teaching sewing confidence, tip by tip

Friday 28 September 2012

A Rock Inspired October Bee Block

I can't believe that my October Bee Block has arrived - where's this year gone?!

Bernadette is the October Queen Bee and her block inspiration is a lined landscape painting.  She's asked us to fussy cut the 2 striped fabrics into a pattern, geometric, wonky or whatever 12.5" block. 

For my inspiration I started going through holiday photos that I've taken of rocks - we have many as I studied rock formations a few years ago for my ceramic collection 'Earth's Abstraction'.  I settled on this image taken on a walk through Kentmere in the Lake District, England.  I then photoshoped it using a Coloured Pencil Artistic Filter which gave it the pink colour and made the surface planes more obvious.  I printed this out, outlined the shapes and then drew stripes over each rock plane to represent the striped fabrics.

I cut the initial pieces of fabric according to the lines I'd sketched on my image but quickly I started to move away from the image and add fabrics in the colour/direction that instinctively felt right and I also started to use the reverse of each fabric to create more depth by creating shade and shadow in the tones.

And here is the final block

This will certainly be a quilt to watch - I can't begin to imagine what the finished top will look like and I'm wondering how others will interpret the brief - if I'm honest I'm really quite nervous that this won't be in keeping with everyone else's blocks.  I'll keep you posted but for now I've posted the block to the NYC Mod Guild Blog.

And you can click this link to see all of my NYC Mod Quilt Guild Bee Blocks and Challenge Blocks/Quilts.

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  1. Wow, it's an amazing block. Wouldn't a whole quilt like that be stunning?

    1. You're right, it'll be so interesting to see the whole quilt, if Bernadette posts photos when it's done I'll be sure to post them on my blog :)

  2. What a stunning block, so carefully conceived and rendered. I love how you used the reverse side a bit - great idea.

    1. Thanks Cynthia, John Kubiniec, quilt/fabric designer, gave me the tip to use the reverse side of fabric when I did his Transparency Quilts course at The City Quilter. He said (apart from most Batiks) a fabric reverse is usually a lighter version of the front and can sometimes be the ideal choice to work alongside your chosen fabric. I've used this technique on a few blocks now :)

  3. A very artistic and original approach to a quilt block.
    I like the idea (and will file it away in my box of "tips!")
    of using photoshop to accentuate the image planes
    for purposes of abstraction.

    1. Thanks Cathie - you did inspire me this week and for the first time I brought some of my Art & Design training into my quilting! I also like using Photoshop Filter/Artistic/Cutout to break an image down into simpler outlines and then play around with levels/simplicity/fidelity within Cutout :)


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Chris Dodsley

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