Wall of Fire



Recently, I created an art quilt “Wall of Fire” to address the unimaginable events that really happen. Having been evacuated more than once due to Californian wild fires, the experience resulted in simplifying my life and artistic vision and focussing on sharing as much as possible.

By limiting the visual elements to the essential parts, I’m trying to create a more direct and a more vibrant piece.

By sharing the step-by-step approach hopefully YOU will be encouraged to address whatever is difficult in your life. - From an ancient Greek philosopher: “Be kind, for everybody you meet here is fighting a hard battle.”



1) Create a”quilt sandwich” of cotton backing, felt batting, silk font and tape it to a wooden stretcher.



2) Paint the background with three primary dyes (which are fairly transparent).



3) Use opaque acrylics (white and pearl tones) to paint the bottom flames.



4) Use an opaque silver tone to create smoke clouds. The blue of the upper background will be entirely overlayed to show how the smoke clouds cover the sky.



5) During a hand-dyeing workshop, I created over 300 different samples.



6) Using these cotton yarns and some leftovers to stitch the flames by hand - for me it’s a meditative activity.



7) The smoke clouds didn’t look evil enough. Painting wool and silk fiber makes them gooey and partially stick together, ideal for this purpose.



8) Start at the top, keep adding layers until the healthy blue sky is entirely hidden by the evil smoke clouds. Then appliqué more yarn to create ‘unity in diversity’.



9) The first and final image is taken by my professional photographer: Visual Simplicity.


Thanks for reading all the way to the end.

“Be kind, for everybody you meet here is fighting a hard battle.”

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© 2012 - 2020 by Maria Billings