Monday, 17 October 2011

Louise Mabbs Technicolour Dream Quilts

Another wonderful hidden gem I found at the Knitting & Stitching Show, was Louise Mabbs with her gorgeous quilt work. It was the colour that just 'popped right out at me'.

The picture above is Fibonacci A-Z sampler 1 - Bright’n Breezy 2011 (pun on living in Brighton & Hove!) She explains "I started this quilt in 2006 in London with my home class, shortly before moving to Hove and finished the samples when taught the class again in Hove in 2010. It was quilted in 2010-11.  This has at least 12 colours in the blocks, 6 shades of green/blue in the sashing and yellow cornerstones.  

She continues "I started another version in blues with my Hove class.  After I’d put together Fibonacci A-Z 1 and realised how lovely a wave type layout of the Fibonacci spiral would be. I remembered the colours & shape in Hokosai’s wave painting & wanted that sort of effect." 

I tried to keep up with my students this series, but had a very busy commissions schedule and set myself too many complex limits such as:
  • Use only blue & white splashy fabrics inspired by Hokosai’s famous painting.
  • A challenging colour layout - eventually the top & bottom rows will be made from dark blue fabrics, the second & forth mid blue blocks and the central row turquoise waves
  • I wanted the blocks to be offset ‘chasing’ waves.
So it ended up being so complicated to choose the right fabric for each block and I got behind.  Hopefully it will be ready for our next exhibition in 2012."

In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers are the numbers in the following integer sequence:0,\;1,\;1,\;2,\;3,\;5,\;8,\;13,\;21,\;34,\;55,\;89,\;144,\; \ldots\; (sequence OEISA000045).

A tiling with squares whose sides are successive Fibonacci numbers in length.

A Fibonacci spiral created by drawing circular arcs connecting the opposite corners of squares in the Fibonacci tiling; this one uses squares of sizes 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and 34. See golden spiral.

Louise is currently working on a book on Fibonacci and would be interested to hear from anyone with a piece they've made in any media who wants to contact her HERE for possible inclusion in the book. 
Louise at The Knitting & Stitching Show (left).  The Oakshot fabric pinwheels behind were made in 2011:
  • Twist & Shout 5 (Pinwheel 6) small square RH side
  • Twist & Shout 6 (Pinwheel 7) small diamond RH side
  • Twist & Shout 8 (Pinwheel 9) large square LH side
Here's some of her work on her website.
Rainbow Armadillo
Oasis Quilted Banners (working title)
Work In Progress 2008- Oasis Quilted Banners (working title)

She has written an amazing book Origami Quilts (USA Martingale)
Origami Quilts: 20 Folded Fabric Projects
Quilter's Guide to Twists and Tucks
There are very few copies of this book available now, but hopefully publishers will reprint it, maybe a paperback UK edition?

Where do you get your colour inspiration?

Louise doesn't use people's websites or books specifically but always taking it in wherever she is.  She collects pictures from magazine and postcards of artists work she likes or fabric samples. Depending on what she can get in a particular fabric range can dictate her theme. Her default is an extended rainbow of 10 colours, often reverting to black and white to clear her pallette. Blue and yellow are her most used colours.

Colour is the number one thing about her work, optical effect the second and texture/3 dimensionality the third.

I love Louise's work, I could just sit and stare at it for hours, I would love Rainbow Armadillo in my home.

Here are some really useful links I found with guides on quilting with colour.
A colour wheel
Quilt showing movement through the colour wheel, by Gail Lawther
Fabricchoice 002
No picture but really simple and clear explanation.
Colour Theory for Quilters by Julie Bedingham from BellaOnline.

Are there any colour links you could recommend?


Archie the wonder dog said...

Great post - I have a particular fondness for the Fibonacci Sequence! No online colour tips to share, I'm afraid, other than the design seeds palettes and the Dead Simple Quilt posts by Lynne@Lily's Quilts - well worth a read!

Jenny said...

Wow, how amazing are they? I really need to learn to quilt... it all looks quite complicated but you can produce the most beautiful patterns so I guess it will be worth learning!! As for colour, I just use colours I like really. I must subconsciously take colour inspiration from everywhere around me, but when I am working on a new design or commission, I just pick out a few fabrics or colours and see what works together! xx

Emma Thomsen said...

Hi Archie, thanks for dropping by, Lynne has some fabulous quilts - thanks for sharing.

Hi Jenny, it would be great to see what sort of quilt you would create, you naturally have a great eye for colour!

Quilt Inspiration said...

We just found your wonderful blog and your inspiring article on Louise Mabbs! Thanks for your great post. Per your suggestion we dropped her a line about a fibonacci quilt by Bet Ison, who we featured at Quilt Inspiration:
Regarding color tools... How about Joen Wolfrom's books on color, and her playing-with-color blog which is new this year: . She espouses the Ives Color Wheel (we're true believers).