|The Four Basic Elements: Air (Sky), Water, Fire, and Earth|
The ancient philosophers believed that the world and everything in it was composed of four basic elements: air, water, fire, and earth. My quilt is an abstract design using batiks that represent these four. One of our Mavens commented last time (and she meant this as a compliment, certainly NOT a criticism) that I often used realistic images in my 12 x 12 quilts. "Ah ha," I thought, "time for me to try an abstract!" So the inspiration for this Element quilt was two-fold--the ancients' beliefs about these elements and a fellow Maven's comment!
I first made many sketches using free-flowing and curving lines, with only the flames hinting at realism. When I finally came up with a design I liked, I used it for my cartoon. I traced the resulting shapes onto tracing paper to make templates. Previously I had chosen four sets of batik fabrics that spoke to me of air or sky, water, fire, and earth. These I had then prepared with Wonder Under. I cut out the shapes using the paper templates and fused them down onto polyester felt for batting. I used the original cartoon to guide me in placement of the many shapes. I added in a few others where I felt more were needed. Finally, I echo quilted inside each shape by machine.