Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Rainbow Hens"

More true to life color, before quilting
The color is too cool/blue, it is really very warm, orangey, yellow, like the photo above

I love the title of this one, it evokes multi colored chickens, but is really a photo of one "Hen and Chick" succulent. It is a closeup, centered on the petals of the plant. It was a very blah, monochromatic picture, with sharp edges, good lines and graphic quality, but boring colorwise. I manipulated the colors in Photoshop, to get different color combinations, teal/lime green, orange/violet, and red/navy. I reversed the colors into a negative, and made peach/med. blue and yellow/purple, this gave a light center instead of dark, and the edges of the petals were the opposite color. I printed five photos, each a different color. I used my computer printer to print onto treated fabric, with a freezer paper backing. I heat set the fabric with my iron, and then decided the colors needed to be perked up a bit. I used crayola colored pencils to add color to the print. I started with the main color, adding brightness and saturation in the highlights, then I added darker colors to the shadows. I left the medium tones alone, but this added contrast between the highlights and the shadows. I cut each horizontal photo into 5 strips, 2" wide, I also cut 2" strips of my own hand dyed fabric, in coordinating colors, to make a sixth picture. I swapped all the pieces around until I had a pleasing, balanced composition with each color and one piece of hand dyed. I made a tracing of the pattern onto clear plastic and used a light box to trace it onto the dyed fabric. So that when I stitched the quilting I carried the pattern on to the area that did not have a photo printed onto it. It blended so well, most people don't even know that it is not printed. The assembly was done with fusible interfacing, and fused onto muslin, in a 2 blocks across and 3 blocks down setting. I used clear nylon thread to zig zag all the edges to the muslin. Rayon thread quilting in a rainbow of colors was used to outline and highlight the edges of each petal and to shade into the center. Darker colors were then used in the shadows, to give a lot of depth. It is one of my favorite "ART" quilts. It has an abstract quality to it, while still being a recognizable object, and the multiple colors disguise the object to make it abstract.

Lily From My Photo

Center stitching

Back stitching

Before stitching

The course of the summer I worked on several other projects. To use my photos in my quilts has been my goal for this year. I used a picture of a lily that I took at the Masters Gardener's Discovery Gardens. It is very large, similar to a "Stargazer" lily but not quite. I made a pattern from the photo by tracing an 8 x 10 copy onto clear plastic with a Sharpie pen. I scanned that into my computer and blew it up into a four panel (8 x 10) 16 x 20 I used raw edge applique to design the flower in shades of peachy/pink mostly Bali batik fabrics. The background is a sage green with gold splotchy areas and little specks of metallic gold. I added two flower buds to the composition, at the same diagonal line as the stems, to add continuity of line. The quilting was a challenge. I used four shades of pink/mauve/peach to thread paint and blend the color changes on the flower petals. I did not just outline them as I usually do. The rayon threads added a lot of texture and shine to the petals. The stems and leaves were done in several shades of green and the background in pale gray green with a small stipple. I used a black solid fabric for the back and changed bobbin thread to match the front stitching. This drew a gorgeous flower on the back in intense quilting stitches.

"To Nurture and Protect" Project

FIMO penguins I made to add to the bottom.
Almost done, need to add penguins and some other edge detail
Right side landscape, owl in tree and desert area
Middle landscape, forest and woodland
left side landscape, tropical

The Fyber Cafe challenge is almost done, we all got delayed, Thanksgiving & Christmas and personal issues. Hopefully in January the finished projects are due. We will still have to mount them on the stretcher bars covered with fabric. A few of the projects are coming along nicely, and others have good intentions, so we will see. I got the last details worked out on mine and today I finally got the backing onto it. I turned it "Pillowcase" style with an extra flap at the top to insert a piece of cardboard to support the circular design. I won't use the cardboard when stitched to the frame, but afterwards, I don't think I'll leave it on the frame. I top stitched all the way around the circle to give it a more finished edge. I have a few more bits and pieces to add along the edges, and some small areas that need to be covered, 'cause they came up short. The undersea area came out beautifully, I added silk ribbon embroidery, lots of beading, and regular floss embroidery, real seashells, it is busy with coral and embellishments. In the south pole area I added melted bits of turquoise chiffon, and streams of beads with white, pearl, clear turquoise, crystal and white snowflake buttons. The mixed group of beads flows across the bottom in waves. I found one pair of penguins earrings at Walmart but I had to repaint them, they were blue and sparkly. I made 3 extra penguins with FIMO clay, in black, white and yellow, I baked them too hot and the white got burnt looking so I had to repaint them too. I forgot to put button holes in them, so I'll just stitch them on around the necks. I can see the end of this challenging project. I put in a lot of detail, including a fortune in hand sewn beads and buttons. The non-traditional fabrics, velvet with cotton balls, silky polyester, glittery 1/4" netting, melted chiffon and wool needle felting, added to the whole concept. It is an exuberant expression of the environment and all the various creatures in it.