Alida @Tweety Loves Quilting contacted me early in the year with an idea for a blog hop. Her idea was to host an “Art with Fabric” hop where quilters would explore the endless possibilities of art-inspired quilted pieces. After much hemming and hawing on my part (I was plagued with thoughts like, “I am not an art quilter” and “Would I even have time to participate” and “I am not an art quilter”), I finally found some inspiration and committed. Alida has done a wonderful job of organizing all of us, and I am really looking forward to seeing what everyone else has created.
I have so much to say about the mini quilt I created, so we might as well get right to it, right? I am so excited to share with you “The Humans are Dead”.
My art inspiration for this quilt comes from Josef Albers’ art work, Variant. Josef created many versions of Variant, and below is a small gallery of images that I curated to start the project.
After being introduced to Josef Albers’ work by Michelle @Factotum of Arts and reminded of how my transparency quilts have similar parallels to his color theory work by Carla @Granny Maud’s Girl, I have spent some time this year learning more about Albers.
Josef Albers has long been hailed as a master of modern art, since his days at the famed Bauhaus, first as a student and then as a master teacher. Emigrating to the United States in the 1930s, Albers continued to teach and inspire students for the rest of his career. In this capacity he influenced many student artists, such as Robert Rauschenberg and Eva Hesse, at major art schools such as Yale University and Black Mountain College. His texts on color theory are primary reading even today.
As an artist, Albers strictly practiced what he preached. The color balance experiments he began in his Variants painting series fully blossomed with the Homage to the Square series of oil on masonite paintings, which have come to symbolize his oeuvre. Josef Albers also explored dimensional and structural relationships in a number of drawings, prints, and engraved vinylite panels called Structural Constellations.
What really sealed the deal for me in terms of participating in the Art for Fabric blog hop was my curated Celestial Lights Palette of Painter’s Palette Solids for the Mad for Solids March Madness elimination bracket sponsored by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics. Once I had the Celestial Lights fat quarter bundle in hand, I remembered Albers and went looking for inspiration.
The Humans Are Dead is made using Painter’s Palette Solids (121-073 Sangria, 121-008 Royal, 121-038 China Blue, and 121-040 Bright Aqua). For the binding, I used Andover Chambray in Ocean that has a fabulous depth in the cross weave upon close inspection.
Due to the very angular nature of the quilt top, I felt that straight line quilting was definitely going to be the way to go for this quilt. I pulled coordinating 50wt Aurifil thread: 2735 (Medium Blue), 1125 (Medium Teal), 5005 (Bright Turquoise), and 2530 (Blossom Pink). I started with 2735 by outlining the Royal blue fabric, as it is in the center of the quilt and a continuous outline. Then I quilted straight lines about every half inch. It didn’t feel complete, so I cut that in half, and then in half again.
When I transitioned to quilting the China Blue with 1125, I quilted at half the density that I did in the first section. That allowed me to come back and fill in between with 5005 as I was quilting the Bright Aqua. I love how the thread blends together to help create a tonal effect in the quilt as well. I started thinking about the quilting lines as my “brush strokes” and tried not to sweat the inevitable bit of Wabi-Sabi irregularity that creeps in.
After I had pieced the quilt top, it lived on my design wall for a few days as I prepared to quilt it. My husband made a comment in passing one day that the design had a “robotic look” to it. Because I spent many hours very up close to the quilt as I was quilting (those lines are very close together!), that comment kept reverberating in my mind. And slowly those Sangria eyes started to look more and more shifty and sinister. Which made me think of the Flight of the Conchords song, The Humans are Dead (warning: explicit language). And once the connection was made, I couldn’t stop singing binary solos, and the name for the quilt just stuck.
Which all culminates in this most fun and awesome photo shoot of the mini quilt in my husband’s machine shop. He spent time getting dials and gauges and knobs positioned just so… and I find it eery just how robot like the whole thing turned out.
Many thanks to Alida for organizing this event. I definitely felt stretched in a good way and I am looking forward to seeing how everyone else interpreted the challenge. I hope you join me in visiting everyone else participating in the blog hop, which is outlined in the schedule below.
Monday, May 9th, 2016
- Maartje (http://quiltinginamsterdam.blogspot.com)
- Lee Anna (http://lapaylor.blogspot.com/)
- Andrée (http://quiltinglearningcombo.blogspot.com)
- Renee (http://www.quiltsofafeather.com/)
Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
- Kathy (http://qreativequilts.blogspot.com/)
- Yvonne (https://quiltingjetgirl.com/)
- Chris (http://chrissquiltinguniverse.blogspot.com/)
- DeAnna (http://southernbellessewcreative.blogspot.com/)
Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
- Judith (http://www.frimart.ch/)
- Yanicka (http://yanickahachez.blogspot.com/)
- Heather (http://www.heatherquilts.blogspot.com/)
- Sarah (http://georgiagirlquilts.blogspot.com/)
Thursday, May 12th, 2016
- Cynthia (http://cynthiasark.blogspot.com.au/)
- Janeen (http://quiltartdesigns.blogspot.com/)
- Wendy (http://www.kwiltkrazy.com)
- Afton (http://www.quiltingmod.blogspot.com/)
Friday, May 13th, 2016
- Carol (http://www.quiltedfabricart.com/)
- Jennifer (http://www.inquiringquilter.com)
- Nina-Marie (http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com/)
- Joan (http://www.moosestashquilting.blogspot.com/)
Linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?