Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Making Organelle

I've had the honor of having "Organelle" selected for Art Quilt Elements in 2012.
It was my only entry to the show, since it was a voyage into the unknown for me- I've been wanting to go further into texture, and thought I would write a little bit about making it.

 I started with a piece of raw silk that my friend Darlene brought back from China.
I acid dyed it----part of it was used for another project so it's an odd shape.
 Then I began laying out various types of felting material on top- the white is a needle felting wool from my friend Martha, and the colors are silk and wool from a shop in Taos.The actual layout of the fibers took a day and a half.

 I wet felted the layers together using good old muscle power with a little help from my palm sander :)
The fibers were able to bond due to the coarseness 
of the raw silk, which is the reason I chose it as the base.
the silk & wool roving behaved very differently from the needle felting wool.
I laid this top on a piece of commercial felt- you can see other pieces of it in there, I used every scrap- then I quilted the heck out of it.

Some details- I tried to use the sewing to enhance the flow of the fibers, also I paid attention to the density of the stitching as I wanted the areas with less thread to pop out.

 I then cut the piece of raw silk apart and appliqueed it to a batik background, layered with batting and backing.
here it is being re quilted with my little helper.
The double quilting really gave it a lot of texture- I named it after cell sub-structures....
nearly finished, it took a while to decide on the final orientation.
Here it is, see you at the opening reception, I hope!


  1. This is absolutely spectacular, Betty! What a monumental effort. Good thing you have such skilled help: ) I love the multi layered construction and the variety of fibres you have used. You really cannot beat silk, can you! Congratulations. It is a splendid piece of work!

  2. Betty,

    This piece is exquisite! I'm looking forward to spending time with you when you come to Arizona. I'll be contacting you by email tomorrow..
    Betty H

  3. Stunning! - love seeing your art as you design the piece. Your art always inspires me and I love your mix of materials. I'm beyond words about the quilting - just fabulous.

  4. Well, I thought I was going to Philadelphia to meet and great, but now the real reason to go will be to see this! Can't wait.

  5. Beautiful work. You are so imaginative.