Wednesday, 16 May 2012

My time is up

Well, it seems a long time ago since the latest International Quilt Challenge theme was announced, and I have been struggling with time, ever since.  "Time" was the theme, and my initial thought was of childhood (also a long time ago) and my fascination with dandelion clocks.  However, my very talented friend, Sue Martin, interpreted this theme so beautifully and independently that I decided I'd best change tack.

I came across this memento of my maternal grandmother, who had a good sense of humour, and it started me on a train of thought about inheritances, objects from the past and good advice.  The round tuit is a procrastination preventative: : now you have one, you no longer have an excuse to put off doing things...

We went to Denmark at Easter, to visit my daughter who is spending a year studying in Copenhagen as part of her degree course.  We visited the National Museum, which had some wonderful displays of artefacts including Roman bronze articles with glorious aged patinas.
These in turn reminded me of some Chinese bronzes I saw a couple of years ago at a museum and art gallery in the Cotswolds (the name of which escapes me at present).  Sadly, photography was not permitted, but I long to return to maybe sketch these beautiful surfaces.

 I decided to have a go at dyeing some fabrics with a verdigris effect but the results, above, were strangley far from successful - pale and washed out, with the exception of the fine silk organza.  That was the clue - my dyes were for protein fibres, not cellulose, and my procion dyes were hiding from me.  I did have some habotai which took the dye reasonably well, but I was concerned that this would not stand up to heavy stitching, so I had to think again.

In one of my local fabric shops (The Spinning Weal) I found this verdigris-like patchwork fabric and also another stone-like one, for a background.

In fact, I had hoped to use a piece of cloth already in my possession for the background, but my house had eaten it and, after a number of days looking for it (more time wasted) once I had got my new cloth home and stitched, the missing length appeared somewhere I had looked several times for it...  Anyway, I used a variegated YLI quilting thread to free machine stitch "I'll do it when I get around to it" or "When I get around to it, I'll do it."

On the green disc, I meander-quilted and then stitched the words: tempus fugit - do it!"
I came to realise that this could reasonably actually be a time piece and had fun and games working out how to do this, which involved finding a clock mechanism and hands (from Maplin) - although the second hand was a discordant red and so I painted it silver.

In Hobbycraft, I found a 12" square box frame to contain my fabric piece and was able to drill a hole in the mid-centre of the backing board through which to pass the clock mechanism spindle, and then made holes through both cream and green quilted sandwiches to pass it through as well.

So my time piece is a time piece - a clock, to remind me to seize the moment and not waste time or opportunities.  During the time I was making it, my son and husband both celebrated significant birthdays and we heard of the sad death of a good friend.  It seems apt to have made this now.  It's a shame it took so much time.  In the end, time was of the essence, in more ways than I thought when I started out.

Now for the next challenge: Landmarks.  Best get my thinking cap on!


Gill said...

Bravo Sue!

The museum was Compton Verney and photograph is now allowed in those Chinese rooms! didn't we have a lovely day there? we should do it again!

Julie said...

How wonderful! A timepiece in more ways than one and so appropriate for a quilter too!