Friday, 8 July 2011

Elemental Journal Quilt

July has started and with it a new theme on the Sketchbook Challenge site which was : element. And as you can see on my sketchbook page underneath I had lots of different thoughts straigh away. Such as the four elements (earth, air, fire and water). The expression "Elemental, my dear Watson" also came to mind, no doubt because I used to be an avid Conan Doyle reader. "I'm in my element" was the next inspiration and where that might be.

But suddenly I landed on the other meaning of element, i. e. that of being a part of a larger whole. From there I landed on watch faces and other watch parts and that led to a trip to our garage where I riffled through an ancient set of tin boxes in which my adored father-in-law kept things like old washers, bits of electricity supplies etc. just in case they would come in useful one day (he was a man after my own heart!). Of course they never did get used again, either in his lifetime or in John's who inherited these goodies.

But now finally they have a new destination on my JQ. And of course metal is sometimes also considered to be the fifth element. I painted some of the pieces with alcohol ink and then applied them to the background which itself is a gold toned fabric, that was machine quilted with gold thread. I used stitching and beading to attach everything. The word Elemental was made using my Dymo writing and stitched on, again using gold thread.

I am very happy with the results which have virtually nothing in common with my original thought processes but they helped me get there in the end. And there was more synchronicity or serendipity to come when I showed John my finished piece, as you can read below.

It was very difficult to give an idea of the 3D nature of this Journal Quilt but the above picture gives you some idea. It also shows you the F letter, which is of course an element of the alphabet and which I originally added because it went back to my thought of: I'm in my element, in which the F stands for Frieda or Frederica which is my official name. But as soon as I showed the finished quilt to John he immediately said: F for Fred, which was his father's name and he too had the original name Frederick. And it was his legacy of metal odds and ends which formed the bulk of this JQ. Sometimes things slot together so well you can't help but wonder what forces were at work in the background. I know it came from my own well but who knows from which sources that gets filled. It sometimes frightens me!

Finally as I mentioned on a previous post I was lucky enough to win a wonderful set of embroidery threads on the Sketchbook Challenge Flickr site in the June draw. They arrived today and as you can see they are simply delicious. It's the Elizabethan set from Renaissance Dyeing. I can't wait to start stitching with them.


Maggi said...

This is so simple but it's not. Yeah, that made no sense, did it? Love reading about your process and congrats on winning all of that gorgeous thread!

Lenna Young Andrews said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoy seeing this JQ and the sketchbook entry that goes with it! Both are spectacular. And I know what you mean about the ways things come together sometimes -so amazing it is almost frightening! I just try to accept it as best as I can . . .
OH! your beautiful Colour groupies ATC landed in my mailbox today, thank you so much. xoxoxo lenna

Anonymous said...

HI Frieda! I just found your site and I love it! Your "element" quilt is so beautiful in it's simplicity. It was most interesting that you could put into words your thought process in getting to the final design. I know we all go through this, but sometimes so quickly that it is hard to express in words! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Georgina said...

Wonderful - the word simplicity has been used in lots of the comments and I so agree that you are completely in charge of sivine simplicity, but manage to keep that sense whilst being so detailed. I always feel your work has a visual rhythm as strong and clear as beautiful music.


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