I have quite a bit of catching up to do but I am going to jump in and show you my latest response to the International Quilt Challenge blog which I have posted over there today.
The theme for the latest challenge is 'Time' and when I started to think about 'Time' my brainstorming produced a long list of possibilities. The words of a Simon & Garfunkel song came to mind, 'Time, time, time See what's become of me.......' and a hymn, I think , ' Time like an ever rolling stream bears all our fears away. They die, forgotten, as a dream dies at the break of day'.
I thought of passing time, time past, holiday time, a stitch in time, old time, part time, daytime, night time, dreamtime, time travel, lost in time...... The list went on and on. Then, on a visit to Greenwich Royal Observatory I was reminded that there are much larger measurements of time than seconds, minutes and hours. I was particularly struck by an audio visual installation that stated that the light from the Andromeda Galaxy takes so much time to reach the Earth that's it's journey is measured in light years. The view that we see of the Andromeda Galaxy is brought to us by light that left it approximately 2.6 million light years ago. It is the most distant body that can be seen with the naked eye and lies just below Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion. Seen through a telescope it is truly beautiful and I feel a personal connection to it through my late husband who was passionate about astronomy. (Not my present DH in case you were worried).
So, with this thought in mind I chose to make my piece about the Andromeda Galaxy.
I have been wanting to explore the colour wash method of construction for sometime and so played with this a little by using a range of my hand dyed fabrics of various textures (cottons, velvets, bamboo and something unidentifiable that had been tossed in the dye bath) together with a couple of commercial fabrics. The piece was put together with curved piecing as a reference to the spiral nature of the galaxy but I think I could have been even more adventurous with the curvatures. I layered the top onto polyester wadding and then hand stitched/quilted in a spiral from the centre outwards. I felt the spiral stitching would reflect the spiral nature that I think is attached to time and I used hand stitching because it would take physical time to complete.
I used a Madeira Rayon for the quilting and then used a gorgeous metal thread from the Illuminations range at the Thread Studio to make reference to a beautiful infra-red image of the Galaxy that I found here. Finally, I added some small beads to suggest some of the stars that contribute to the galaxy.
The finished size of 'Andromeda' is just over A3 and I am thinking of facing it instead of binding it and will probably give it a curved edge rather than square. As with the previous challenges I am left with pages of ideas to take forward from this theme and may develop it further for my Festival of Quilts entry, but maybe I won't use quite so much hand stitching!
DH and I have just got back from a week in Lancashire and I have a lot to update you on so I'll be back soon. :D