Thursday, November 25, 2010

Stain Glass Windows

A couple of years ago I went to my first quilt show. That was quite the experience for me. First I did a quick run-through, quickly taking in all the quilts. Then I started walking again, slowly, relishing the different styles, patterns, fabrics. There were artsy quilts and folksy ones. There were creations I would not necessarily call quilts, they were so far removed from "blanket", or quilting itself. These were creations of fabric, lace, wire, branches. Magnificent pieces of art that cannot be used in any way other than hanging on the wall and admiring. I got overwhelmed by the abundance and had to go out. But I came back the next day (and dragged my Mom with me). This time I was able to appreciate all of the pieces, each for its own beauty or craft, and I found myself getting into the techniques themselves. I found myself studying the patterns, trying to figure out how they were built and crafted. I also ogled the Way-to-expensive quilting long arm, the object of fantasies for if I had money to throw around, but that may be the topic for a different post.

One of the patterns I saw that really intrigued me was an optical illusion pattern that made the blocks float ABOVE the background, casting a shadow on the background.  I decided to try and make one like that, out of fabric I had at home. (I always seem to add challenges, don't I). I came home and looked all through my stash (which was in bags and boxes at the time). And found nothing.

A few months later I tried again, and found a beautiful, multi-colored batik fabric I'd somehow disregarded before. This fabric had black circly lines all over it. I also found a blue fabric with black swirls on it.  Together these two fabrics reminded me of stain glass windows, and an idea was at once created. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. This:

The red fabric provides the shadow of the stain glass squares and, to me, makes them appear to float above the blue background.
A detail:

I enjoy learning different patterns and techniques. Sometimes I wonder if I should take a class somewhere, and somehow I never do....I guess I like teaching myself, bungles and all.

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