Thursday, October 21, 2010

Three Creative Studios - Music Theme Challenge

jubilation - ˌjoōbəˈlā sh ən
a feeling of great happiness and triumph.

"Jubilation" (16.5" X 15")
Initially I was quite excited about the music theme 3 Creative Studios had chosen for our fifth challenge quilt for 2010.  Thinking the category would be easy to come up with something wonderful, my gears started turning.  Quickly I realized how difficult it would be to narrow myself down to one idea! With only two weeks remaining before deadline, I convinced myself to run with my first idea and forget all other possibilities.

I have always loved and appreciated music in all forms and cultures.  Instrumental, vocal, group or solo, synthetic or natural.  Admittedly, I prefer and assimilate some music genres over others, but it has always amazed me how seven pure notes on the scale have been arranged in countless ways to deliver music across this globe and yet remain endless in future creative compositions.  Perhaps it is the same thread of wonder I experience knowing seven colors of the rainbow comprise the myriad beauty of art and life as a whole.

Synesthesia occurs when rare people (thought to be linked to genetic cross wiring of the senses) see music, sounds or the spoken word as color.  Some can also taste colors.  The mysteries of life are complex to say the least so I tend to hang onto my faith, believing God created everything, man and beast, music and color, all for our enjoyment and benefit.  Which brings me back to my original idea for this music themed art piece.

As a child I noticed the sweet pure melodies of various bird songs in the background of my outdoor activities.  My adult ears, over time, have learned to identify some of the birds that are speaking on the wind and can even interpret some of their language.  I try to mimic some on occasion. Ravens are especially fun to 'talk' with.  When I sing or whistle, I'm usually in a happy mood.  Sometimes I sing to get myself in a happy mood.  Listening to birdsong always, without fail, puts me in a happy mood because I sense theirs ~ singing their praises to life and creation.  It brings to mind the scripture I have used as my foundation for this art piece:

Psalm 98:4 - Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music.

Ephesians 5:19 - Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.

Construction of "Jubilation" began with a hand-dyed green fabric, rubber stamped with a leaf print using a foil adhesive, left to dry and then gold foiled with an iron.  The chickadee (my favorite bird) and leaf applique were results of previous class exercises, tossed aside for just this project!  Various options for musical notes were available to me but I decided the commercial fabric I had on hand saved time and created what I was hoping for, appliqued to look like a song.  I free-motion quilted around the bird, leaves and musical notes using a batting foundation to create a relief.  After deckle edging the quilt-let, I fused it to an orange print fabric, scalloped the edge, then fused that to an orange felt backing.  The edged quilt-let was sewn to the inner green print fabric, border strips were added, thus completing the top.  After layering the quilt sandwich, I machine quilted in the ditch along the borders. Using a green fabric calligraphy pen, I hand lettered the quotes without pre-marking, which in all honesty made me a bit nervous thinking I might mess up the whole project with a misspelled word or poor spacing!  A #1 black Pigma pen outlined the lettering for clarity.  Clear mono-filament thread created a freestyle quilted border around the quotes.  Final embellishment was hand sewing a glass ladybug on a leaf.  This little quilt makes me feel light-hearted.  It's a keeper.


  1. This is a lovely quilt Judy! I really like the rounded edges.

  2. Thanks Sue. If it weren't for a creative challenge deadline... I doubt this sweetie would have been made, and I really like it!

  3. I really like the music coming out of the chickadee. I agree, a keeper!