Thursday, February 1, 2018

Ice Dyed Mandala Flowers Quilt



"Divinity"


The first theme presented by The Endeavourers  is Nature. For two long months, I let the word roll around my brain. Such a broad topic needed narrowing, and so I asked the question, "What mental image do I see for the word nature?" Weather? Mountains? Animals? No, when I close my eyes I see flowers both wild, cultivated, and magical. Newly opened, allowing these eyes the first glimpse of  seductive blooms--never ceasing to amaze me with spectacular color and detail beyond the imagination of the greatest artist. And no matter how I pose the question, "Who could dream so vividly?," I am brought back to a divine creator. Therefore, I've titled this piece, "Divinity."


The Creation Process

These 4 separate pieces were created nearly 2 years ago in my studio through a process known as ice dyeing. You can read the details at Mandalas Created with Ice Dyeing at Pink Doxies, my home blog. I knew at the time they were interesting, but had not been able to see their possibilities until this project came about.




Stitch & Chalk

I started by sewing the four individual mandalas together. Then using chalk, I drew the details out. The flowers were fantastical! Not only did they remind me of exotic species, but of butterfly wings. I could see fairies in some of them. They were translucent and felt as though the sun shone through them. How they had changed! 



Using my long arm to freehand the details felt natural. I used a pale grey 50# So Fine thread so there would be only the slightest outline. I was not sure I wanted to change the overall feeling of the mandalas. There were so many subtle color changes, and I was only echoing one.



I was careful to not overwork the quilting process, but in the middle of one flower I realized it was flowing into the next. 



These pieces share similar properties of radial symmetry, but the colors are very individual.


These 'scales' appeared from the screen the fabric laid on during the dyeing process. I had to outline them.


Buttons & Beads


I had 4 vintage buttons in blue glass. I placed one in each center, and started to bead. At first I was hesitant to add too much, but each of these flowers needed visual weight to make them stand out from a distance.


The first flower center I finished taught me the biggest lesson. I placed it where I saw the center, but isolated from the rest of the piece. This button appeared 1/4" or so off center when seen from a distance. I naively thought it would add to the individuality of the flower so left it in place, and added the beads.



No matter how I turned it or who I asked, they made a face. It was 'off'. We expect most flowers to have symmetry, and this one did not. I was also disappointed in how the bead colors blended into the background. A few hours to stitch, but only minutes to rip out. I was learning.



Brighter colored beads, more symmetry...


...and a button at dead center looked much better.



I played with a slightly asymmetrical center here. 



This flower was the largest of all. 


To highlight the center, I added seed beads to the points of the inner petals or are they stamens perhaps?



A thick ring of seed beads create stamens in this flower.


Many beads were stacked, and a few sequins added more reflection.







I had just added the binding of a hand dyed orchid colored fabric, and the sun was shining so brilliantly. That's unusual for an Ohio winter so I had to snap a shot of the backing to let the quilting stand out. A few minutes to take in some light, then home to hand stitch the binding.



Done.



Such an interesting and varied theme this quarter, and I'm looking forward--as I'm sure you are, to seeing how the rest of The Endeavourers interpreted Nature. Tell me, what do you think of when you think of Nature?

Come on, Doxie girls. 
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
Show Off Saturday
NTT
Sew Fresh Quilts
Esther's WOW
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off the Wall Friday
TGIFF
Finished or Not Fridays
Crazy Mom Quilts



23 comments:

Rebecca Grace said...

Oh, Julie -- this is just STUNNING!!! The most beautiful thing I've seen all week (and this is coming from someone who spends a ridiculous amount of her time hunting down beautiful things to look at). I love the fabric, love the quilting, love the buttons and beads, but most of all I love the way all three are working together in synergy in this piece, perfectly balanced, just the right amount of quilting and the right amount of bling... I usually make bed quilts and throws, for which beading is impractical, but your Divinity wall quilt is making me yearn for my beads again. Perhaps I can add that kind of bling to the Queen's Garden applique BOM that I'm about to begin? Thanks for the inspiration and congratulations on an amazing finish!

Tu-Na Quilts said...

One word...BEAUTIFUL! (I would have chosen STUNNING but it was already used in the first comment.) You truly have an artistic nature. Love how you interpreted the flowers, used quilting to define, and added beads for interest and depth. LOVE IT! Now I want to make some of this fabric!

Nancy said...

I will use the word Spectacular. As Rebecca said, all your techniques worked as one. Congrats on this wonderful art quilt.

chrisknits said...

These are absolutely GORGEOUS! Now I must try ice dyeing.

Pat said...

I decided a long time ago that fabric dying was not for me but this is absolutely lovely. I'm very happy to view the results of all your hard work.

Barb Neiwert said...

Ah, Julie - they're beautiful! You certainly had fun with this project. And I enjoyed reading about the process. Happy quilting!

Angie in SoCal said...

Beautiful. I think you found the group for you! I look forward to seeing more.

Gene Black said...

Those are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the link to how you did it also. I love dyeing my own fabrics.

Angela said...

Truly gorgeous!

Leanne Parsons said...

WOW, Julie! This is an amazing piece. The colours in the dyed fabric are beautiful and then the quilting, beading and buttons really enhanced it. Thanks for linking to TGIFF this week :)

Marianne said...

Ce quilt est tout simplement magnifique bravo meilleures salutations de suisse

Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

This really is so beautiful! And I am very inspired by all the deatails you share about its construction. A gorgeous finish :)

Linda Swanekamp said...

I love ice dyed mandalas, but never know what to do with them. Your grouping and threadwork are very stunning. I know you said they are flowers, but maybe because it is so cold, they remind me of moonlight shining on the blue-violet glow of fresh, cold snow at night. Would love to make some.

Catherine said...

This is such an inspiring and beautiful piece and it was lovely to read about how you made it! What a great first reveal! :-)

quiltedfabricart said...

Wow! All the words I was going to use have been said so I’ll just say it again - stunning! Spectacular! And gorgeous! You have really outdone yourself with this one. Oh, I forgot amazing 😉
Bravo!

Deb Thuman said...

Your quilt is beautiful!

Sandy said...

Wow, that was worth all the work. It's gorgeous. The beading makes it really special.

Norma Schlager said...

Scrumptious! I’ve done my share of ice dyeing, but never in a Mandela. I love how you quilted and beaded them. Thanks for taking us through your process.

Lynette said...

OH my gosh - so fabulous! I love all the details, and this post right here is why I enjoy blogs so very much more than Instagram - the best part of it is the story behind a quilt. Thank you for sharing the process of this magnificent quilt's creation. That's so neat, how the four different pieces flowed into each other at places.

PaulaB quilts said...

Truly amazing!

Kate said...

Gorgeous!

Jan Snell said...

Truly inspired and creative work. Congratulations on the very artistic work. I have been snooping about the internet for hand dyeing tips and read your blog A Life to Dye for. My son was in Morocco last spring and brought me a dye sample pack. I have no idea where to go with these but think I will use alum as a mordant and then synthropol to stabilize. I am waiting for spring so I can work outside. I have a hot plate so I think that should make it easy.

Jan Snell said...

Truly inspired and creative work. Congratulations on the very artistic work. I have been snooping about the internet for hand dyeing tips and read your blog A Life to Dye for. My son was in Morocco last spring and brought me a dye sample pack. I have no idea where to go with these but think I will use alum as a mordant and then synthropol to stabilize. I am waiting for spring so I can work outside. I have a hot plate so I think that should make it easy.