Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Flowers Bloom and Fade Away

by Lin Hsin-Chen
I reflect on why people do not treasure the beauty when flowers bloom, but yearn for it when they fade away. There is a fragile flower in the work, as if it will drop off when wind blows. I use filament fabric to appliqué the poppy. It is very difficult sewing it, just like people embracing a thin feather of hope when they encounter crisis.

In spring, young shoots bravely emerge from the arid land under the fallen leaves which has accumulated since winter. The fertile soil nourishes flowers and makes them bloom speedy. They bloom faster than expected. It makes the world nervous and afraid of not having the chance to experience “flowers bloom and fade away”. What happened to our Mother Earth? Is she ill?

I describe it all as poppies. It’s because we are facing a nearly 9 months of drought in Taiwan. The situation of water shortage is getting worse. Just like the life of poppies, under the transient beauty, they anesthetize themselves instinctively. Waiting patiently for rain and dew descending from heaven and hoping the crisis will be eased.

I’ve been thinking about how to face the upcoming difficult situation with greater courage. I reflect on my water-use habits and realize that I did waste too much water immoderately. I was like wallowing in the comfortable and safe living condition, but never thinking about the pain of no water. What a frightening fact.

“Flowers Bloom and Fade Away” is the first work of my theme, Thinking, for Viewpoints 9-3. It depicts my mood at this moment.

Thank you, Martha, for the challenge.

Materials: hand-dyed fabrics, hand-dyed satin, commercial cottons, filament fabric, nylon fiber, Romanian thread
Techniques: hand pieced, hand appliqué, hand quilted
Size: 24”W x 48”H

Monday, April 27, 2015

Zinnias in the Rain

Zinnias in the Rain ©2015, 18" x 48"

My embarrassingly late entry for the "Thread" Gallery - where we were challenged to do something new, to us, with thread.  I chose to do some free-motion machine embroidery.  I'm not a big quilter, beyond the parallel lines and border stitching and thus have never taken the time to learn to free-motion sew very well.  So this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it!

Zinnias started by intuitively piecing neutral commercial cottons and linens with some green hand-dyed fabrics.  Rough floral shapes were cut from organza and sandwiched between the pieced background and silk organza and quilted with vertical parallel lines.  Then the sketchy, free-motion embroidery was done over the colored organza bits.  It got much easier between the bottom, where I started, and the top.    I felt like a gained a lot of control over stitch length and smooth curves.  My hat is off to those that can cover and entire quilt in intricate flawless patterns!  I've learned a lot - and still have a long way to go.

Back, before facing
When all was almost said and done, Lisa Walton, introduced me to bobbin work - a fantastic new thing (to me) to do with thread!  I love it and will definitely be practicing it again!  I added little bits of red pearl cotton from the bobbin and it was just what it needed!

Bobbin work, detail
Size: 18" W x 48" H
Materials:  Commercial print cottons and linens, synthetic and silk organzas
Techniques: Intuitive piecing, layered organzas, machine quilting, free-motion embroidery and bobbin work
Cycle: Seasons; Spring/Summer, Growth and Rain

In the season of flowers

by Misik Kim
In the season of flowers, 18" x 48"
When the challenge3 begins, I thought about the last two challenge.
Although difficult to adapt to new things for a while, they gave me a lot of pleasure.

Last month my mothers passed away.
It is too difficult to accept the fact of she was not here.
I could not do anything for a while.

While I cleaned up many things of her,
I could see the memories of my childhood in the old photos she had.
During I was making my work, I was talking with a lot of things she left behind.

She always wanted to die in the season of flowers.

She passed away in a day of spring as her wish.

Land of Ice and Fog

I loved this challenge because it's something I'm always trying to do anyway.
I decided to combine sheer synthetic and cotton thread, using the thread as a resist as I melted the synthetic sheer with a heat gun.
 first I quilted a piece of Ultrasuede that I had printed in a crackle pattern.

then I painted it in a few areas to increase the contrast when I overlaid the sheer on top.

 the sheer was stitched separately with no backing, just the material and thread.

 there were several pieces of it- I laid it on the ultra suede and sewed just around the edges, so it's floating over the base.
then I cut off the edges with a heat tool
the dark areas in this detail are where the sheer has been burned away.

Land of Ice and Fog, 48x32"

Branes, Strings, and M-Theory

My post for the Threads challenge is even later than Martha's - but here it is, finally!

My first piece in my subject - Magic and Science - is called "Branes, Strings and M-Theory", and it is supposed to be a science subject.  However, anything in the quantum world is so difficult to understand, and to prove - not only by lay people but even by scientists - that it sounds like magic!

Well, anything based on mathematical equations is like magic to me!

Definitions (mostly from Wikipedia):

Branes (or membranes) – Branes are dynamical objects which can propagate through spacetime according to the rules of quantum mechanics. They have mass and can have other attributes such as charge.

StringsIn physics, string theory is a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings.

M-Theory - M-theory is a theory in physics that unifies all consistent versions of superstring theory.  Some scientists believe it is the much sought-after ‘theory of everything” – but much remains to be proved. It is so complicated that I cannot explain it properly, but one characteristic that interests me is that the theory requires not three or four dimensions, (three of space plus one of time) - as we are used to in our world - but 10 or 11 dimensions; and the ones we cannot perceive, are folded small and hidden.

In my quilt, I represent branes with shapes, strings with lines, and M-Theory with my sewing machine's in-built embroidery patterns. I have never used them before in a quilt - I only ever played with them in samples, when trying a new machine - I never knew what to do with them.

It may seem an easy thing to do - but I assure you it is not.  To get the pattern functioning properly while stitching a big quilt is not so simple!  I eventually developed a way of holding the quilt aloft, so the pattern didn't get bunched up (don't ask me how I know it happens!).

The quilt is 48” high by 29 1/2” wide.  Improvisationally pieced, mostly free-machine quilted, incorporating lines of automatic sewing machine patterns.  It did take me an inordinately long time to make!