The Creative Energy 2015 National Quilt Festival is now part of our South African quilting history. It really was an enjoyable and friendly festival, just the way we love our festivals. Congratulations to Twigg Hartwig and her very capable committee. The baton was passed onto the Dias Quilters' Guild for the Siyadala - We Create 2017 National Quilt Festival to be held here in Port Elizabeth with yours truly sitting in the hot seat.
While I was working on designs for the Diversity Fibre Art Exhibition earlier in the year, I saved one design as my quilt entry for the festival! It was the fourth piece which I made this year. I kept it for last as it was a mandala and I knew exactly where I wanted to go with it... I was also running out of steam/time and thought that as the process was familiar, it would help me over the finishing line.
As the design was already drawn full size, it was a relatively easy start. I chose jewel colours for this quilt and before I knew where I was, the table was covered with batiks, silks, linen, felt, papers, applique paper, yarns, threads, pencils, the usual big mess! And don't forget the empty coffee mug... The amazing thing is that I can always find everything under all the clutter!
I loved working on this quilt, maybe because of the colour palette. The design is in a few layers. I firstly covered the base cloth with the first layer, adding detail in the second layer and then added a third 3-D layer. I used a variety of silks for these accents which gave it a rich glow. Rolled fabric as well as wooden beads in a variety of colours were used to balance the raised 3-D surface elements. All the 3-D motifs were backed onto felt which provided an interesting dimension. Raw edge applique technique was used throughout and couching a variety of yarns sealed certain edges which added another textured element. 3-D elements were also made with a soldering iron. The quilt was machine quilted.
Some close-up detail of 3-D elements and couching.
The initial choice of colours were cerise/magenta, jade/seagreen, blues and purples. As the cutting progressed, I realized it needed a zinger to pop the colours! I tried silks in lime green and watermelon pink which seemed to do the trick as it added the sparkle which was missing. I repeated the lime colour by stitching additional detail into the border section.
Looking at this quilt makes me happy! I love the simetry, texture and rich colours. It won a Highly Commended award in the Masters Freestyle Category at the recent 2015 National Quilt Festival as well as a coveted Best Use of Colour.