Art Quilt: Study for a Finding

 It started with a shell fragment. A piece of mussel shell found on my walk by the Bay. We hadn't been on the complete loop since before the pandemic, keeping the walks short for a year and a half. But here we were by Marina Bay, closer to where the gulls drop their food to crack it open. Many fragments. The shininess and the gradations called to me.

I began to draw and paint with watercolor marker in my journal. But it wanted something more. I've been sewing sleeves for and on all my quilts so far, getting ready for a solo show in September, but I needed a break to make.

I painted watercolor ground onto cotton, then drew the mussel shell fragment over and over. A small quilt, perhaps? I took out the Raven black dye and dyed up a few pieces of cotton and one piece of silk, then found some dyed scraps from another project. I began, not knowing how it would end up.

Study for a Finding
16"w x 28"h (40.5 cm x 71 cm)
Hand-dyed cotton, flannel, silk; watercolor ground, graphite, watercolor marker, glitter pen, acrylic gloss medium; sashiko thread; hand and machine quilted

diamond wave (upper left) and fish scale stitches (bottom left)

I used the silk for the binding, and for a few interior pieces.

And the back.

Now I have to sew a sleeve for it, too.


laura said…
This is amazing.
Alisa said…
Thank you, laura!
Liz A said…
as I write this, there are shells sitting on the table beside me, gathered on Folly Beach, South Carolina last week ... some of which I have already wrapped in your waxed linen thread ... gifted to me by my daughter

and now I'm considering your mussel studies, as I hope to stitch impressions of these shells, holding memory ... thank you for your good example ... that I just need to get to it
Alisa said…
Liz A,
You've painted a picture in words already! So sweet. Thanks for that. Warm wishes for some satisfying stitching—Alisa