19 March 2017

She Has Flowers in Her Hair

I'm gearing up to get started on some new fabric art projects. I said 'gearing up', and that is really a more active-sounding euphemism for 'procrastinating'. But procrastination isn't all bad: I do accomplish a bit of this and that while 'gearing up'. I've rescued a knitted vest from the UFO pile. I've returned to an unfinished sock project. I've had my sewing machine serviced. I've decluttered my messy home (a bit). I've actually started cutting up and using some of all the old t-shirts that I've saved over the years to crochet a small rug. And now I'm going to blog about an art quilt I made last year. I can't believe I haven't done it already, but that's how it is. It fell between the cracks, and it's only now that I'm 'gearing up' for my next quilt, which will also be a portrait (of a mermaid), that I remembered I still haven't blogged about the last one.

So before I sail off to join the mermaids, I'll show you what I did about a year ago, when I made my flower lady quilt. I reckon I will use basically the same process for the mermaid quilt.

It all started with a watercolour painting in one of my art journals:

Before I start working on the actual quilt I like to research my methods and make samples. I hadn't used Derwent Inktense pencils in an art quilt before so I did some tests to find out how they would work.

I like to work with layers in my art quilts, and it's fascinating to see how the individual layers, which often don't make much sense on their own, will make perfect sense when combined. I'm sure there's a metaphor of something important hiding in that observation.

The bottom layer with fused raw-edge and painted appliqué

The silk organza top layer, spray painted, and with a freezer paper mask to protect the face

Silk organza, spray painted and further enhanced with Inktense pencils

The layers combined

Free-motion machine quilting in progress

Machine quilting finished

Hand stitching to add final details

The finished art quilt, which I've had the fortune to be able to display in three exhibitions so far.

I loved working on this quilt, and now I'm really looking forward to getting started on my next girl! Yay!

My plan for a mermaid quilt

I want big eyes, but I think I overdid it a little this time, so it needs a bit of tweaking. But I'm excited to be on my way. I'm also planning a mermaid doll. Yes: mermaids are The Thing for me right now, and I'll go with the flow, follow the tide, dive in and immerse myself in the subject. 😊

Thank you for dropping by and I hope to see you again soon!