|Fabric, hand stamped, then painting in all the white spaces|
|Above fabric, completed, and lining handwoven bag|
|Collaborative with Sheila Shuman.|
I am a moderate planner, as far as my working style goes. I usually plot and plan things to a certain point, and then I allow serendipity to take a part in the creation of one of my pieces. In other words, I allow unplanned things to happen and even change my direction totally in a piece, even if I'm half way through making something. In the beginning of screen printing week, I had no plan other than "what happens if..." By the middle of the week, I began drawing some mild inspiration from my doodles. I doodle eyes in the margins of my papers all the time. I doodle cartoonish human outlines. For some strange reason, I thought it was a good idea to combine the two.
|The result of stencil and stamps on silk screen|
I took some heat and bond, and ironed it onto the back of a piece of light blue fabric. I then cut out the same stencil shapes of the figure on the screen printed panel. Finally I ironed those onto a piece of yellow fabric, and proceeded to draw lines using a sharpie marker. This was my test. Placing batting and a backing under the mock-quilt-top, I began to experiment. I tested my free-motion foot. I experimented with the regular presser foot to make lines. And then I decided how I was going to create my 'sketch.' After a bit, I was rather pleased with the results, so I figured it was safe to begin plotting out my quilt.
I decided the panel would be attached to the background as an applique. But how would I make it look integrated? Once I pinned the panel to the background, and pinned that to the wall. I stepped back. Interesting. The panel almost disappears because there's too much going on in the background fabric. So I decided to see what it would look like with a small strip of color edging one side of the panel. All I had on hand at the moment was a little bit of pink. Crazy enough, the pink actually worked! So I kept it. I love it when stuff like that happens.
|Letting the quilt tell me where to stitch|
Attaching the applique to the background with basting stitches, I then added my batting and backing. Where to start? The center of course. I noticed the background had subtle oval shapes hidden amongst all the chaos. I decided I'd turn these into more eyes. The rest of the stitching would just happen as I went along, changing colored threads on a whim. I chose a purple thread to do my 'sketching' of the figure. However, it wasn't turning out as I thought it should.
"Well, you know, a sketched line has thick parts and thin parts depending on how you hold a pen or pencil and what angle the tip is at when you make that line," Barbara said to me, as I was mulling over how to fix it.
"You know, I think that's exactly what I'm missing," I said. I sat down and began going over some of my lines until I had thick areas tapering into thin areas. The more I worked, the more I liked what I was seeing. However, it was costing me a lot of precious time. True to myself, I chose to be over-ambitious with my project.
So as usual, I spent extra time in the studio, trying to get as much finished as I could. Unfortunately, I didn't complete my quilt by the end of the week. But that's O.K. Now I have something to work on at home in the evenings, much to my delight. My sewing machine fits in a corner of my kitchen, so it's not as if it's in the way or anything. Well, the husband might disagree with that statement, but I told him at least it's not a floor loom or a spinning wheel. He just mumbled something and shook his head as he walked away from the pile I made in front of the corner hutch. Besides, I have to finish it so I can be sure to post a picture of the completed quilt when I'm done, regardless of how it turns out. :) After all, what's one more pile of fiber arts supplies? Right?
|work in progress|