I’ve had a busy few days and I’ve finished two quilts this week. “Edna” the Elephant. The idea of the elephant was on a poster on a wall in India. I can’t find the picture, it was just in my mind somehow. I began with fabric from India, the green fabric and the orange is Cotton Rubia fabric. Of course the Taj Mahal is real and drawn with pigment ink on the rubia before it was sandwiched. This is one of my own photos. Th ink worked well on the Rubia fabric. Kaffe Fassett fabric worked well for the blanket. I colored the orange with white ink and the tusks are white fabric that I have illustrated. The ink is pigment and permanent. In beginning to quilt it, I first stitched around the pattern on the blanket in black thread. then the elephant was quilted the same way. I freehand drew a continuum of the pattern of the blanket onto the body of the elephant, it reminds me of the henna patterns we all have …
I don’t have much time home in my studio so I need to work through the new ideas that have taken shape during the past year of travel. I do a number of drawings in my sketch book as I travel, mainly on the plane to be honest. This is one I did when I was in Tuscany a few years ago. The narrow, tall buildings hung precariously onto top of the sculptured hills. So I decided to do something with the drawings this year. “Have you been to Tuscany?” came about. I drew it first. Then I began stitching free motion with the sewing machine. The important thing in this image s to stitch the background quite intensively and you can see in this image how the quilt begins to shrink as the quilting is done. But hours of experience tells me all will be flat once the stitching is complete. OK, there are lots of tips and tricks to go through to get the quilt to this stage… but you could leave the …
This week, I’m preparing photos to accompany my quilts at the Paducah Show. It’s quite exciting to present an exhibition such as this and I decided to actually create a portrait in thread rather than just add a photo of myself.
Yesterday, with a roll of quilts under my arm and a package of teaching supplies I was waiting for my driver in the lobby. Suddenly the quilts were whisked out of my arms and onto the counter of the porter…. In alarm I kept an eye on them as they began to wrap my quilts very neatly in Newspaper!!!!!! Ohhhh. They then presented the parcel with a small handle tie and and expression of complete happiness. “Please don’t rub the newsprint off on my precious quilts “I thought, and the end of the story was that they were just fine. I gave a small class to some friends here in Delhi and we had a wonderful day talking, eating, listening and sharing ideas on quilting as they completed a small project.
My passion is thread painting. (using the sewing machine to create an image with thread) and not having a cat I practice taking photos on my friends cat. She is patient and sits with a fixed stare as if to say. ‘Just take it’
Today has been a mixture of measures. Juggling the norm to create something new. As well as family pleasures I bought 3 new pairs of glasses, a blue pair, a black and white pair and a black and orange pair ! (those of you who know me, know my passion for unusual glasses) Family pleasures was spending time with Grandie Jaya, aged 3 who is staying with us for a few days and Baby Jay who had his first visit to our house this evening. Then it was back to work. In completing my latest project in thread painting I’ve needed to study the subject very carefully. It’s my own image, I know it very intimately, I have actually drawn every piece of fur before committing it to thread. I have a number of photo images to follow, and I try to capture the image in thread as close to the photo as possible. Fur is interesting to do. I actually lay down a light layer, next a medium thread color, a dark final layer …
Of course the day didn’t go as planned… I think is been like that for the past week. I have scribbles in the diary that need to change in a flash with the needs of the family and in between times I’ve been planning events for the rest of the year and working on projects.
Today was to be purely work in the studio….. hiccup. that didn’t happen. An outing with a daughter that needed a break was the go and we both enjoyed it. So the work happened in the early hours of the morning before her visit and late afternoon.
During my time home I need to complete 5 quilts and I’m well on the way to doing that at the moment. I find that working on a number of genres at one time works well for me. I don’t get bored with one quilt… and at the end I finish 5 quilts at once… (well there is a possibility that I won’t) It all depends on babies, family, babysitting, another visit to the skin specialist and the need to stop and sigh every now and then.
Kaye England overheard one of the students mention that she was a Vietnam vet.
The wheels sprang into motion and in just a few hours a Quilt of Valor was on its way with Rita Pennington, who is the Land of Lincoln coordinator for Quilts of Valor here in Illinois.
Rosemary Dawes was the recipient and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as she was surprised during one of our evening events. I made a small video and I’m happy for you to share it with other vets and indeed your quilting community.
How do you select the colors for a realistic quilt? That could be thread or fabric.
Do you have a special technique?
Well, I’m going to do it again and give away a technique I discovered recently.