As I shared in a recent post, I've been working on an Urban Lights quilt for the Four-In-Art group. A satellite photo of Southern California was my inspiration for the project.
Here's my Urban Lights project called
From the satellite images I found I was fascinated with the glowing lines going back and forth that created all the streets and the clusters of lights created by cities, arenas, freeways and airports. There were also lots of dark areas from beaches, bays, mountains and undeveloped land. It seemed totally fitting to finally use that glow-in-the-dark thread I've been patiently waiting to use. Here's a photo of Phosphorescent Freeways glowing in the dark. I actually had to buy an app for my ipad that allowed me to take a photo with a long exposure to pick up the light from the glowing thread.
Phosphorescent Freeways with glowing thread and long exposure.
It's amazing how the longer exposure time still doesn't capture
all the glowing lines, boo hoo.
I just have to say that I TOTALLY LOVED doing this project. It was so fun to piece together the blue and orange (two colors I usually avoid due to their painful visual contrast, but for this project blue was a fitting representation of the dark night and orange worked for the nighttime lights). I knew that there would be an overwhelming number of straight lines going back and forth so I inserted some orange waves of fabric to off-set the rigidity of the street lines. I used 5 different colors of thread in the project to show different hues of orange that I saw in the satellite images. I created circular pockets of glowing thread, squares of orange thread, and zigzags of yet more orange thread to represent intersecting freeways. I also used a couching technique to secure clear plastic fishing line and orange yarn to the quilt. One of my original ideas was to use the couching method to secure lots of fuzzy orange yarn to create a glowing look for the streets, but as the quilt progressed the fuzzy-soft look I envisioned didn't seem to work well with the technical look of all the streets/thread criss-crossing around.
Clear fishing line on the left and lots of orange streets.
Superior Thread's Mono Poly Invisible Monofilament was used for quilting all the dark blue areas. I didn't want to distract from the orange lines that were quilted, so it seemed like a good way to create more visual interest without taking away from the punch of the orange thread on the blue fabric. I quilted the word Darkness into the quilt because without darkness you can't see the city lights in the satellite images. I also quilted lots of circles into the quilt with the mono filament because lights are often round shapes such as: stoplights, headlights, spotlights, and recessed ceiling lights.
I also used orange burlap to create visual interest to help move the eye around the composition of the quilt. The burlap is also in round shapes to reiterate the circular lights we see all around us.
Darkness quilted with mono filament and burlap in circle shape.
Randomly sized stoplight circles stitched in Mono
Filament in a tall a skewed stack.
It was most memorizing and almost addicting
to stitch the circles.
Attaching the faced binding.
One of my favorite parts, seeing the quilt during the
inverting process of turning the binding to the back side!
Back side of the quilt. I wanted the backside to look like a picture
frame for the red-orange & black batik.
Until the next blog post.
That's goodbye in Portuguese.
Check out these other Four In Art quilts.
Amanda Kattner blogs at www.whatthebobbin.com
Betty Ayers has a Flickr site at https://www.flickr.com/photos/
Elizabeth Eastmond blogs at www.opquilt.com
Nancy Myers blogs at patchworkbreeze.blogspot.
Rachel blogs at rachel-thelifeofriley.blogspot.com