Joan Brailsford – Motion – The golden age of steam

When this month’s topic was announced, I immediately had a picture in my mind of what I wanted use, to convey a sense of movement. I am very fond of the art deco style, and have seen images of trains and transport from that era, and in particular the title sequences of the TV show ‘Hecules Poirot’ (sorry if this is a bit low-brow!).

The title of the piece seemed obvious me, and so I wanted the piece to have a golden glow. For that reason I wanted the train to have an industrial colour-way, but the rest of the piece to be a warm yellow colour, so I included the sun and sunbeams as part of the motif.  The whole piece needed to have strong, clean lines with geometric patterning where possible.

I researched images of that style and made a sort of composite of some that I thought depicted the movement I wanted. I used a single piece of fabric for the train engine, and pieced the carriage separately. I stitched the outlines of the train features, and used acrylic paint to define the engine parts and the shading. I used transfer coloured, and spattered sheers for the steam, tunnel and sunbeams, and hand dyed cotton for the sun. I added extra lines of quilting to echo the lines of the sunbeams. To finish I used a fabric with a geometric pattern for the border, but one which was not stark, and which has a warm tone.

I did not want to ‘complicate’ the design by adding more quilting, because that did not fit in with the art deco style which I had in mind. I hope that this can be forgiven.


Close up view:

steam-close-up1  steam-close-up-2

  1. Joan, this very much an interpretation of Art Deco, did you look at posters from that era? Love the balance of the composition.

  2. Oh, Joan, it’s just right! I am a big fan of “Poirot” in the series with David Suchet…so I know exactly what you had in mind, and I do believe you’ve interpreted it perfectly!

  3. A very good interpretation ! you have caught perfectly the Art deco spirit and your train is so realistic !

  4. I like the train and the vivid movement in this quilt! Well done.

  5. I also love the Art Deco and I think your quilt has a perfect interpretation of that style. A beautiful piece!

  6. Great, love the art deco feel of the piece!

  7. Me too love the art deco feeling of this piece Joan. Especially the sheers of the steam are such a beautiful interpretation.

  8. Yes Joan, the image is certainly Art Deco. One of the cities in NZ has an Art Deco week and your quilt matches the posters to be seen in Napier. I thought Art Deco as soon as the quilts came up on our site. Another stunning quilt!

  9. Joan, you have certainly succeeded in conveying the idea of motion! The color works well, as do the simple lines. I like this a lot!

  10. English quilter

    Joan I love the contrast between the industrial engine and the sunshine and carriage. The way you created the steam is very clever, and the piece has just the right amount of quilting. You captured motion very well in this piece.

  11. Joan, I really love what you have been doing. The composition, the colour and the way you quilted it, makes it a strong and eye-catching piece, which certainly is motion in an Art Deco style. I hear the whistle and the hissing steam.

  12. Lovely idea for movement. I can almost smell the smoke!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: