23 March 2016

"Edge" gets edgier

Amid a flurry of worry, on the CQ discussion list, that very few entries to the "on the edge" challenge had yet been received - with a full month to go before the deadline! - it's heartening to hear that many people, or at least several who have poked their heads over the parapet, are hard at work on their entries.

Mine too has made some progress.

At last writing (here) I had done a bit of experimentation with weaving the strips of folded pages. Then it was time to take a big breath and Go For It, the full 100x60cm format.

Fortunately my pinboard was slightly larger. I used map pins along the edges and in the intersections to align the strips and hold them in place.
The long straight strips were easy ... and then it was time for the tricky stiff, those corners. I decided not to have "wavy" bits surrounding the "void" - so it looks rather like a doorway.
So it looks like a doorway - or maybe a prayer mat? Time to think about what this piece is actually saying...

I started with the idea of making a quilt that was "just" an edge, with nothing in the middle. The thought behind this (apart from the chance to exercise my subversive streak) was that the format - edge - fit perfectly with the theme - on the edge. I'd thought to draw a jagged edge for the inside, rather like the edge of a cliff or a coastline, and cut it up and paper-piece.

Meanwhile other parts of my life took a serious turn and I needed a less laborious method. Thinking about this in those wakeful reaches of the night was a good diversion, and I hit on the idea of using paper itself, rather than covering it with fabric - using the paper as fabric.

The process of weaving automatically results in the "two layers" needed to fulfil (part of) the definition of a quilt;  when it comes to "joining with stitch", that would be evidenced by the machine stitch joining the pages into strips, and some hand stitch (at the outer edge for instance) to hold this "fabric" together.

The strips are now in place and only need that embellishment of the extra stitching. Somewhere along the way I decided not to leave the centre blank - who knows what sort of wall it might be hanging against - but to back it with a plain piece of fabric.

My first thought, while in the grip of the idea of "a void" was to use black, perhaps with a bit of black hand stitch (aka embroidery) to break up the vast expanse, but something better emerged from my stash - a piece of ££ hand dye bought years ago. Time to cut it up! The purple areas are complementary to the yellowish discolouration of the old book pages and the variations in colour "add interest".

In the next photo I'm auditioning a few threads to use for a bit of hand stitch: this background will float free from the top of the quilt (and provide a firm base for the sleeve) and it too will be two layers - lined with some purple flimsy cotton that turned up in the stash.
Once the back is layered up, all that needs doing is that "little bit of hand stitch" and attaching the sleeve - which is a job that can wait - if the quilt isn't juried in to the show, there'll be no need for the sleeve. Last year's entry didn't make it in, but that hasn't stopped me from trying again ... even though I know this method is a bit "off the wall" and risky. And at the moment it definitely looks incomplete!

And then there's the statement - oh, and the title of course! What is this piece about? At the outset it was about the  edge itself, being near the edge, being pushed over the edge, falling into the void, having to confront the void ... now that I'm using lists of words (pages from a thesaurus) it's about how language is the safe ground and "the void" is silence, the things that language can't say ... the place where we have to confront the unknown. (Heavy stuff!)

I enjoy having these "abstract" topics to work with - they take me to surprising places!

(linking this to Off the Wall Friday, http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.co.uk)


Wendy said...

Thank you for letting see your thought processes and the way it evolved. Haven't entered this year though I did started thinking about the Edge. Will endeavour to have go next year. Best of luck with your entry. Wendy

The Idaho Beauty said...

Goodness - I am so taken with the look of the paper weaving. I just never imagined it could look like that. Did you coat it with anything?

Sandy said...

To be honest, I think it makes more of a statement without the fabric in the hole. in spite of the wall colour, it could probably give lovely shadows which would add to the depth of the void.