Wednesday, June 21, 2017

New series?

I have finished a new piece! It measures 24" x 24", and is made of hand-dyed and painted cotton, quilted and stitched. It was inspired by a painted collage I made a couple of months ago, one of a series in orange-and-blue that I posted about at the time.

painted collage, 10" x 10", paper, mounted on wooden panel

I laid the groundwork for this piece by producing lots of painted pattern on hand-dyed cotton. You can read about that process here. The images below show some of the results.

Then I printed out a photo of the inspiration piece, and blocked out the main shapes. I measured the different sections and figured that each shape would have to be roughly tripled in size.

Because I was running low on the orange hand-dyed cotton that was to serve as the background, I pieced together a background using two different cottons.

and cut out patterned pieces that corresponded to the various shapes in the original. 

These shapes were backed with fusible web, and were ironed into place on the background. Then I went at the piece with fabric paint, experimenting with several brands to get the transparency I wanted. (I have Setacolor, Pro Fab from Pro Chem, ColorVie and Speedball that I have collected over the years.) I think the ProFab was the brand I settled on this time. (I understand that soft body acrylic paint from Golden or Liquitex is also suitable.) Of course my finished piece will never be washed, but as it was going to be stitched, I didn't want anything so stiff that it would show errant needle holes.

After the paint was applied, the "quilt top" was batted up, backed, and quilted with some "stitching in the ditch" around the patterned shapes, and some irregular horizontal lines in the orange background. I also outlined the major shapes with a scribbly blue line of thread, using free-motion stitching. This was meant to suggest the outline of blue paint seen in the original, a layering effect that I really liked. I applied a facing to the edge, a technique that didn't come easily to me, having let those needlework skills lapse for some time.

The finished piece, 24" x 24"

I have yet to decide whether to mount this piece on a painted 24" square prepared canvas. Perhaps I will see if I can make a few others using the same approach, and then decide on the mounting. One alternative would be to use stretcher bars, or to allow enough surplus fabric to wrap the finished piece around a prepared canvas. Suggestions are welcome!

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