A Rothko of One’s Own

One of the reasons I blogged so little towards the end of the year was because I was working on a major secret project over most of October and November. Grab a strong drink and prepare yourself…I made a quilt! A hand-quilted quilt even. My first quilt, at that. Yes, I may be a little insane.

And here it is:

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It is inspired by a Mark Rothko painting in the Chicago Institute of Art, as viewed and loved in person by DrK, who of course is the recipient of my quilting largesse (heh!). We’d been talking quilting and making quilts for a while, and when she tweeted a picture of this painting, I knew what I had to do.

I found the perfect fabric, Kaffe Fasset shot cotton, which changes colour very subtly depending on the angle you view it. Ideal for capturing the depth of a painting, in what is otherwise the flat(ish) medium of fabric. And it had to be hand-quilted, to echo the artist’s hand holding the brush. And since I am a very imperfect sewist, I like to think the uneven stitches and wonky lines also reflect the artist’s brush strokes.

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And finally, I chose a range of cottons within each colour, with which to do the quilting, hoping to replicate the effect of brushstrokes and the uneven layers of colour you can see in the original artwork.

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Sadly, none of these details really show up very well in the photographs at all (photography is so challenging for the crafter!) so you’ll have to take my word for it!

Even though I bought the fabric back in around April or May, I had to ruminate on the making of the quilt for some time (not to mention having other projects with earlier deadlines!) so I didn’t quite get it finished in time for DrK’s birthday … Or Christmas … And I ended up giving it to her unbound (but otherwise done!). Thankfully she didn’t mind and even offered to do the binding for me, for which I am grateful as she did a much better job on it than I would have! (You can read her post here).

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I know next to nothing about quilting, and I am sure I made lots of rookie mistakes, but even so, I am quite proud of this effort. I don’t think it will be my last quilt (I hope not, since I have fabric for at least three more, heh!) but I do think it will be my only hand-quilted job!

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11 Comments

Filed under FO2014, quilting, sewing

11 responses to “A Rothko of One’s Own

  1. Rookie quilting is the best! And it’s fantastic and a stunning concept! And to gift it – wow! You’ve got some great karma now. 🙂

  2. DrK

    it is the most beautiful thing ever and i love every inch and stitch of it. i think its absolutely perfect. doing the binding was really lovely, it made me feel like it was something we’d done together, and i also got an inkling of how lovely quilting can be. and also how hard hand quilting it must have been! you’re awesome, thank you so much xx

  3. I love the imperfect! Look at the popularity of distressed items and wabi sabi. This is a major acheivement –congratulations!

  4. it’s so beautiful – you’ve done a superb job! Hand quilting and all it’s supposed “imperfections” is even more perfect in my eyes.

  5. I think it’s inspired. Turned out wonderfully.

  6. I think it’s perfect. I really love what you did and all the thought that went into it. I have a beautiful pattern for a quilt with embroidered flowers on it that I have been holding onto for years (and years). I figure it will become my retirement project. Hand sewing is (or can be) just as soothing and calming as a whole project of stockinette.

  7. Look at you! Wow, I think it is amazing and I am in awe of your quilting ability.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

  8. Madmad

    Wow. That is amazing – such a creative idea, and such a huge task. You’re a great friend. It’s gorgeous! I know a designer who knitted a scarf based on the same painting. That mighta been easier…. 😉

  9. amy

    Wow. I am just as impressed at the concept–>design–>finished product as I am that you then gave it away!

  10. Such an apt testament to your friendship. Well done, both of you.

  11. Shelley

    Stunning. In every aspect.

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