Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Dark Side of the Moon Journal Quilt

I have ceased to be amazed by the stunning coincidences that occur when the next monthly theme for the Sketchbook Challenge is announced. So often now in the 3 years that the challenge has been running I have waited for the theme to come up (not first thing in the morning as at that time the day hasn't started yet in the US but more like midday), clicked on the link only to stare at my screen to see a theme appear that tunes in perfectly with something I either had wanted to do for quite some time or that resonated with something I was already working on. So I took it quite calmly when the November theme was Moon and Stars and as I was looking over the edge of my laptop I saw the Moon!
It was on a sheet of watercolour paper that I painted during a gelli plate class with Carla Sonheim. You can see the whole sheet above and there at top right is the moon. I particularly loved the wave as there is a so-called Sea of Tranquillity  (or Mare Tranquillitatis)on the moon. Oh, the romance of it! And who is to say there are no waves in this sea.
In order to use the moon I scanned in the paper version and then printed it out onto inkjet canvas so I could use it as a fabric and doing it on canvas also gave it the necessary weight befitting a moon.
As I was going through the rest of my gelli plate printing done during the summer I came across cotton fabrics I had painted directly using a variety of different sized punchinella (or sequin waste) as stencils as well as other mark making methods. I struck me they would make a beautiful setting for my moon. You can see the original fabric above.  I hand quilted it and added embellishments in the form of beads and also some lovely vintage small sequins that I had been treasuring for that special occasion. This proved to be it!
I also felt that something was needed at bottom left to balance the moon. To stay with the theme I added 2 more circles to represent that Sea of Tranquillity. They come from the same sheet, and were also printed onto canvas but I cut them smaller so as not to overwhelm the composition.  I also added 3 gold stars. For the binding I used a piece of drop cloth i.e. the cotton I use to mop up the mess when I'm painting or gelli printing.

During the making of the piece the title also came to me as it often does while in the construction phase. The text was cut from the same vintage book in which I had first come across the Sea of Tranquillity information. It's called The Book of the Heavens, by Mary Proctor, first published in 1924. I also found that I had written a quotation in pencil in this book, presumably when I first bought and read it, now many years ago. It reads as follows: "We are all like the bright moon, we still have our darker side" by Kahlil Gibran.

Putting this entire 10" square journal quilt together was yet again synchronicity at it's very best. I still find it slightly breathtaking that so many different things can come together so beautifully simply by following a theme set by someone else. Rather than a challenge it turned into pure pleasure.


Lenna Young Andrews said...

I love what you did for the challenge and your writing about it. You are a star in my eyes!!

Linda said...

this is a stunning quilt Frieda!

Georgina said...



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