Wednesday, June 27, 2018

“Drawn to the Light”

“Drawn to the Light”
Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2018
30" x 50"
This is my latest work, “Drawn to the Light,” which was recently juried in to the Best of Dinner@8 Artists’ exhibition. It will debut at International Quilt Festival in the fall. This is a whole cloth painted quilt (which means it was painted on white fabric) and then free-motion machine quilted. 

It features 13 moth species:

Row one, from top left:
Rosy maple moth (Dryocampa rubicunda) – pink and yellow; upper left
Comet moth (Argema mittrei) or Madagascan moon moth – yellow with brown spots; upper middle
Emperor moth (Saturnia pavonia) – orange and pink; upper right

Row two, from left:
Atlas two column (Attacus atlas) – orange and yellow with white spots; left
Luna moth (Actias luna) – green; middle
Garden tiger moth (Arctia caja) – orange, brown and white; right

Row three, from left:
Blue tiger moth (Dysphania percota) - blue with some yellow; left
Spanish moon moth (Graellsia isabellae)– green with chocolate brown and black; right

Row four, from left:
Oleander hawk moth (Daphnis nerii– green camouflage pattern; left
Giant leopard moth  (Hypercompe scribonia)– black, white and light blue; right

Row five:
Spiny oakworm moth (Anisota stigma) – rusty orange and yellow; left
Green carpet moth (Colostygia pectinataria) – greens; middle
Io moth (Automeris io) – yellow and orange with black spots; right

Here are a few photos of the piece in progress. I drew the moths from specimen photos, then scanned my line drawings and digitally positioned them within the 30x50" space. I printed out the design full size, and stretched fine cotton fabric on top, and painted the moths. For detailed information about my process, see my blog post “FAQs: Wholecloth Painting” here:

This is the first piece I free-motion machine quilted on my new BERNINA 770 QE machine. The extra space (10 inches to the right of the needle!) and the bobbin, which holds 70% more thread  than a normal bobbin, really come in handy on a large piece like this. 

The background is densely quilted in a pattern to suggest cross-hatching. I chose it because it looks a bit like screen, and I am used to seeing moths on my screen doors in the summer. 

A catalog of the exhibition will be available later this summer. I’ve already seen a number of the pieces that were juried in on social media, and it’s going to be a fabulous show!