click pics to enlarge
For my first quilt for the year (hey I'm a late starter and arranging a wedding got in the way a little!) I chose Italy and Florence in particular. One of the things that surprised me while honeymooning over there was the sheer number of broken bicycles that littered the streets - generally still chained to bike racks. Some corners had four or five formerly very expensive bicycles with wheels kicked in or bent frames.
To make this I:
• Cut bikes from a pre-printed fabric and fused them with fusible web to a backing fabric, I pleated and creased them before ironing down to abstract and 'break' the bikes.
• I made a bike wheel with Expander Paint (by Setacolor), I put some into a folded trough of aluminium foil, added a little black Jacquard Dye-na-flow paint and mixed. I stamped the bike outlines using a bamboo cooking skewer that I bent into arcs for the wheel.
• I ironed the Expander Paint to raise it (it's like 80's puff paint on steroids!) and then painted the middle of the tyre with gel medium with a tiny amount of gold paint mixed in followed by a gloss varnish.
• Rather than conventional binding I sewed around the edges and then bordered them with leather tonging that has been couched down. I figured leather was something else quintessentially Italian.
I wanted the worn look of stamping for the tyre as so much of Italy is, while beautiful, very old and worn without a lot of the upkeep that we saw much of in places like Paris. This was very noticeable in the main museums over there when compared with places like the Lourve.