The purpose of this blog is share with others the processes involved in my favorite form of creativity- silk art quilts. The creative process itself is a fascinating thing. I am constantly amazed by it- both its simplicity and its complexity.

I feel strongly that I am a better person since I truly started following my dream. Because of collectors--those who actually buy original art-- I am able to live my dream. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You can see more of my work at my website http://www.rebelquilter.com/.

Friday, January 11, 2008

the big tease--Slipstream Adventure

Here is a photo of most of the third panel quilted. I have finished all the quilting on all four pieces--sigh. Make that YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!
This is a detail shot of panel number 2. You can still see my chalk lines for dividing and conquering the overall quilting. The circles with the winding threads goes through all four panels in five different colors. In each panel the sizes shift--getting larger and spiraling all the way.
Again you can see the winding circles plus still the chalk. It'll go away when I get all the steaming done. In order to get all four panels to be exactly the same size I am steaming, trimming and doing the vertical binding on all. Then I'll come back and do the horizontal binding-- more like facing actually.

Also-- I am going to do a little trick using the Charlotte's Fusible Web to add foil to each of the spiral circles. It is a neat little product from Superior threads my friend Marlene told me about. It is a thread form of fusible web. I'll stitch it in the sprials using it as a bobbin thread-- but it can't be done until all the steaming, ironing etc is done. Essentially this means I'll be finishing the whole thing and then coming back, stitching with the fusible web and then laying in the foil. It'll be a fairly subtle touch- I hope.

One of the aspects that most intrigues me is the journey of discovery as a project of this magnitude evolves. You may remember my initial colored pencil drawing-- go back a few months to see it. In August I started dyeing fabrics and began the assembly. I had NO idea then about anything other than the overall color flow. As it began to be assembled the story line about the "Slip Stream Adventure" came into play while listening to a Van Morrison CD. From that began a dialog with myself about how to create the imagery of a slip stream. So the back got the imagery and then I had to translate that to the front in the form of quilting.

To do that I first basted each piece completely so that I was stitching from the back. I stitched around each of the painted circles and outlines of the slipstreams using monofilament thread. This created landmarks that I could see from the front. Then I completely re-basted making the front my stitching platform.

The next step was to divide and conquer the overall quilting. I used an echo pattern but divided the surface into rough triangles of about 6". Then I stitched from the outer edge to the center of each and moved to the next. The circles and pathways between them were marked in chalk. After the overall quilting was done then I went back and did the circles, pathways and slipstream.

So all that is left is the facings and the foil. Hold your breath! It'll happen!

So --hope that holds you for a few more days until I figure out the photography thing.

I have targeted this weekend for final, total, no going back completion. Then I have to figure out how to photograph it! My plan is to shoot all four separately and then assemble them in photoshop. The next runway of learning raises its ugly head!!! (if you know the workflow for this please email me!!!)

Overall I am very pleased with this project. I started dyeing the fabrics in August. I took over 5 weeks off completely between trips to Canada and Florida and one miserable week sick.

You might wonder why I took on a projectof this scale. Besides being an eternal optimist... I have wanted do to large scale commissioned work for a long while now. The last large scale work I had done was in 2003. I was applying for a large scale project and wanted to make sure that if I got that job that I knew what I was in for. Since 2003 I have learned much and was able to apply it. Also-- doing this project with its grand scale had all sorts of logistical details that I wanted worked out before tackling an even larger project. Next week I'll finally hear whether my work is being considered for the Emerson Electric Auditorium Lobby. Fingers are mucho crossed. Their budget is extensive and it could make a major difference in how my next few months go artwise.
Thanks for taking the ride with me. It has been fun.


clevelandgirlie said...

I am in awe of your beautiful work. It is nothing short of magnificient. The bold color, the texture and the shear size of this monsterous piece is so impressive I can't even put it into words. You must feel very accomplished and proud!

Rosemary Claus-Gray said...

Stunning! Awesome! Major achievement! I'm running out of adjectives, Susan. I know you to tackle big jobs in a nano second, then think them through, and "just do it", but this one tops anything you have done to date. It's marvelous, and I hope it will sell as you have planned, and bring you fame and fortune. You have earned it! Rosemary