Thursday, September 8, 2011

'Brunelleschi's Broken Bicycle' 12x12" Art quilt

I made this quilt for the Aus_NZ Art Quilters yahoo group challenge. We all agree on a theme at the start of the year and then aspire to make one quilt per month to this theme. The best 5 of each person who wants to exhibit will be seen at next years Australian Quilting Convention in Jeff's Shed.

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.


  1. Very cool!!! And thanks for sharing your process too!!! Love your tyvek piece(s)!!

  2. Thanks Robbie! Your blog is brilliant too, as it your very cool looking Bichon!