Thursday, February 19, 2009

Work in progress

The Nile (sold)

During the show at the Copper Tree Shade Gallery several people asked me "how did you do that?" referring to a couple of my art pieces so I thought I would give you a sneak peak at the latest piece of a series called "On the Nile".
This is the 3rd piece in that series. I was hoping to have it finished by now but life got in the way and in a couple of hours I leave on a trip so you will have to come back to see the finished (quilted) piece.
I start with an idea that in this case I got from photos and a stone I brought back from my trip to Egypt last year.
I then choose the colors based on those 2 items.
The photo has been changed in a very subtle way to look like tiles. It helps me see the lines to define where I will change colors. I don't put much thought into the whole process because I work intuitively. I'm sure there are other ways or processes to do this, but this is the way I work.

After deciding my color scheme I pick fabrics and I cut 1.25 inch strips. Again, I don't worry about being perfectly straight. Once you piece and quilt everything together it won't make a difference. For this piece in particular I'm using hand dyes, commercial batiks, silks and rayon. I use whatever is at hand as long as it coordinates with the color scheme.

After cutting like a ton of strips I start piecing them randomly. I do look a the picture every now and then to give me an idea of how much of each color to sew.

I work on a 24x24 format so once I get to those measurements I square the piece and I get it ready to quilt. This is where the fun starts. Although the piece is rather small (I'm used to quilting full size quilts) I mount it in my long arm machine and quilt it using variegated threads. I try to match the thread to the fabric to bring everything together. That way the thread becomes secondary to the design.
Unfortunately, I have to stop here. I need to pack a couple more things and then I'm on my way to the airport. Fortunately, it is a 45 minute flight to my destination and not several planes and hours as on my trip overseas. To be continued......

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