Thursday, 24 January 2013

Klimtesque 1

It's unlikely that I would have participated in the Contemporary Quilt Group's Journal Quilt challenge this year if they hadn't made it too tempting to resist and if I hadn't already had an idea in my head which suited seamlessly with it.  I have long been an admirer of the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, even before I ever made a quilt. His work is beautiful, decorative and jewel like and all three appeal to me. He is also a very quiltable artist. Hidden in almost all his work there are gorgeous details that just ask to be turned into textile art.

In fact when I saw a gigantic book about him (Gustav Klimt by Rachel Barnes) in Costco before Christmas I simply had to have it. This book can only be read while having it on a table as it's so large and heavy but that also means the illustrations are enormous. When I bought it I justified it to myself with the idea that I would one day make a quilt based on the imagery. And that moment came sooner than I had thought when I read that the requirement for the Contemporary Quilt Group's Journal Quilts was that we would have to set a theme for all our JQs this year. Oh yes! Well, you can guess the rest. Klimt will be mine. The other requirement is that all JQs must be 12" wide x 8" high with a horizontal (or landscape) orientation.

I have also decided that I will put all 12 of mine together at the end of the year to make one Klimt inspired large quilt so I'm keeping that in mind while making each individual one.
This first one came from a detail of Klimt's painting Portrait of Fritza Riedler (1906) and it's part of a frieze behind her head. You can see the detail above. I adapted it to suit my purposes but just have a good look at all the delectable patterns. You could easily make 12 Journal Quilts just based on this one painting!
I used a selection of batik fabrics (as I will for all of them) and the entire Journal Quilt is pieced. The squares with strip piecing and the diamonds are pieced on a foundation using the stitch and flip method. I then removed the foundation. All pieces were stitched together and the backing and wadding (batting) were added using the envelope method so that there is no binding. This will make it easier at the end to put all 12 JQs together into one. At least that's what I hope.

Then I started my favourite pastime: adding decoration in the form of appliqued golden circles, hand and machine stitching, some with gold thread. Klimt and I share the taste for gold and all things sparkly!And of course I could not help but add beads and other embellishments.

There are photographic problems to be overcome regarding all the shine, but I will do the best I can with that.

Remember if you want to see all the Journal Quilts this year you can find them by clicking on the Journal Quilts 2013 tag below this post or in the sidebar. They will consist of the 12 Klimt ones (click on Klimt to find just these) and the 12 square ones inspired by the themes on the Sketchbook Challenge site this year.


Irene said...

Oh I just love your journal. I'm also an admirer of Klimpt. I have a bookmark calendar that I bought in Switzerland a while ago, with 12 inspirational images. I'm so looking forward to see the rest of your journals.

Terri said...

Frieda, you are an such an incredible artist!
I have admired Klimt's art for a long time, and so you can imagine my thrill at seeing your quilt piece here and also to know you are making 11 more!
Each color, each shape, each embellishment is pure joy!

Linda said...

Gorgeous-just gorgeous! I think you are right many quilts could be made from this one painting. But with so much great work by him there is loads of inspiration. Wishing you much creative fun with the new adventure.

Elizabeth said...

Stunning Start and a fabulous idea for a theme!! i love all things Klimt as well. Can't wait to see more!!!

theresa martin said...

Oh, this is going to be a great year. Love the theme and the quilt!

Linda said...

I am SO going to love this year of quilts-your Klimt inspired quilt is stunning Frieda!!! The batiks are fabulous and the shine and sparkle finishes it so beautifully!


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