Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunshine and Shadow

Lisa's challenge was delightful and frightening at the same time. The embellishments and the color of the lovely hand dyed fabric she sent meant I needed a while to come up with a plan of attack. I still wanted to play around with the Kuba design concept Faith Ringgold had pursued in some of her work, so I began looking through my stash to see if I had some fabric that would work with the fabric Lisa sent.

After selecting a colorful batik fabric, I decided that I really wanted to have some pattern on the solid  fabric which lead to purchasing Shiva paintstiks, some stencils and experimenting. I was not overly enthusiastic with the results.

The triangles, which would make up the rectangles, when sewn together, were already cut and before sewing the triangles together, it seemed wise to decide on the layout. By now I could tell that following through with the Kuba design was not going to work as I had anticipated.

The next idea was to sew the arrangement shown below. This presented a problem. At the edges of the rows, the triangles were turned 90 degrees and when sewn, would have to be inset. I struggled with inset triangles several years ago and knew that this was not the path I was going to take.

After sewing the triangles into rectangles, I discovered that I did not have as many layout options as I had anticipated. My first inclination was a modified color wash. I substituted some hand dyed blue for the boldest yellows and the darkest greens.

Thank goodness, for digital photography! I took a photo of the quilt layout and then proceeded to rearrange blocks until I came up with a design that was more satisfying.

If you squint and use your imagination, you may be able to visualize streams of light flooding from right to left across the quilt, "sunshine and shadow".

Sunshine and Shadow
26" x 27"
This project falls short of the challenge in several respects. It turned out to be "quilty" instead of  "fiber arty" and at this point, adding the embellishments would make them feel tacked on rather than integrated into the design of the piece. Perhaps I felt intimidated by the use of embellishments and didn't even bother to pursue a method for their use. See the leftovers and the paintstik experiments below.


  1. I really like what you ended up with Judy! And I don't have to squint to see those streams of light. I think it was a good choice to leave off the embellishments as your quilt was finished and fully resolved without them. I like the fun experiment you have started with the leftovers.

  2. Judy, the resulting layout is very striking. Like Gina, I do not have to squint to see the "streaming light". In fact it reminds me very much of what it looks like after a heavy rain, the clouds part enough for the sun's rays to shine through on the lake up here! Embellishments in this case were not really needed...or perhaps maybe the frog if one thinks of a lake. (lol)

  3. I agree, your values really do evoke light streaming through. Sometimes a challenge is more a learning experience than anything else, and it sounds like that's what happened or you. I agree, the embellishments would have been distracting.

    I've had mixed results with Shiva paintstiks- in fact, one of my favorite challenge pieces used them- and they dis colored, totally ruining the piece. So I'm fairly cautious with them now. (I think it was the iridescent blender I used that dis colored.)

  4. I love how your piece evolved and it is wonderfully light! It reminds me of a beautiful sunset over the nearby lake! No need to add embellishments there! and thanks for sharing all the other leftover bits!

  5. I immediately saw the streams of sunshine - just beautiful. I like how your piece evolved, and think your paint stick challenge was the perfect way to use the embellishments, as they were not required on the quilt. Love your paint stick challenge, too!

  6. I love how you played with the colours and created a design that pleased. The streams of light are so clear.