Mar 2, 2006


I started a new little quilt over the weekend and, inspired by my fellow Artful Quilters, I kept my camera handy and snapped pics along the way. Then I read Rayna Gilman's suggestion that we share thoughts and pictures of our working process on a quilt, so here it is. I'm trying something new with my picture posting, so apologies in advance if it doesn't work.

The last piece I showed, Kiwi Laguna was a bit of a departure for me as it grew out of a piece of fabric I painted and stamped. In the ordinary course of events I'm much more likely to start with a plan, a picture in my head. Sometimes my head-picture develops slowly because I want to make a quilt based on a particular idea and other times pictures just pop into my head. When a picture just pops in there, it's usually pretty well developed, but the details are fuzzy and things change as I begin working and the quilt starts telling me how it wants to be made. Once I started with a picture of a man and by the time the quilt was made he had turned into a woman. I can't explain it, it just happens and I go with it.

I had an idea a few weeks ago for a self-portrait quilt (I'm always running a bit behind - everyone else made their self-portraits last summer so they could send them to Quilting Arts). This is a bit of a practice piece for some other bigger ideas I have running around in my head. I'm really interested in heavy patterning like Alfredo Arreguin does in his paintings. I'd like to try the same sort of thing in fabric with embroidery. Here's a preliminary sketch of Miss-Nose-in-a-Book. Obviously I don't sketch out all the details, just the big shapes that I need to get right. I prefer to have some sort of pattern for the big shapes - if I just start cutting it doesn't turn out the way I want it to. So I draw and when I get it right, I trace, onto Wonder Under in this case, but onto freezer paper if I want to to needleturn.

Once I have a preliminary idea where I'm going, I play around with fabric choices.

Here are some more sketches, trying out different vein patterns on some big jungle leaves. I'm really loving big jungle leaves right now.

And here's my lovely purple head with an excellent big jungle leaf sticking out of it! As I was cutting the first big jungle leaf I thought "oh, that looks like Jane Sassaman" and then I had to stop and run to the library to check out Ms. Sassaman's The Quilted Garden because I haven't read it for a while. So I left myself here with this leaf sticking out of my head overnight.

Sunday I made several more big jungle leaves and played around until I liked the placement. Here you can see I'm cutting away the behind parts. I'm leaving a tiny bit of space between the leaves rather than letting them overlap because in all my head-pictures the big jungle leaves have sort of a woodcut look to them.

Here are the big jungle leaves and the purple head fused down, waiting for more details to be added. I've started to play with some wispy pink bits of hair. The pink hair bits are the kind of shape I don't need to sketch first, I just cut bits and play around with them until they look right. And that's where my self-portrait is for now. Tonight I head for the Snake River Rendezvous for a quilting maybe I'll have further process photos in a few days.


Karoda said...

Enjoy your retreat! The leaves are fantastic and I'll look forward to seeing your process.

jenclair said...

The leaves do have that "woodcut" look, and I love the open texture. Also, the colors -green, purple, and red -mmmmmmmm, wonderful.

Kat said...

I like the leaves too - they give more texture and depth with the woodcut look.

Caitlin said...

Snap! I just got out Jane Sassaman's book too! I lovelovelove these jungle leaves, this is looking liek a really EXCITING project!

Rayna said...

I LOVE watching the progress on this piece. Your sense of humor is really coming through here. I must admit that when I looked at the pieces of fabric you had laid out I could not imagine how you were going to end up -what fun!
I laughed at how your man turns out to be a woman - you're right, you just have to go with the flow.

Diane said...

I can't wait to see how this looks when you get further... I love how it's looking so far!