Tuesday, 22 May 2012

work in progress

Now I have finished the initial design stage, I am thinking about colour, fabrics and techniques. So far I have been copying the 'pain' shapes onto vliesofix, it looks like a messy jigsaw puzzle....

And here all the pieces arranged, ready to stitch. But first a lot of other things need to be done...

Like making stencil for the man-shape. Since I dont' have any grey fabric I decided to make a stencil from was paper. Have to mix black and white fabric paint and see if it works!
I also want to try my hand on a technique I read about in Quilting Arts, my favourite quilting magazine
It is about how to transfer a digital image onto fabric, using water-soluble stabilizer. There is going to be a flower somewhere in my quilt, so I might try. I don't have the water soluble A4 paper, but I do have some very thin water soluble fabric. I will just try to iron that to some wax paper and feed through the printer.If it works....I can then apply a layer of matte medium to the fabric and to the image and brayer it firmly. Will let you know if it works or not!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Final design ready

I am fairly happy with my final design. It's sometimes hard to know when to stop, but this time I knew I had all the elements I wanted to be in there. Drawing is one thing, but realising it in fabrics is another. So things will change as I go. At this point in time I don't want to spend money on fabrics so I will use the fabrics I have. At a later stage I would like to dye my own fabrics - which I have done before and I hope to include some scraps in this quilt.
It's always a challenge how to fix technical issues. There are a few in this one: the woman at the foreground and the Fibonacci spiral and of course the lettering!

Today I decided to draw the face in pencil. I am not a great drawer, but I don't want to copy, so it has to do. I then got some stabiliser (really thin fibre fabric) and ironed that to some wax paper. I put the picture on the photocopier and fed the stabiliser+wax paper through the printer (don't know if hubby is so happy with this ;)).
It came out quite satisfactory and I will iron it onto some vliesofix (double sided bonding). And hopefully it will look good against the man background.

This is my final design

And this is de woman drawing photocopied onto the stabiliser

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Design Process

How do you start? I usually start brainstorming around the theme. Better write out the verse first:

Genesis 3:16 " Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."

Hmm....not the easiest. I would like to make the quilts about the verse, but also taking the context into consideration. I always start writing words down, like this:
perfect creation, fall, dark mood, trials, tribulations, paradise, broken world, broken pieces, man - breadwinner, woman - child bearer,
whatever our situation is in this world, we will not have an easy time of it.
There will be trials, but Eve remains woman: John 16:2
1 "The joy of birth overcomes the travail that precedes it.
1Cor.11:3 "..the head of the woman is the man.." vs8/9 "For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man."

So far a few words/concepts. Then I begin sketching and usually more words follow and also colours come to my mind.

This is how my sketchbook looks

and more ideas

 I got to tidy up my fabric stash too

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


John 3:16 is without doubt the most well known (and precious) Bible verse, so that one should be included if you wanted to pick a verse from each book.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"

There is only one problem. Some books don't have 16 that case we just read on to the next chapter. For example Psalm 3 has only eight verses; the modified rule calls for the study of Psalm 4, verse 8. This modification needs to be used ten times, for the books of Ezra, Esther, Psalms, Song of Solomon, Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Micah, Zechariah and 1 Thessalonians.
Some books are so short, they don't even get as far as Chapter 3. Donald Knuth decided to omit these book altogether. These are Obadiah, Haggai, Titus, Philemon, 2John, 3John, and Jude.

That leaves 59 instances of the 3:16 rule.

I have been thinking of omitting the books which don't have 16 verses, but I think I will just follow Donald Knuth's book.

That means I plan to make 59 small quilts, about 12" by 12" (that's a very common art quilt size). In centimetres:  31cm by 31cm.

Will try to complete one every 1st day of the month, probably starting the 1st of July.

Who is Donald Knuth?

Who is Donald Knuth? He is (or was, I think he is retired now) a professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. He is the author of widely acclaimed books on computer science, mathematics, and typography. Hence the reason why his books are in my husbands bookcase ;) Knuth has been awarded honorary doctorates from Oxford University, the University of Paris, and eleven colleges.

His dream was to write a book based on the 3:16s of the Bible. He explains that there are many ways to study the Bible, e.g read from beginning to end or study certain themes. Being a mathematician has probably lead him to this interesting concept: "The Bible contains approx. 30.000 verses. Let's suppose that each verse has been written on a slip of paper, and that all the slips have been put into an enormous bowl. A random sample can be obtained by stirring the contents and then selecting, say, 60 of the slips. After studying those 60 Bible verses carefully, we might not expect to know a whole lot about the other 29.940; but in fact, mathematicians have found that a surprising amount of information about a large subject can often be derived with a high degree of confidence, even when only a small sample has been investigated."

I came to the conclusion that I wanted to apply the same idea in a series of small art quilts. This will be very challenging, but hopefully rewarding at the same time. In the past week I have been thinking about all the difficulties: what techniques to use, how to incorporate text/writing unto fabric, how to get all the ideas, inspiration, time etc. etc. But....I just want to do my best and even if it isn't a successful outcome I hope the Bible study and artistic expression will be beneficial to me and maybe to others as well!

No pictures yet :( It will take a while I am afraid, but first want to get the idea and background for this project out of the way. (my brain is working and visual diary has some sketches in it :))

Friday, 11 May 2012

Why this blog

I am not the typical blogger person I believe. Writing is not my passion and English is my second language which might explain why I am not always good at expressing myself in written language...Most of this blog will be pictures and hopefully I can show some progress and ideas/techniques I will be working on.

My main idea about putting this project 3:16 into blog format is that it 'forces' me to be accountable. A public statement of intention can keep you motivated. Also sharing it with other people will hopefully provide constructive feedback.

I suppose it's a good idea to explain the reason why I want to start on this project. I do love making art quilts, there is so much to explore and to learn in this field. I have been reading books, magazines and watched some dvd's from professional art quilters. And I am really inspired by a group of people who call themselves the twelve by twelve. They have a great website:

But to just sit down and start quilting is not my thing. I like to have a purpose for it. I have made several quilts which hang on the wall in our home, some I have given away. Sometimes I make quilts for a quilt challenge, which I like because there are usually clear parameters.

For a year or so I have been thinking what to do with my quilting interest. Teaching is one thing I like, so I have set up a workshop in my local craft store. At the other hand I don't like being stuck in teaching the same thing over and over. And would like to have some time for learning more techniques myself.

Last week I wrote down what I really like about art quilts:
  • lots of possibilities in techniques
  • you can dye your own fabrics
  • I like plain fabrics
  • you can embroider on them
  • convey a message
  • print on fabric
Thinking about letters and fonts I took 2 books out of our book case. One is called Typography, an encyclopedic survey of type design and techniques throughout history.


The other book is called 3:16 Bible texts illuminated:

3:16 Bible Texts IlluminatedAnd this book really captured my attention. I will explain that in another blogpost!
My first blog post! I will try updating a couple of times during the month. My goal is to produce one 12" by 12" quilt a month. Starting with Genesis 3:16 and going through each Bible book.