For the past few weeks I have been working on a small piece for an online group I belong to called 12 by the Dozen. Every three months we challenge each other to make a small stitched piece from a nominated theme; currently we are thinking about architecture, and more specifically a man named Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He was commonly referred to as Mies, and along with Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is regarded as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture and is remembered as the last director of the Bauhaus.
Find out more abut him and his work: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Mies_van_der_Rohe
Finding out more about Mies, his life and work has been very interesting and led me to try something new. The buildings he designed were quite extrordinary at the time and had a huge influence on the architecture we see today. Some of his most famous buildings are: Barcelona Pavilion, Crown Hall, Farnsworth House, Highfield House, 860–880 Lake Shore Drive, One Charles Center, Seagram Building, New National Gallery, Toronto-Dominion Centre, Tugendhat House, Westmount Square. (Clicking on the names will take you to images of the buildings)
The members of the group 12 by the Dozen. interpreted his work in so many different ways, which is also fascinating. The 12 by the Dozen blog (https://12bythedozen.blogspot.com) you will see all the different quilts made. For my piece I decided to try the beautiful Korean art form of patchwork known as Pojagi, also called Bojagi or Jogakbo.
My choice was influenced by Mies's use of light and open space in the design of his buildings, which I also see in the beautiful pojagi wrapping cloths. Instead of using the traditional silk or ramie I decided to try sing the cotton organdie fabric that is my current favourite. It worked really nicely, but wasn't the easiest to stitch!
For my piece I chose to add a little colour. Taking the colour palette from the beautiful marble walls in the Barcelona Pavilion I screen printed some white cotton organdie with a breakdown screen. It yielded the beautiful fabric above. In keeping with traditional pojagi I improvised the cutting and stitching and used a flat felled seam. It proved too difficult to stitch neatly by hand, so I stitched by machine. I don't think it is as attractive as a hand stitched seam, but it does, at least, add another linear element to the overall design.
The rest of the piecing was more planed as I wanted to reference the order and symmetry that was part of Mies van der Rohe's design philosophy, which is easy to see in the building below
As traditional pojagi is a single layer of fabric I decided to add a second layer to hang behind. I stitched Mies van der Rohe, sitting on one of his iconic chairs (also designed by him).
This is the finished quilt- it looks best when back lit. I quite like the garden in the background too!
Thanks for reading