Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Selvages, a SAQA Auction Piece, and a question (or two)

Note:  For those who may want to skip to the questions(s)...just scroll down to the end of the post!

Okay, so lately I've been playing with selvages...or selvedges if you come from across the pond. 

I started out with a simple plan: 

Take a piece of fabric and cut off the selvage along with a bit of the adjacent fabric (so we're talking about a strip anywhere from .75 to 1.5 inches wide).

Use a piece of muslin as a backing and then line up the selvages side by side -- placing the finished edge of each selvage over the cut edge of its selvage neighbor and then zig-zag the finished edges down to make a "selvage fabric."


close-up of overlapping selvage pieces zig-zagged onto backing fabric

 








Some "selvage" fabric


  The "selvage fabric" made some pretty good pin cushion tops....






Fun, but then I wanted to try something different...

So I took the selvages and laid them out in a less organized manner, to form a funkier selvage look:



A little "funky" selvage fabric

 And from there, I began cutting up the funky selvage fabric and piecing it with some non-selvage material:



The result is that some of the pieced selvages have become the basis for my 12"x 12" 2013 SAQA Auction quilt.  

But here's the question:

At this point, the unbound quilt looks like this:


Sample 1:  no added elements
 It's quilted and I'll be adding a faced finish.  So essentially, except for a little trimming (perhaps a 1/4 inch for the seam allowance on the facing), the piece is as above.

 But I'm wondering if there's too much empty space on the left and right sides.  Perhaps adding a touch of red would make a difference...maybe something along these lines:  



Sample 2:  red additions
I'd love to hear if you have a preference...or any feedback for that matter.

I have a few ideas for a title too.  Maybe:


"Sa/elvaged"
or
"Salvaged/Selvaged"
or 
"Sa?elvaged"


If you'd like to weigh in on that...feel free to do so!  Your comments will be much appreciated --- and I'll update you on the decision.

Cheers,

Debbie

 

24 comments:

  1. Hi Debbie,I think your piece is nice but the background fabric is visually bulky and makes the other parts be invisible to my eyes.
    I think that the two red strips could add balance and drive the attention to the objects between them taking away the eyes from the background. :)

    Silvia
    http://www.orkaloca.com

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    1. Thanks Silvia....

      I think you've made a very interesting (and on-target) observation about the visual bulkiness of the background fabric and the potential for the red strips to add some balance.
      Thanks!
      D.

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  2. I know 12" is only a very small piece - but really, I think it needs much more complication. So, don't fiddle with this one any more - put it aside, and do another, put that side too and try several more .... Just let yourself GO and se what happens over several pieces - do one, put it aside, do another, and another - then see what's best of what you have, quilt and finish that one and put it in!

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    1. Hi Alison...

      I agree -- letting things sit for awhile is incredibly useful. Although I didn't wind up doing additional pieces, I did audition various additions (and taking photos of the different iterations) -- that seemed to help a lot.

      Thanks for weighing in on this!
      D.

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  3. I like it better with the red side stripes. I think it balances it out. I would also consider quilting it in a heavy red thread. I like the second name the best.

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    1. Thanks Norma -- I appreciate the feedback! I'm intrigued by the notion of quilting in heavy red thread. It's worth a try!

      D.

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  4. Debbie, I love it before the red strips - I love it after, too, but if I have to have an opinion, I'd say the red strips draw too much attention from what's happening in the middle - what about trying narrower black strips on either side?
    It's totally great. Makes me want to cut some selvages. Also, I could see it hanging from a curved branch, like those Asian textile hangers. (Hey, you could wrap the branch in selvages?)
    The titles are clever. I vote for the third - I'm a sucker for question marks!
    Thanks for letting me weigh in!!! It's great!

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    1. Thanks Cathy,

      Your suggestion of narrow black strips is intriguing. I'm going to audition them and see how it goes.

      Thanks! Also like the idea of a curved branch or some Asian inspired hanger --- love the idea of wrapping a hanging device using selvages...very clever. (If not for this piece, then definitely for another!)

      Thanks for the kind words!
      Debbie

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  5. I like the added red. Nice selvedging.

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    1. Thanks Sandra ---
      The selvages were great fun to work with!

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  6. I like the "pop" of the extra red! Great idea overall........
    Janice/Houston

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  7. Hi! As you know, I really like your ideas and designs and especially the pin cushion! I have no real opinion on how to best finish the piece but I do have an opinion on the title. I'd recommend NONE of them. Why? Because you will not be able to save a digital file with any of these titles. Most photo programs cannot accommodate the slashes or the question mark. I know. I titled an installation "I Do / I Don't" and had to use a different title "I Do and I Don't" for the images. Although this might not sound like a "big deal", for those who spend time on selecting a perfect title and are really into words/text and the relationship between title and artwork, it is an unfortunate problem that the images cannot be saved by the selected name. My suggestions for another title are "Edged" or "On the Edge" or "From the Edge" or "Edgy" or something else that refers to both the selvage and the act of salvaging. Hope this makes sense!
    Susan

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    1. Wow Susan...hadn't thought about this; thanks, this is very useful info.

      (Unfortunately, didn't actually get to this comment until after the piece was submitted...drat. But I can tell you right now that I'll be keeping it in mind for my next submissions). Liked your title suggestions --- so one (or more) may wind up on another selvage piece.

      D.

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  8. I think the piece looks much better with the red or you could include some more of a mixture.

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    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts Sybil!
      D.

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  9. I agree that it needed something more and I think adding the 'red' really improved it.

    I do wonder how it would look if you also tried adding a VERY, VERY thin slice of black fabric to outside edge of one or more of the following:

    (1)the very bottom piece of salvage fabric.
    (2)the outside edges of the 2 red side pieces.
    (3)add a very thin slice of black fabric to the outside edge of all 3 pieces. Too much?

    Just some thoughts. Whatever you do, it should look great with the facing added.

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    1. Hi Gloria,

      I was intrigued with your idea and tried a couple of iterations of thin strips in black and also in red - both on the selvage fabric and also around the edges.

      Probably won't use that idea on this piece, but I may "steal" your suggestion for another selvage abstract.

      Thanks!
      D.

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  10. Um...I sort of like the touch of red, but maybe not so much. Perhaps just a sliver or two on each side. As big as the red is now, it seems to overpower the original composition, but I agree it is a little bare without something out there on the sides. As for the title, um..not sure I can help you with that one unless, perhaps you found a couple of words that describe the same thing. I do love seeing art made with the selvedges, nice piece.

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    1. Hi Deb! Good to see you here!

      I think you observation is exactly right. Too bare with nothing...but too clunky with the red. I'm playing with it some more.

      D.

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  11. Random commenter here: I think less is more. (Unless perhaps the red bits were not longer than the center piece.)

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    1. Hi Rebecca...
      You may feel like a random commenter, but I think your comment is on target. I'm feeling as though the red may be too heavy. Working now on keeping the red but making it more "delicate."

      Debbie

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