Monday, January 14, 2013

Judy W's "Interwoven: Through the Ages"

"Interwoven: Through the Ages" 
by Judy Wedemeyer

My reference to 'through the ages' is an interweaving of past, present and future  projects and memories.  (Past) is highlighted by recycling vintage black wire beaded earrings.  The flower was one of many I made a few years ago while experimenting with melting black plastic fruit tray dividers into flower bases. I was planning on incorporating them into weatherproof yard art somehow.  Batik fabric in aqua and orange tropical colors are inspired by my daughters beach themed, Hawaiian destination wedding scheduled for April 2014. (Future)  And of course (Present) is the creation of this current challenge piece.

A foundation of mixed ephemera and threads from various art quilt projects were laid on dyed cheesecloth, interwoven and then sandwiched between two sheets of Water Soluble Solvy foundation.  Included materials are painted Ludura, upholstery threads, plastic netting, dyed silk cocoon pieces and dyed cheesecloth.

I bobbin stitched a variegated metallic thread while machine quilting with a clear mono-filament top thread in a wavy grid pattern.  Once stabilized, I cold water rinsed the Solvy away, towel pressed the 'fabric' and iron dried it between parchment paper.  The tissue paper and gold foil candy wrapper pieces were embedded after the wash and dry cycle.  Unfortunately I got heavy handed with the iron and melted the green netting pretty much into oblivion. : /

Quilt Basting Spray adhered the interwoven section to the orange batik background fabric.  I ironed fusible fleece batting (Thermolam) to the backside of the batik before bobbin quilting a diagonal wavy grid in metallic thread. After quilting, I sandwiched top and back right sides together, cut a small slit in the backing to pull right side out, and then fused my quilt label over the opening.  Final step was gluing and thread tacking the embellishments to the quilt top and beading the edges.  This quilt exemplifies what I enjoy most about art quilting ~ small experiment projects which incorporate recycling, hand beading, embellishments and surface design.


  1. Judy, I am speechless! How I wish that you would come visit your old friend Kathy here in central Texas and give our local Mavens some lessons! Truly, this looks like a piece that belongs in an art quilting magazine. And your clear and concise details about the construction--friend, you have an article here for sure! You are truly a quilt artist, and I feel humbled by your outstanding work!

  2. Beautiful artistic piece Judy! I am very impressed with your incorporation of such varied items and inspiration into this piece. I love the concept and interpretation.

  3. I would love to see this in person. All those goodies you put into are intriguing. Love the colors and composition. Really enjoyed the thought process that went into making this marvelous piece!

  4. Not having the vision to do something like this, I have a question. Do you see the end result in your head before you start, or does it develop as you work?

    1. I would love to see an answer to this question! In fact, many of this group left me with the same question in mind. I am such a linear thinker, that I pretty much have to have an end result in mind before I even begin. I so need to learn to work more freely, just playing with my piece and seeing where it takes me!

  5. Absolutely gorgeous, Judy! I am in awe of your artistic ability and love your use of such a variety of construction techniques. Thanks for challenging all of us to stretch our creativity!

  6. For me, working without a 'recipe' whether in the kitchen or in my studio, invigorates my experimental side. Using the cooking analogy ~ when you have cooked enough to be comfortable in the kitchen, you can read a recipe and tell if it will be bland or could use some spicing up. Eventually, what you know leads to 'original recipes' rather than following a cookbook. The same applies to my art.

    I've tried to analyze my creative approach at various times in my life but see no recognizable 'formula' for how I work, which is most likely due to the wide range of media I use and the absence of a personal repeatable style. From youth I've tinkered artistically with any accessible materials ~ often discards. I remember Dad sharing his colored electrical wiring and showing me how to braid a 5-strand length of wire, or giving me his wood scraps and use of his jigsaw, hammer and nails. My top childhood gift requests were always art oriented. You get the idea... I mention this because for me, expanding my skills and knowledge through experimentation and education, have filled my 'toolbox' with multiple abilities and the confidence to use them.

    The ability to create something from nothing is actually more inspirational for me than starting from a blank piece of paper and pencil, although I've done both as need and mood dictate. If one method of kick starting me doesn't work, I try another. Sometimes my ideas begin from doodles, or photos, or a word and sometimes I just peruse my art quilt books or get online for ideas. I seldom toss failures or scraps away and if you keep like items organized and handy you are more likely to use them. (skip hiding them in the sock and pj drawer) lol

    With my Interwoven piece I invested 90% of my time in the cogitative state. I do feel it's significant to ask yourself what you want to achieve before you begin and from there, what materials and colors might work that will reinforce your ideas. Most importantly, I've discovered that I must remain flexible in my approach, letting each step dictate what the next could be to improve the piece, and asking myself if I am adhering to the basic art 'rules' of successful design ~ contrast, line, color, balance, etc.

    When creative constipation occurs I deliberately step away from my studio and get my brain entirely off the project. A fresh view may speak volumes and open a floodgate of ideas.

    I hope I've answered your question to some degree and would love to hear how the rest of you navigate your art quilt design process.

  7. Fabulous response Judy.
    Once again, you have created a piece that looks like you had a great time making, and achieved great results. It must have been quite satisfying to be able to combine and use the bits and pieces that you have saved/made into one cohesive quilt.

  8. I enjoyed reading this, Judy, and yes, it does help me to understand how you approach your artistic process and the products that result!

  9. Hi Sistah ! Reading your narrative was like standing right beside you when we used to "do our magic" in Anchorage (Alaska) ! I can visualize every single thing and process you spoke about ! Loved your piece; loved the concept of interweaving past, present and future; am still amazed at your abilities to use such intriguing found objects; AND your beadwork is beyond spectacular ! Love ya, Kath