Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Making Life on the Reef

I am still so excited to find out that my latest quilt Life on the Reef was chosen to be in the A Matter of Time  exhibition which has been curated by Benda Gael Smith.

As I mentioned in my last post I only had 3 weeks to make this quilt and so I spent every spare minute on it. It did help that I had made a quilt with an underwater theme before so I wasn't starting completely from scratch.

I started by placing some rock fabrics over a suitable water fabric.

I didn't take a lot of progress photos because I had so little time to make the quilt but after I had my rocks in place I started to make the coral using hand embroidery and machine thread painting.

When I thought I had made enough coral I started placing it on the rocks.

I realised that I would have to make a lot more coral to fill the space.

When I had most of the coral in place I started to make the fish but the quilt wasn't working and it took me a couple of days to realise that my fish were too big for the quilt. Reef fish are usually tiny little things flitting in and out of the coral.
The next photo shows you how the big the Blue Tang fish were in the beginning and how much smaller I had to make them.

Here is a photo of how I made the small Blue Tang. I cut out the fish shape in a blue batik and then used a black Fabrico marking pen for the detail.

I stitched around the outside of all the shapes to hold them onto the background and then I had to start adding all the hand embroidery.

You can see what a difference the embroidery makes by comparing the next two photos.

Without embroidery

With Embroidery

At least I did finish the quilt the day before the deadline and cannot wait to see the exhibition when it comes to Melbourne in April. I have seen a few of the other quilts that were selected and they are so different to mine and so creative and there are so many different interpretations of the Time theme.

The A matter of Time exhibition also has a Facebook page and an Instagram page.

Here is a photo of the entire quilt, remember to click on the photo for a larger view.

The quilt measures 40cm x 100cm or 16" x 39".

Bye for now,


Dawn said...

Just love watching your projects evolve. Amazing how some simple stitches can transform a plain piece into a truly wonderful masterpiece.

Linda Steele said...

Thank you Dawn, it's actually handy for me as well. Later down the track I often want to remember how I did something!

jude's page said...

Congratulations, it looks fantastic, and I love your photos of the process.

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Judy, those photos are a great reminder for me as well.

Margaret Weston said...

The quilt is gorgeous Linda! Makes me want to visit the reef again. Loved seeing and reading about the creative process as well. Congrats on the exhibition Linda.

Russellee said...

Linda your quilt is beautiful. The technique you have used is a favourite of mine. I hope to be able to see the quilt in real life one day.

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Margaret, I have never been to a reef but I was very inspired by SeaWorld last year.

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Russellee, the exhibition is going to do a lot of travelling over the next couple of years

Jen J said...

this is awesome... i started an under the sea crazy quilt in a similar vein a long, long time ago, work has stalled, but this is quite the inspiration!

Linda Steele said...

Hi Jen, thank you, you should really get back onto your block now. Strike while you feel some inspiration.

Gina E. said...

WOW! look forward even more to seeing it!

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Gina, I posted it off this week and won't see it again for a couple of years unless I am at the places where the exhibitions are on.

faptn said...

This is just so beautiful and relaxing to look at. So much talent. I love it.