Monday, 16 September 2013


Do you feel bored now and again? If you are a regular reader of this blog you'll probably have guessed that boredom is not a phenomenon I'm very familiar with. In fact my problem is rather the reverse. Too much to do and too little time to do it in. So when I saw that the theme for the next Textile Experiments exhibition was boredom I felt a bit lost about what to do. The Textile Experiments exhibitions are organized by the German art quilter Gudrun Heinz and I have been participating in most of the past exhibitions on themes such as News and Freedom. She's an excellent exhibition organizer and the various shows have travelled to the most exotic locations my quilts have ever been to, such as Murmansk, Praque, Latvia, St. Petersburg etc. So I knew I wanted to be part of the Boredom show too but it took me a while to get going. I started writing down what I associate with boredom and one of the things I thought of was "watching paint dry". 
This photograph suddenly came to mind then. It features my father and our little cat Roxy (both sadly no longer with us) looking out of the window of our house in Bath. I think it was taken back in the late 1980's. It struck me that rather than admiring the view over the city they could equally well be looking at paint drying. That led to the production of the first little quilt (sized 20 x 30cm). The background is made out of machine pieced slithers of silk fabrics (all from a skirt made from Thai silk which had always been too large for me but that I bought because I loved the colours). After piecing I splattered it with acrylic paint. I machine appliqued the two figures to this background and added the text as well as the hand beading. The edges of the quilt are machine zigzagged.

That left me thinking about the other journal quilt and this time I looked up quotations about boredom. I found one by Leo Stein that reads: "Boredom is an emptiness filled with insistence". I thought about what people do when they are bored and came up with doodling. This brought me neatly to the fact that I recently discovered the doodling I had done in an old school diary which looked remarkably much like stipple quilting.
Perhaps I was always destined to become a quilter. It certainly keeps me from getting bored!
The background is the same as the previous piece as is the size. I doodled on a piece of hand painted fabric, cut out the doodle and applied it to the background (using Bondaweb). It was machine appliqued with a double buttonhole stitch and hand beaded.  Then I stamped on the quotation as you can see above. The edges were finished in the same way as the other piece.

All the Boredom quilts that were selected for the exhibition were shown for the first time at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham back in August and have also been on show in Riga, the capital of Latvia since then. After that they will be going to venues in Russia, the Czech Republic, Germany and other places. They will be travelling for quite some time and can also be bought. These travelling exhibitions organized by Gudrun are getting more and more well deserved publicity and you can read about this one on the Sewn Europe site here for instance. A picture of the above piece is included! A CD of all the pieces in the Boredom exhibition can be obtained from Gudrun as well as CDs from the previous shows.

The previous exhibition which was on the theme of Freedom is still on the road too and to my delight I recently discovered a picture of this show in the newly published book Connected Cloth by Cas Holmes and Anne Kelly in which my Freedom pieces can clearly be seen (well by me, anyway, as I know them so well!).


Georgina said...

Cor! What a tough theme - you have fulfilled it in a way that is far from boring!!

Lenna Young Andrews said...

wonderful, Frieda! I love "watching paint dry". : ))

Linda said...

Yummy quilts full of wonderful colors and stiching! I especially love your Watching The Paint Dry and the inspiration from which it came.

Jewels said...

Well done Frieda (it would have challenged me for sure!)Love watching the paint dry....

Dotty said...

Great ideas! That was a tough theme. I saw the exhibition at FOQ and it was very thought provoking. I think for me boredom is more a state of frustration at not being able to get started with creating rather than having nothing to do.

Terri said...

Hello Frieda,
Oh my oh my oh my!!!
I am always surprised and so happily so, by your artistic genius! "Watching Paint Dry" is totally amazing, and your process really really intrigues me. I adore every detail! Just when I was overwhelmed with your first quilt, I saw the second one.........OH MY TOO! Your quilted doodling is spectacular! But that you "thought" about doodling and then transferred that idea into fabric???? I think you should be given an award : )
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful art with us. I am so inspired!


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