Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Working with Fabrics - Wall Hangings

Fabric Wall Hangings

In the video I share with you a series of wall hangings I created called Forgotten Stories.  Here is how they progressed.

At this point I had painted the fabric pieces and started to add the jewelry and the beading.

I taught myself some simple quilting techniques and ran with it.  I knew I didn't want to make a large quilt, just used some of tips that I needed as I learnt.

Very often we stop ourselves from doing things because we don't have the resources, or skills, but you can learn the techniques as you go along, don't wait until you are an expert as you might find that you get some great results from the process as you go along.  In my research I learnt about the quilts of the Underground Railroad, the messages and symbols contained in them and will share more in another post.

There were several things that I loved doing with these wall hangings, 
  •  the process of painting the pieces of fabric, 
  • using the range of colors and also 
  • creating the marks and designs that seem to come together when they were taken to the next stage and stitched
I called the series of wall hangings the Forgotten Stories.

Forgotten Stories Series

I started creating the series quite a while back and spent a lot of time selecting fabric and hand painting the fabric using a variety of acrylics, fabric paints and later on embellishments.  I never used to have so much patience to create the amount of detail that you see in these pieces, but learnt that the messages come out over time, and in different ways. 

The idea behind the series for me is the forgotten stories that  are told in communities and would traditionally be handed down as you sit around a fire, or people would gather round the village stories tellers.  I also wanted them to capture the essence of a short story that I had written where a young girl accompanies her mother to a fabric store and the owner begins to share how far the fabric has traveled and what all the signs and symbols mean.

With each pattern having a meaning. These stories tells of the kings and queens, the daily lives of a village who did what their accomplishments, the travelers of the land, the trade between the villages and the things they produced.  The carrying of spices, and precious jewels across sand dunes, forests and seas.

The symbols that tells of the strength the technology and skills that were the cornerstone of populations

Charting the journey of the different tribes, showing the gifts the abilities that resides unto this day.

Once each panel was complete I began to add the beading and embellishments to decorate.  You can see a bit of the process in the video above.

Forgotten Stories - Blue
I love the way the pieces turned out and the color mixes.

As my fabric pieces tell their story I hope they will inspire you to share yours.  Art for me is about how we use it to express our ideas, thoughts - our truth and is a tool that can bring a voice to every situation.

Let me know how you use fabric in your work and to express ideas.  If you are looking for additional ideas for using fabric then check out some of the links below for ideas, supplies and more!

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