Saturday, 1 August 2015

"Floral Fabric Frenzy": How could I resist?

Gerberas a foot wide, in five colourways. Delicious

When an email popped into my inbox with the subject line "Floral Fabric Frenzy", although it was a mass mailing from the American retailer eQuilter Fabrics, I took it personally. I wouldn't have summed up my abiding passion in quite such a trite phrase, but the sentiment was spot on*. Floral. Fabric. Frenzy. I wouldn't argue with any of those words. 

Typical fabrics from my stock, waiting to be made into quilts 

Not for me the mimsy sage greens and primrose yellows, the dainty sprigs and fainting violets. I want my flowers bold, in your face, I want them screaming and yelling, I want them orange and shocking pink, turquoise and cerise, scarlet and acid yellow, neon blue and fluorescent purple. I want them BIG and I want them BRIGHT.

Detail of my "Daisy's Quilt"

I think many of the Turkish women I surreptitiously photographed a few months ago in Ayvalik must also follow this design principle.

Their floral baggy trousers gathered at the ankles were worn with floral headscarves edged with hand-made floral crochet and often with floral blouses or cardigans. Nothing was prissily matched or harmonised, and I stood in awe and delight watching these groups of women strolling and stopping at colourful stalls in the brightly colourful market.

Which reminds me of  Mexico: I throw in these photos just for fun. (What do you think it was about Mexico that drew me there in the first place?)

But if you really, really want a Floral Frenzy, may I suggest turning to the art of Marc Quinn? Having discovered his art at Tate Liverpool a decade or so ago, I have been a firm fan. Among his self-portrait heads made out of frozen blood and the golden statues of Kate Moss, he captures the fleeting beauty of (dead) flowers for eternity by freezing them, or painting examples rendered perfect by genetic engineering.The main pieces in his current exhibition, Toxic Sublime, at the  White Cube Gallery Bermondsey are stunning in themselves, resembling huge, rigid "art" quilts, but what caught my attention was a flower print for sale in the bookshop. This led me to search Google images for his other flower works  - and what a treat. Be dazzled.

Love Bomb, Marc Quinn 
© Copyright 
Oliver Dixon and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence

Here too are some fabrics available at eQuilter - my favourite online store. Like going into a sweetie shop when you're on a diet, I look and my mouth waters but I manage (most of the time) to walk away...

'Garden of Earthly Delights' collection
by Studio KM for Free Spirit
'Pandora' collection by Chong-A Hwang
for Timeless Treasures

'Peony - Indiana'  by Paintbrush Studio
for Fabri-Quilt

'Amara' by De Leon Design Group for
Alexander Henry

'Greenwich'  by the De Leon Design Group for
Alexander Henry Fabrics

 'Pansies' by Philip Jacobs for Rowan Fabrics.

'Mexican Poppy'  by the De Leon Design Group
for Alexander Henry Fabrics

'Fresh Market Flowers 2' by Firetrail Designs
for Andover Fabrics

*eQuilter's subsequent mailing, "Flower Fairy Dreams", just didn't do it for me. Although, that said, one of my works in progress - dare I risk revealing this? - does include a fairy.

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