|Original painting by Sheila Langlois of Kirkland Lake Ontario|
My art quilt is based on a painting by Northern Ontario artist Sheila Langlois (1930-1996). More about Sheila and how I met her at the end of my blog.
I love this art work. Sheila painted it when she went back to art school as an adult. It was a study in primary colours. I call it "Study in Primary Colours or Light at the End of the Tunnel".
This is the first piece of original art that I owned. It's been a part of my life since I went to Ottawa University some 35 years ago. It had pride of place in my dorm room.
|The art quilt two weeks ago - see previous post|
When I was asked to participate in the blog hop, it didn't take me long to decide to quilt this art piece. I love it's vibrant colours and movement.
I took many photos of the painting, but none of them really does it justice - just like when you see an original Renoir and discover that it's much more vibrant than the pictures you've admired all of your life.
Although I loved the painting, it's now obvious that I had never "really" seen it. I had no idea how complex it was until I started to think about recreating it in fabric.
The first thing I did was raid my scraps stash. Not long ago I had placed all of the scraps that hadn't been cut into squares or strips, into bags by colour. It made my search for the right fabrics much easier.
|Reds and oranges are starting to appear|
The choosing, cutting, placing and gluing of the fabric took about three weeks. The painting has so many details - it was hard to decide what to skip. I knew that it didn't have to be a replica of the original painting, but that was easier said than done. Near the end of the three weeks though, those decisions were much easier to make!
|It's starting to look like the painting!|
|Happy to put away the fabrics to FMQ|
I have to admit that I was thrilled when the piecing part was over. After all that work, it only took me a weekend to thread paint and quilt it.
I'm always nervous about knowing when to stop thread sketching and when it's time to quilt. This time it was an easy decision to make since all of those pieces where glued in place. It all had to be sewn down, or it would fall apart the first time it got washed!
For the thread painting, I used two green threads and one each of blue, red, orange and yellow thread. I paid particular attention to emphasize the circular movement of the painting. I did pretty much the same thing when quilting it, while using less thread colours.
- This was the first time that I made an art quilt based on a piece of art. I really miscalculated a few things.
- I didn't want to make a pattern - it would have been too difficult and for me, it would have taken the fun out of making it. I took a photograph of the painting and divided it into 9 equal(ish) parts to guide me. It turns out that my proportions were off (too wide and not long enough).
- I also didn't account for the border. The quilt was originally 16" x 16" but after making the backing, I lost a lot of the painting's top and bottom details. Oops! After it was finished I realised that I could have left some of the white background fabric at the edges since it wouldn't have shown once the backing was attached. I suspect that I'll remember this lesson.
- I didn't realise how complex this piece was until I started trying to create it. I was so tempted to start adding the details of the branches in the middle of the yellow section right at the start, but I knew that I could only do this in the end, after it was all pieced. Staying away from those branches was the hardest part of the piecing!
Sheila Langlois, Artist and Friend
|Sheila Langlois, 1994|
Working for Sheila was the highlight of my summer. When I got to her home, I never knew what I would be doing that day. Sometimes it was normal housekeeping work like vacuuming and dusting, but at other times it might be cleaning windows or helping Sheila make chicken kiev for a dinner party that night. Sheila would always prepare us a lovely lunch and we'd spend an hour chatting about everything, from art and music to philosophy.
One day we cleaned out the room where her paintings were stored. Sheila worked mostly with water colours of Northern Ontario scenes. This painting was very different from her usual work. I fell in love with it and bought it! The painting hangs in my dining room, across from two of her water colours of trees and water that I inherited from my mother.
|Quilt: 15 1/4" x 15 1/4"|
|Painting: 20" x 16"|
I'm thrilled that this quilt will now hang above my sewing machine. For me, this work of art symbolizes the light at the end of the tunnel - in other words, hope. I also reminds me the summer I met Sheila.
|Art with Fabric|
Here are the links to the other participants' blogs:
Monday, May 9th, 2016
Maartje Quilts in Amsterdam
Lee Anna at Not Afraid of Color
Renee at Quilts of a Feather
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Kathy at Qreative Quilts
Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl
Chris's Quilting Universe
DeAnna at Georgia-Girl Quilter
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Alida at Tweety Loves Quilting
Yanicka at Finding myself as an artist
Heather at Heather's Blog
Sarah at Georgia Girl Quilts
Cynthia at Cynthia's Creating Art
Janeen at Quilt Art Designs
Wendy at Kwilt Krazy
Afton at Quilting Mod
Friday, May 13, 2016
Carol at Quilted Fabric Art
Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter
Nina-Marie at Creations...Quilts, Art...Whatever by Nina-Marie
Joan at Moosestash Quilting
You can also check out these linky parties: Free Motion Mavericks, Off the Wall Fridays, Oh Scrap! and Freemotion by the River
Wonderful news! My quilt was featured on Muv's Free Motion Mavericks.