Return To Amsterdam
was made for Aotearoa Quilters Annual Challenge 2020.
In my Artist Statement, I said, “Will I ever return to Amsterdam?” Well I doubt it, after the strange and difficult year this has been, with Covid 19.
New Zealand was in lock down for 7 weeks, and I had this project to work on, and take my mind away from all the fearful things going on .
Luckily Covid 19 has so far been contained in our country which has strictly controlled borders, and we are back to some type of normal life.
By the way, the quilt was the winner of the Aotearoa Quilters’ Challenge and the quilts are soon to have their first showing.
Here are some words and photos about the creation of my quilt.
I wanted to have some houses reflected in water, with tulips in the foreground. I used a stamp made in a Lisa Walton class, to stamp the houses.
Then I auditioned some fabric for the water.
Found this piece of my hand dyed fabric.
Using Setacolor paints which are transparent, and with guidance from my painter friends, I cautiously painted the reflections of the buildings.
Decided to lengthen the reflections and add some white lines across. I ended up adding some strips of fabric across later.
I found this piece of fabric for the lower background, which I knew would be a great foil for the bright colours of the flowers.
Usually, I make my flowers with fusible web techniques. I am trying to avoid this as I think it can make the flowers flat looking. So I fussy cut my hand dyed fabric into petal shapes and glued them together.
I always make my flowers separate from the background so I can move them around. Decided to hoop them between two layers of very fine tulle, for the stitching.
It worked well, and I used a variegated thread to stitch the flowers. Pulling the tulle really tight in the hoop is the secret, so the flower doesn’t move around.
After stitching the edges of the tulle were cut away. In this case I used a soft red tulle, and it was barely noticeable on the finished flowers.
You can also move the hoop to stitch multiple flowers.
Once I had enough flowers, I pinned them on the background I had made.
I cut out some tulip leaves and stems to add in, trying to let some of the colour of the background show through.
I decided the top needed a tree, for perspective, and added that. Later I did some more painting and embroidery to make the tree look like spring not winter.
Here’s a close up of the finished flowers and leaves. I did add a little bit of white paint when it was all stitched and quilted, to give the flowers a bit more impact.