That’s a Wrap, Hollyhocks and Ladybugs

BarbaraHarmsFiber Art Red Hollyhock Quilt

 

 

I’ve been working busily on my hollyhock quilt and now it’s finished. I’m a bit disappointed that it’s over, it was a really enjoyable project. I need to catch up on a few things and then officially start on my next commissioned quilt. I say “officially”, when in reality, I’ve been bouncing ideas around in my mind , long before today. I’ve done a few preliminary sketches, playing around with possibilities. I can already tell that I am going to find this an interesting project.

This red hollyhock art quilt was a commission. Commissions present an interesting challenge, I think it’s a beneficial to take a step back, and work on a theme that may not be your usual approach or subject matter. It might be stepping out of what has become your comfort zone.  For a commission to work, you need to translate it into your own interpretation of the subject. This was an easy quilt to capture my interest and spark my own enthusiasm.  It is a theme I enjoy working with. I love doing stylized flowers, and hollyhocks? Well goodness yes! That was a bit of a coincidence. My client loves hollyhocks, she even has their images on her business cards. When she received her quilt, I enclosed in the paperwork one of my older business cards, it also contained a wonderful image of hollyhocks . When this fact had first occurred to me, I had to  laugh, we were a good fit, my client and her artist.
I’ve posted some pictures of the progress along the way. Now it’s finished, here’s the finished red hollyhock quilt. It has it’s title now, “A Bug’s Eye View”. As I worked on the finishing touches,  my husband stood there looking at  the nearly finished quilt. He decided it needed a little bug in it. Humm…

It is a floral art quilt, I added a slightly contemporary spin, a little non traditional approach to a floral theme. I chose to give the flowers and stalks a disproportional profile. As my husband observed, this is how the large would appear, seen through the eyes of a tiny bug, dwarfed by it’s hugeness. I thought it might work, a cute little ladybug, that you would barely notice. But first, I needed to run the idea by Karen, the lovely lady who had commissioned the piece, how would she feel about this? She liked the idea and so my little ladybug became a part of this quilt. And that is how the red hollyhock art quilt came by it’s title “A Bug’s Eye View”.

You’ve seen the progression, here is the finished version. You may notice that the ladybug is missing, she truly was a last minute addition. I had already taken the final photos.

But after she was added into the picture, as I stared at the quilt, evaluating it, I realized that she was indispensable. She needed to be right where she is, looking up at the great big world from the ground, viewing a group of red hollyhocks.

 

I added texture to the leaves, they are not just visually dimensional, but have actual texture and dimension.

Barbara Harms Fiber Art a art quilt A Bug's Barbara Harms Fiber Art finished red hollyhock quilt top

 

Barbara Harms Fiber Art contemporary floral art quiltBarbara Harms Fiber Barbara Harms Fiber Art detail of the quilting on the hock art quilt

 

Barbara Harms Fiber Art a fiber art quilt with thread painted hollyhocks
Closer view of quilting

 

 

 

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Barbara Harms Fiber Art red holly hocks art quilt

IMG_Ladybug quilt, landscape quilt, lady bug, hollyhock quilt

 

Barbara Harms Fiber Art modern art quilt
One of the thread painted hollyhocks

 

 

The Internet, A Shrinking World and Connecting With Hollyhock Lovers Everywhere!

Barbara Harms Fiber Art asianartandquilts.comThis has been my month for hollyhocks. It began with a hollyhock art quilt. One of my customers, who owns a fabric art gallery purchased another art quilt from me. This is the 9th quilt for her.

She first found me through the internet.The quilt she chose this time was the hollyhock quilt, pictured above. I was delighted. This quilt was one of my favorites, and it was going to a woman who I Like, a very nice person.

However before it sold, it captured the attention of another person.

The Internet, A Shrinking World and Connecting With Hollyhock Lovers Everywhere!

A Whole Lot Of Flowers!

I’ve started a new commissioned art quilt. It features red hollyhocks, which makes me pretty happy!  I must confess that making a quilt with lots of flowers is one of my favorite things to do. I’m already making some headway. Due to a large amount of detailed thread painting that needs to o be done on a rather large quilt, this will take a lot of labor and time to complete. No complaints there, I love doing what I do.

The first step involved thread painting all my holly hocks, which I’ll cut out and applique to the backdrop that I’ve already painted.. The quilt will be a large size, so that means I’ll need lots and lots of hollyhocks. I don’t want to skimp on the amount, I want my stems to be full of flowers.

On a quilt that size, making so many has been a long process. Each one takes quite a while to complete. Each one is an individual and slightly different from all the others. They are after all, going to be the star of this quilt. All the focus will be on my hollyhocks, so no cookie cutter holly hocks allowed!

I give some thought to every flower before I begin it. I think that if I rushed from one to the next, in a great hurry, they’d end up being  duplicates. Little clones of each other.

What I found in making these little babies was. if I wanted each one to be a individual,  I needed a big  variety in the shades of red to give character  to each flower.

Thus  began the great “red thread quest’ I was on a mission, find the shades of red I wanted and needed. You may not have realized this, but red colors can vary greatly and still be considered “red”.

There are blue based reds, then there are orange based reds and and a lot of ground inbetween. I wanted several different orange based reds, with out their being an actual orange. I needed a colors starting with  dark, then lid shade and finally light.

It’s funny, that with each new project you begin, no matter how many spools of thread, or amounts of fabric that you own, there will always be at least one or more necessary colors that you don’t have, but you must have for the integrity of the design . I repeat this unbelievable truth, there will always be at least one missing color. Ask a few quilters or seamstresses you know, they’ll say the same. You begin scouring the fabric stores and buying yet more fabric or thread.

I have a massive stock of thread, I do a lot of thread painting and need it.

When I say that I have a massive stock of thread,  I think there is no way to envision it, so I must provide a visual aid, to preserve my creditability.  So expect pictures, these are not my complete stash, but I just got sick of photographing it all.

I can’t fathom that out of my entire collection of thread, massive as it is, I couldn’t find the exact shades of red that I wanted…

I’ll give you a tiny look at some of the finished hollyhocks,  There are many more. Now I invite you to just wander through the photos and be amazed at the impossibility of a missing shade out all of this!

 

Holly hocks thread painted and ready tp applique

 A little trimming around the edges and they’re ready to go.

THREAD PAINTED HOLLYHOCK 1

Holly Hock

 

 

 

 

 

Drawers of thread used for art quilts

 

 

 

 

Blue cones of thread for art quiltsRed thread used in art quiltingART quilting threadsLoyts of thread for threadpainting fiber artthread cshelf with variety for making art quilts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DO YOU BELIEVE ME NOW?

Oh please, do come and  check out my new website, http:barbaraharmsfiberart.com. 

This blog will be connected there,  I have a store  and a portfolio is included. so you can see it all in one location if you like.