It is time for another quarterly reveal from the Endeavourers Art Quilt Group. We were down to the very last suggested theme for this quarter which is Emotions/Feelings. I am sure that you will not be surprised to know that even although I knew that this was the only theme left, I had zero inspiration for much of the last three months :)
Finally I decided to use the language of flowers as my representation of an emotion, and the emotions/feelings I chose to depict were Joy and Gratitude, which is symbolised by a pink rose. This quote might explain why that might be -
“Historically, rose petals were valued for their medicinal
qualities than their aesthetic qualities. Rose has antidepressant properties.”
― The Mood Book: Crystals, Oils, and Rituals to Elevate Your Spirit
Despite the restrictions and difficulties of the past two years, when I was trying to pick an emotion to depict I realised that actually I have a lot to be joyful about so a pink rose was the perfect fit. When our youngest son announced his engagement to his lovely girlfriend last week, well that was even more reasons to be joyful!
I wanted to use a couple of New to Me techniques in this little quilt as well as trying to use what I had on hand. My local textile group has started off the year with a challenge to embrace "renewal" so this quilt is also my nod to that challenge too.
The background fabric, which is a rust-dyed scrap given to me by a friend at a recent workshop, gave me the idea to base the quilt on a page from a vintage book of botanical illustrations. So, I was quite happy to embrace the "imperfections" to help convey the feeling of age and all that goes with that in a book. The fabric for the petals is taken from these now redundant work shirts of my DH. I was very happy to discover such a range of pinks for my rose :)
The rose stem and leaves were painted with these Inktense blocks and pencils. I had never used the blocks before, and as you can see from the colours above, my original intention was to paint the rose as well as the stems. In the end though only the stem and leaves were painted.
The Inktense pencils and blocks are water soluble, but on fabric can spread more than anticipated when diluted with water, so Aloe Vera gel is suggested as a medium that will allow the spread of the colour but stop the bleeding associated with water. As I needed clear lines for my illustration, I applied the colour to the fabric with the blocks and then used the paintbrush dipped in gel to intensify the colour. The colour is fixed when the fabric dries.
I downloaded the rose template from here and traced it on to tear away stabiliser. During the first lockdown here in the UK I watched a Zoom demonstration by Gillian Cooper, who used a reverse applique technique to create a puffin applique notebook. This was, finally, my opportunity to have a go at that reverse applique technique!
The stabiliser was pinned to the back of the background fabric and sewn from the back. I built up the rose from the outside in by attaching a piece of shirt fabric at a time with a small dot of fabric glue and stitching the outline of a petal before turning the stitched piece over and trimming back to just outside the stitched line.
Once the rose was complete I turned the piece back to the front and, using the stem and leaf part of the stencil, free machine embroidered the outline of the stem and leaves. The stabiliser was then torn away and the leaves and stem painted with the Inktense block and pencils, with more detail in the leaves added with some fme once the paint was dry.
As you can see above the rose was lacking a bit in detail, especially in the centre, where the fabrics were very similar. I, therefore, quilted around the rose petals with a deeper rose pink thread in the needle to accentuate the rose petals.
Instead of the botanical rose name below the flower I embroidered this phrase that I found online as it tied in with my theme of gratitude - "When life throws thorns hunt for roses".
I couldn't envisage this piece as a quilt and keeping with the idea of it being inspired by a botanical illustration, I decided to frame the piece in a picture frame instead. Fortunately as well as supplying the shirts for the rose petals my DH also painted the picture frame in a colour called "Stone Rosie", which seemed particularly appropriate too!
So, once again another Endeavourers Challenge has been met and once again, I am really looking forward to seeing how my fellow Endeavourers have responded to the challenge. If you would like to see their responses too, you will find them here . Prepare to be inspired :)
As ever my thanks go to Catherine and Janine for organising another excellent Challenge!