Wheel to create a subjective color model. I first had the idea in the fall of 2013, and let it roll around in my head until the idea was pretty formed. Then, in the beginning of 2014 I worked several draft sketches until finalizing the design in my sketch book.

Creating this design with fabric was a challenge. I had no idea how to piece this design, and started experimenting with several piecing techniques in the spring of 2014.

I settled on using a large-scale method of piecing based on both paper and foundation piecing. I used a base material to draw the shapes, then used that material just like it was a paper pieced pattern. I spent the summer of 2014 piecing the top together.

After the top was finished at the end of summer, I ended up taking a bit of a break from sewing. The finished top sat aside until later in the year.

Finally finding time to get back to sewing in the winter of 2014, I basted this bad bitch together. I experimented a lot with the quilting. My first idea was to add vertical straight line quilting. matching thread colors to the design so as not to distract from the shapes.

Unfortunately, once I got started with the straight line quilting, I decided it wasn't working! So, I ripped it all out. All of it, every single stitch.

And then took all the layers apart to press, re-baste, and start the process all over again.

This time I decided to quilt with the direction of the triangle shapes.

And it worked out much, much better. Just what this quilt needed.

After a few months of on-and-off quilting, I finished it up last month, in October 2015.

I am very happy with the overall design. Red, my favorite color, is centered in the quilt. Instead of following along exactly in order as the colors move across the quilt, the 12 colors of the wheel move back and forth as the triangles intersect. I really like the way the shapes fly out from the center off each edge of the quilt. I even followed through the last shapes with the binding so they follow through to the very edge.

But I feel like I fought with this quilt at each and every step, like we were in a wrestling match. Most times, I felt like this quilt was totally kicking my ass. I can still see all the mistakes I made each and every time I look at it! Still, I'm happy to have completed it, especially since it was such a challenge.


Debbie said...

I love this.

smazoochie said...

Erika! You have hit this quilt out of the park! It is FABULOUS!
In general, I'm not big on color spectrum quilts, but yours has made me change my mind. It is truly Art & worth every second of your struggle with it.

Jane McLellan said...

Wow! A lot of work, but the final result is well worth 'going around again'.

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Thank you so much Debbie, smazoochie and Jane! :-)

Gavin Henderson said...

Beautiful quilt! You made the right choice with the straight line quilting. It is stunning and I love it. Congratulations on your big finish.

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Thank you so much Gavin, for the nice comments AND the hugs! Best - Erika

Ruthann Grace said...

Amazing quilt!

Crafty Coffin said...

It is a seriously beautiful amazing quilt. I can see why it was so hard but your efforts definitely paid off (and I think you made the right call on the quilting, as difficult as it must have been to rip it all out)!

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Thanks so much Crafty Coffin! So glad I actually took the time to rip out all of those stitches! - Erika

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Thanks so much Ruthann!