Thursday, March 15, 2012

Swirl, Sniff, Sip

Quilt content!  Bet that's a surprise, huh?  But I recently finished a submission for an exhibit on the theme of "Rituals," and I thought I'd show you. It's 24x60 inches, which is 5 feet long.  Big!

As I thought about the rituals theme, I found myself thinking about the rituals associated with wine tasting.  I live in the wine country of northern California, so the wine industry is a huge part of life here.  When we moved here, we weren't huge wine drinkers... well, no more than the average household, I'd say.  But once we settled here, we made so many friends in the wine business -- wine makers and grape growers and buyers and  tasting room employees -- most folks here have some connection to the business.  We used to joke that we were the only people on our block that didn't own our own winery, which was almost true.

In any event, our wine palates have become educated and we have learned a lot about wine without even trying.  It's a way of life here.  So I got thinking about the shapes of wine glasses, and how there are reasons for using a specific shape for a specific wine, and the steps involved in properly tasting wine... and of course, it occurred to me also that a wine bottle was the perfect base shape for this tall, vertical size! 

Here are some of the progress shots.  I started with hand-dyed fabric, onto which I stenciled a swirly grape vine.  I stitched down a bottle, then used tulle to create the effect of a transparent champagne glass.

Here it is with all three glasses in place (I was wishing I'd put that white wine glass a bit more to the left, but oh well...)  I'm very pleased at how the tulle worked to make the glasses.  Each glass is a double layer of white tulle, which I outlined with white oil pastel crayon.

Using tissue paper outlines of the words I wanted to add, I tried various placement ideas.

And I ended up here, having stitched through the tissue paper, then pulled the tissue away to paint the words on with Lumiere gold textile paint.  I love that stuff.

You can see in the finished quilt above that I add some more swirls with a stencil, painting them in with a purple-gold Lumiere paint that gives a really interesting irridescent effect, and then I machine quilted it.  As usual, I got started in with machine quilting and ended up with a pretty dense quilted texture.  Here's a close-up:

I had a very fun time making this.  Gosh, I'm in the mood for a nice glass of zinfandel.  Wonder why?


  1. Fabulous quilt, Diane. Nicely done!

  2. Oh, I love this, Diane! I really like this size and shape. If they chose my favorites that I have seen so far it is going to be a great show.

  3. I really like this one- my eye just kept moving around, absorbing all the details. Very nicely done!

  4. Love this cause you know how I love my wine. I really love how you did the lettering with the gold paint.

  5. Fantastic. I just love it Diane. You have really mastered a nice collection of techniques and used them just perfectly on this piece. Great job. Congratulations!

  6. What a wonderful collection of photos describing your process. I especially like how you used the tulle to create the right amount of transparency. The quilt puts me in the mood for a robust pinot noir.

  7. This is beautiful! And such an impressive size. Cheers!

  8. Hi Diane, what a process! It is just beautiful! I check in from time to time, around life's business... Mary Lou

  9. I appreciated hearing about all the different techniques you used. This piece is a wonderful success.