Thursday, June 21, 2007

Many pictures, no title . . .

I'm taking an online art quilting class at Quilt University, and our second assignment was to design a small quilt from a sketch through to completion, using at least one supply item we really liked, noting our responses to each step of the process.
I began with a rough sketch of eyes on plant stalks, with the idea that I would use the inkjet printer fabric sheets to print out the eyes.

Then I pulled together some fabrics -- the blue-green piece is one I hand-painted years ago, using salt crystals for additional texture.

I fused the purple fabric to fusible web and cut out some freeform stems. I hiked up to the computer to print out some of the facial illustrations from Old-Time Anatomical Illustrations by Dover onto Jacquard InkJetPrinting sheets (cotton, pre-cut and stabilized, so one can just use them directly in any inkjet printer). I printed out two full faces, and cut out the facial features from one. I thought it might be cool to have different facial features, not just eyes, almost as though the whole face was there in different pieces on the stalks.

But I didn't like this design. The features seemed too big, too faint, and too disparate in shape and size to work in the design. So I went back to my eyes idea, and printed out some different eye illustrations onto another fabric sheet (hey, it's just fabric!). I cut these out and laid them out on the stalks -- much better! They just need some flowers to make them complete, so I put fusible web on a few different pieces of red fabrics and cut out some freeform flower petals from one of them.

Then I played around with the shapes, moving them around to see what I liked best. I cut out a new flower petal shape to replace one I wasn't happy with. Here is the final design, all fused together and ready for quilting.

I hunted for a suitable backing fabric, layered and pin-basted the quiltlet, and chose threads and quilting designs. I ended up with a purple rayon thread for the stems, which so closely matches the fabric that the quilting is very subtle, in ovoid spiral patterns -- I like the pattern, which is new for me, and it contributes to the organic feel of the stems. The flower petals just got some light channel quilting in metallic red thread, and I did a bit of outline stitching in invisible thread around the eyes, just to secure them. The background is quilted in aqua metallic thread in spirals and curves -- I pondered doing more waves or ocean-type quilting, but decided to follow the lines of the stems rather than create additional design lines for water or waves.

You can see the quilting lines more clearly from the back of the piece:

Finally, I bound the piece with a narrow, dark blue-green binding.

Now all it needs is a title, a label, and a hanging mechanism. Any ideas for a title?