01 Jun

Water: Sustainer and Destroyer

My contribution to the current 12 x 12 challenge. This one is all about the concept. Life cannot exist without water, yet water has the power to destroy as well.

Water: Sustainer and Destroyer

I could have gone for dramatic imagery, but instead, I chose to keep the imagery rather generic and to create this quilt (or more properly, assemblage) out of things that are affected by water. Of course, since we are an art quilt group, the things are all related to sewing.

Water detail

The “top” is appliqued with circles of sheer fabrics, to include a stabilizer painted in a water-ring pattern with water soluble paints. It is embellished with pearls glued on with basting glue that releases when wet. I colored the piece with water color pencils and a fabric marker that disappears when rinsed or sprayed with water. The “batting” is water soluble stabilizer.

Water -- backlit

The quilting is done with water soluble thread on top and a variegated thread in the bobbin.

(Because of the sheer fabrics, I think this looks especially nice backlit.)


The backing fabric is a silk scarf which I marbled — a process that requires paint to be floated on water.

This is what the piece looks like now, representing the sustaining quality of water. But eventually, I’m pretty sure I’ll need to douse it in water and document it’s demise to show the destructive power. I’m thinking that I should wait until it has a chance to travel across two oceans and then I’ll photograph it at the beach, or perhaps find a waterfall which can be part of the process of destroying the piece. Performance art. Who knew we’d go there.

My post on 12 x 12 is the same, but you must go visit and see the other eleven quilts!

9 thoughts on “Water: Sustainer and Destroyer

  1. Kristin, it’s gorgeous and love the concept… and please do record the performance art potion of the project when you find a suitable spot across the world… and I would love to see a picture of this against a window, must look stunning!

  2. Just lovely! You have such a nice way of telling about what you are doing and it is lovely for beginners like me who have so much to learn!

  3. beautiful quilt Kristin (I love blues) carefully thought out great concept too, thanks for all the details, it would look good at a window with the light behind it, I’m not sure I’d have the heart to destory it but you could tape the demise or even only wet part of it, best thoughts Frances,

  4. this piece is beautiful, but I am afraid you’re right about the destroying part… you should make a video of it then, so we have the chance to see it “happen”.
    though… it’s kind of sad, no?!

  5. i think this is my favorite thing so far. what a combination of techniques and materials. i am interested to see the future stages of this piece. perhaps if there is anything left you can frame it’s remains.
    i like the intended impermanent quality of this piece. some of the shibori pieces i am doing right now have a sort of impermanence to them as well in that the texture and shape can be altered and of course textiles do degrade in time anyway…
    beautiful too!

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