Hannah Overman Koch

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sun and Sea

     This is one of many ideas I have about what I would like my "art quilts" to look like.  A real attempt for me to incorporate my hand dyed fabrics, commercial fabrics and all the "treasures" I collect wherever my path may take me!  (Truth be told - I am one of those people who looks at the ground as I walk, looking for little pieces of metal and non-gross items to pick up and use in my artwork!)  It may be the texture that catches my eye, anything round or just simply something rusty.  Read here about how I would go with my daughters on treasure hunts and end with what I titled a "Discovery Vase".
     After following Deborah Boschert and being so inspired by her work.  I decide to take the plunge and create my own art quilt with my various ideas and found objects.  Mrs. Boschert is part of the group Twelve by Twelve, where her and 11 friends create 12x12 quilts on various themes every 2 months or so.  They just compiled a book titled Twelve by Twelve The International Art Quilt Challenge.  Click on the link and you will see it on the right side.  I purchased it recently and it really is a feast for the eyes!  So many interpretations!!  Very inspirational!!!

And here is my first real attempt at an art quilt....  still so much to learn.....

Sun and Sea


Materials used:  hand dyed fabric, commercial fabric, burlap, silk gauze, dark-annealed steel wire, buttons, shells, rocks, various beads, fabric paint, various sewing and embroidery threads, twine

A detail photo of the "sun"

Another detail photo of an attached treasure

Sea written in wire and attached with twine

Porous shells and pebbles.  Some thread trash also used. 

Most wrapped in wire and or hand dyed fabric.

back view

Self critique:  Very raw, which has a good appeal but still needs a more polished look.  Binding is troublesome.  Is the theme too obvious, needs more subtlety?  Not enough variety, too many horizontal lines maybe?  Sleeve too long in back.  Needs more texture with hand stitching.  Nice attachment techniques.  Needs more free-motion quilting.

Rebuttal:  I strongly dislike binding and is probably a large part of why I have taken this long to create an art quilt.  I also find difficulty in placing the sleeve on the back in just the right location.  I enjoy the gray background and love the raw edges.

I am happy to have a finished piece under my belt and know that I am one step closer to gaining more knowledge and experience in this interesting world of art quilts and "assemblage" if I may.

Looking for the small treasures in this world on this artist holiday,


  1. I really love this Hannah. I love the colors, the texture, the fabric, shells, especially the wire 'sea'. Very nice. You know I'm colorblind, is it blue or purple?

  2. Thanks! Well the background overall is gray. The 2 almost center stripes are shades of blue. One is more ultramarine blues and the other is more aqua blues. But I could see where the gray looks a tad purple, especially in the photo.

  3. It just beautiful, Hannah! Great job. I especially love all the little bundles of embellishments you've included. I agree, the binding is a bit troublesome. There are several ways to finish the edges of an art quilt. You do not have to use a traditional binding! You can explore the 12x12 website for tons of examples. I agree that more free motion quilting and some hand stitching could add interesting textures and layers of design, but I think it's pretty wonderful as it is. The theme is obvious, but that's not bad. If you wanted to be just a bit more subtle, you could take out the word sea. (though I can tell it's beautifully formed and I like it on its own) I think it's especially interesting to look at your header photo and the quilt together -- they certainly complement each other!