Have I just stepped out of a Brigadoon or Outlander timewarp (depending on your generation)? Click, whir. Let me roll the clock ahead, and revitalize this blog.
Felting & Art Quilts
I have been busy in the last few years, delving deep into the use of felting in art quilts. Root & Branch is an example of how felting can be used as an integral part of a composition, not simply as an embellishment or surface treatment.
Please, come take a closer look…
A Focus on "Knit Felt"
From custom dyed wool roving, as well as what comes naturally from the sheep beast, I spin yarn which is then knit and popped into the washing machine. Voila! Knit felt. No, technically it is fulled not felted. Fulling is when a woven or knit fabric is washed and agitated to tighten the fibers. However, the result is what is important, a wonderful thick fiber with subtle shifts of color and great texture. Paired with smooth woven fabrics, knit felt gives a bas relief quality to art quilts. It also has body, lending itself to 3D work.
Imago is freestanding, supported by a custom acrylic frame. Two sided, it has neither a front nor back. The top portion of the second side can be seen below, along with a detailed view. Knit felting is combined with piecing in the conventional quilt sandwich. Some parts of the knit felting hang free, without backing or batting.
Imago is in the traveling SAQA Northern California/Northern Nevada Region group show, “Strata.” Having completed a run at the Harrington Gallery in Pleasanton, CA, “Strata” will next be at the Pence Gallery in Davis, CA.
Characteristic to my current work are the organic shapes knit felting allows. Pollen began with a circular knit felt motif. The piecing and embellishment, including additional small felted items, then followed. The purple vertical lines are stuffed, balancing the strong 3D presence of the flower.
Pollen has won top awards at the San Mateo Country Fair 2015, and has been featured in Art Quilting Studio Summer 2015.
The organic shapes of knit felt lend themselves to abstract work. As seen below in River Between, the knit felt is an appliqued element on top of a “quilt sandwich” base layer, and all has been quilted. For some schools of thought, stitching on the knit felt alone does not qualify as an art quilt. However, using the Studio Art Quilt Associates definition, “a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure,” knit felt elements that stand alone are indeed art quilts.
River Between 30″ h x 20″w $500
Please see the articles I have written for Art Quilting Studio magazine about my work, specifically the knit felting. “Knit It. Shrink It. Quilt It” is in the Winter 2014 issue, for which one of my pieces is also the cover art!
And just as a side note, if your last name is Walker, your ancestors may have lived in Germany, working as specialists in the fulling of cloth. “Walker” is not just an English word, but a German term for fulling.
My website is www.ruedaok.com, and you can find me on Facebook listed as Jennifer Hammond Landau. I welcome inquiries and conversation about my work!
Many thanks for stopping by.