In case you’re new to my blog, Fun Friday happens almost every week. The routine is to put all ongoing projects away and just mess around in my studio and/or take off for awhile on some kind of artist’s date. Last week, I met a friend at Crystal Bridges for the new American Made Exhibit, showing pieces from the American Folk Art Museum in New York. We had a blast and I have my photos all loaded and titled so I’ll get back to you on that next week.
This week I decided that since my Christmas quilt is finished except for hand sewing the binding down and blocking the quilt, I would finish weaving in all the thread ends on my Self-Portrait II quilt. After that I used my practice piece to try some more trapunto before applying it to my portrait. The first time I did this technique, I had a scrap of really high-loft batting someone had given me. I only needed one layer but the high-loft batting I have now is half as thick, so I used two pieces.
Since I have already stitched my pieces down, I just restitched with very light Superior Monopoly filament thread. I use a #70/11 quilting needle with this thread and prefer it to nylon thread because it is more heat resistant and does not yellow or get brittle. Next, trim the top layer of batting close to the stitching and then carefully trim away the second layer. Grade the seam allowance and be careful to not cut into your project.
Add regular batting and a backing and either stipple or echo quilt around your trapunto shape.
Next I used trapunto to give more dimension to the facial features (lips, nose and eyes). I used three layers of high-loft batting for the eyes.
I also stitched between the upper and lower lips for definition.
Before tackling the eyes, I changed out one piece of fabric for the cornea on the left eye.
Since this is a small project, I decided to just pin the layers together for quilting.
I echo quilted the pieces around the nose first and then all of the remaining light-pieced fabrics. I used Sulky rayon thread with 70/11 needle for all the lightest pieces and a Superior King Tut variegated thread for the medium fabrics. I’ll continue to use that thread for the remaining fabrics except for the two darkest fabrics in the cheek areas.
I also decided to change out two of the neck pieces because all of these fabrics were just too much alike.
I also auditioned beads but I’m not happy with the colors–they looked right in the store but not in my studio.
I like the colors but they’re all D-size, which may work–will have to put some beading on my practice piece to decide.
All of the light pieces are now quilted so I’ll get back to you tomorrow when the rest of the quilting is finished.
Here’s a sneak preview of American Made.
I need to go back and get a close-up of the hand quilting. Oh darn, another Fun Friday for me!
Where did the week go? I’m ready to start stitching my new self-portrait and I don’t even remember if I showed you the first one (actually I didn’t). It is quilted and just needs a label and binding. Okay, now I’ve found my place–I have a draft of more SAQA People and Portraits, I need to show you my first self-portrait, I experimented some more with Lite Steam a Seam II (more on that tomorrow), and it’s off to the races. I’ve been channeling Picasso and because I don’t draw or cut perfectly, I have a couple gaps in putting the pieces together. No mistakes here–this is a design opportunity. I started with 56 pieces but am not sure how many there are now because I changed one eye and the nose after I started cutting. I am not using fusible this time because it would not adhere to my hand-dyed fabrics and I also want to do some beaded encrusting. This is one of my favorite things to do–just fill in an area completely with free-form beading. Here’s an example from my interpretation of Van Gogh’s Blue Vase:
I see I need to re-photograph this quilt because I added some more beading to the green leaves.
Back to my new self-portrait. I traced all the parts onto freezer paper, ironed those onto the fabric, cut them out and glued them down with Roxanne’s Glue Baste It.
This should hold everything in place while I stitch down each piece–no fusible this time, raw edge all the way. I used a set of five rose parfait fat quarters plus a Moda Marble Dot that was in my stash and coordinated, and a Michael Miller black and white check. I’m doing this collage self-portrait challenge with my art quilt group ala Yvonne Porcella so I had to put in some checks in her honor.
I’ll be back tomorrow after I start stitching and have my thoughts a little more organized. Buh-bye.