Mar 27, 2015

'One Flew the Coop' - a modern finish featuring Japanese cottons

"One Flew the Coop" hanging in the sun outside the Menil Collection.
Spring is here. The sun is out. Perfect day for photographing my latest modern art quilt.

"One Flew the Coop" by Teresa Duryea Wong. 2015.
Cotton, Japanese Echino prints. Applique, machine quilted.
I'm calling this one "One Flew the Coop." I photographed it today outside the Menil Collection in Houston - one of my favorite art spots.

All of the prints are Japanese cotton, Echino designs. The background is also a Japanese cotton with a color gradation from black to white.

I love the fun Echino vibe and the muted, but somehow still vibrant colors. So special. And the birds are just lovely. When I found these fabrics, I was already in the middle of another project but I put that one away and this took over.

I took inspiration from the modern quilts I saw at QuiltCon --- specifically the use of dense quilting in the negative space. But when I designed this quilt, I also wanted to feature the Echino prints "whole" so to speak, without cutting them up for applique and without just plopping a couple straight yards together. So I created this circle in square motif... with one bird free.
"One Flew the Coop" (detail) by Teresa Duryea Wong. 2015. 
Cotton, Japanese Echino prints. Applique, machine quilted.

Here's the back, almost as fun as the front. The backing is a Peppered Cotton from Pepper Cory. Beautiful color with a nice sheen.
"One Flew the Coop" (back view) by Teresa Duryea Wong. 2015.
Cotton, Japanese Echino prints. Applique, machine quilted.
"One Flew the Coop" (detail) by Teresa Duryea Wong. 2015.
Cotton, Japanese Echino prints. Applique, machine quilted.
The one "free bird" is made with applique and a thread painting technique. The other birds feature a trapunto method - meaning they are lifted off the surface. This is done by placing the quilt top and batting together and sewing a fine line around the image (using free motion). Then the batting is cut away very close to the line. So when the entire top is quilted to the other layers, the extra layer of batting under the birds raises them off the surface, and it preserves their image on the quilt back.

"One Flew the Coop" (back view, detail) by Teresa Duryea Wong. 2015. 
Cotton, Japanese Echino prints. Applique, machine quilted.
The backing is quilted exclusively with a variegated yellow Aurifil #3920, 50 wt. I used one entire spool and half of another one!  The front is quilted with a variety of Aurifil in turquoise, purple, yellow and gray, black and white. All are 50 wt.  I love the look of this cotton thread on these beautiful cotton fabrics.

I blogged about this quilt a few weeks ago - specifically my Aurifil emergency when I ran out of backing thread. Fortunately, I am married to a very kind and supportive husband and he made the 30 minute trek to the quilt store to buy me another spool. Lesson learned, buy more the next time I am standing in front of a full display!

Anyway, this quilt "One Flew the Coop" will be one of several quilts I plan to take with me as part of my small trunk show for my upcoming book tour. I'll be out at quilt guilds later this year and next to share stories from my new book on the history of Japanese quilts.

And if you've been patient enough to read this far... I'll share one more tidbit. The title I chose for this piece has a double meaning. "One Flew the Coop" refers of course to the one free bird, but it's also indicative of my life right now. We have one young adult daughter who has flown the coop and one young adult son who lives at home, but is set to graduate from college soon!!! Hoping my next quilt will be "two flew the coop."

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Mar 22, 2015

discovering vintage quilts - my own

At some point in time, I guess its inevitable that your very first quilts will qualify as vintage. And when I opened a box of traditional quilts I'd put away years ago, I recognized that these hand applique and hand quilted treasures now fit the definition of true vintage. So now that I've rediscovered them, I've hung them front and center in our home.



Mar 15, 2015

two quilts: both showcase Japanese quilting cottons

For the past few weeks, I've focused all my energy on two quilts - both feature Japanese cotton prints.

 These are pictures of some of my hand embroidery on my "improv" double wedding ring featuring Keiko Goke prints. I blogged about this quilt twice in Jan and here's part two. Frankly even though I've made of ton of progress... the pictures look about the same!
Valdani thread and other pearl cotton in toy capsules.
Hand work remnants. Gorgeous.

I don't think this double wedding ring is very good blog material. When you work by hand, the visual progress is slow, slow, slow! But oh so worth it... so this quilt will just have wait for its next appearance until its finished!

Meanwhile, I'm working on a second quilt ... this one features Echino prints.


And I've taken some inspiration from the modern quilts I saw at QuiltCon and I am quilting this one using a lot of the negative space. It will make more sense when I show the finished quilt... it looks a bit odd as a work-in-progress.

And here's the back.
The backing is a deep purple peppered cotton and I am using only one thread on the back - a slightly variegated yellow Aurifil #3920. I have used one entire spool so far... which led to a thread emergency!
Luckily my very kind husband offered to stop at the only quilt shop in Houston (that I know of anyway) that carries this... and he picked up a new spool for me. This is no small feat - if you know Houston - you know this can mean driving 30 minutes one way and 30 minutes back. An hour was just too much for me to give up when I'm focused on sewing. So I kept quilting, he stopped at the quilt store in between his other errands - and all is well. It's good to be me!

More to come. These lovely Japanese cotton prints are so fun and when I hang the two together, I think they will make a great showcase of the Japanese aesthetic in commercial quilting cottons.

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