This was an interesting experiment and let me say when I begin an idea for a new quilting genre I always pick the hardest sample to see if I can achieve a suitable result.
This is the image I began with. Ideally is not the best image to work with, simply because of the angle of his arm. But this is a gift for his Mum and this photo was taken when he was displaying exuberance at being at an event we had been anticipating for some time.
So I have an emotional component in the image. We, the family, all understand his reaction in this photo and it brings a smile to our faces when we see it.
This is the changed image I used and in retrospect it might have been better on a black background.
I traced the image onto a piece of cream fabric. Shadow Play by Maywood. I chose this fabric because its accepts the ink well and it’s a reasonable tight weave fabric.
The pen I used is a pigment ink pen. I can draw on fabric as if I’m drawing on paper. It has a rounded end and rolls across the fabric. Micron pens catch in the waft and weft because of the square tip.
I used an 80/12 sharp needle and 50 weight black Aurifil cotton. The batting is warm and natural cotton and of course the back is cotton too. I used the amazing Janome convertible free motion foot. It has an open toe and a double spring so that it doesn’t bounce up and down as some free motion feet do. In fact it almost works like a long arm.
I did have a small problem with tension, which is surprising, I rarely do, but then again it happens occasionally when you use black. Its something to do with the consistency of the thread because of the amount of dye in it.
I press often, probably every 10 minutes or so. The cotton bends back into shape and I had very little puckering. I was asked if I spray starch the piece as I go. No, I just use a lot of steam.
Someone else said she thought it would be better done in shades of grey. Yes, I agree, but the test was to do it in black and cream. I did add cream to his hair for the highlights.
I’ve almost finished the quilt In fact I have but I’m considering putting it in a frame so that is as much quilting as I need to do No binding… but the arm still looks strange, I’m wondering should I crop it.
OK, yes, I will do this again. I will choose the picture wisely. It was a worth while exercise, and part of an ongoing experiment with Textile Art.