Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dinner@8Artists, Reflections: Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon

Hello, I am so jazzed to be blogging again. Best of all, I am so tickled to at last reveal my latest creation, Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon that has been juried into Dinner @ 8 Artists new upcoming Reflections, exhibit. Wow, what an honor! This piece measures 24"X60" and was created on a painted background with trapuntoed giraffes that were appliqued and quilted on. I first began by creating the giraffe faces and necks by painting them on white muslin and then setting them on layers of batting to create dimension. They were hand basted to prepare them for applique. Next, I began painting the background. I really wanted to set them on a beautiful painted sunset but this was harder to do than I had thought. Having the sky range from various shades of rich blue, indigo and violet to the more warmer hues of red, orange and yellow was a challenge and took me a few days to just continue weaving from one color into the next to try and break up the sky.
Finally to ground them, I created a flowering bush among the grass. Here, I played with drawing the eye from the top of the sky back to the bottom. When the entire background was painted and heat set, I began hand appliqueing the giraffes to the main piece. At this point, I wanted stability so I placed the background on a layer of bamboo batting before attaching the giraffes. This was a real pain since the entire piece needed to be pin basted for this step, then hand appliqued. Once the giraffes were in place, I added the backing and repined the entire quilt to prepare it for quilting. The sky was quilted with the most fluorescent Highlight colors that Superior Thread has in their line of trilobal polyester thread. This was kind of scary since seeing each color on it's own was very overwhelming but set on this sunset background, the fluorescent pinks, oranges, yellows and reds really blended together and played well with each other and the background. Next, I began quilting the flowering bush in tiny circular almost meandering patterns to similate the flowers. The leaves were also quilted with varying shades and tints of green and brown to create visual appeal. Finally, I quilted the negative spaces within the bush and the remaining grass area. Whew! That was loads of thread!
Now, for the stars themselves, the giraffes were painted in various hues of browns, apricots, tans and cream colors. I really wanted to keep them as the main attraction and therefore they were quilted in slightly lighter and darker shades of the above mentioned colors. I also did not want to quilt them as heavily as the background because I worked so hard to give them dimension and yet, the weight still needed to be distributed evenly. What a quandary?! Finally, I decided to quilt them by studying the way their fur would lay and vary the space between lines of stitching so that their faces would have dimension. My friends who have seen this piece have commented that the fur looks like leather but it is simply paint and stitches that give the fur like illusion. I love the way their faces have dimension and I know that had this piece been created for judging, the quilt police probably would not have liked my decision to vary the space between stitch lines. Cest la vie! I am thrilled that this piece was juried into the new upcoming, Dinner @ 8 Artists, Reflections exhibit curated by Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal. It is an honor to be included amongst such wonderful artists. The exhibit will have 33 pieces by 33 different artists and is sponsored by Havel Sewing. For more information, I invite you to visit http://dinnerateightartists.blogspot.com/2014/05/reflections-2014-accepted-works.html#comment-form . Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post.



Rachel Parris said...

Oh, Barb, just wow! Thank you so much for sharing your process.

Barb Forrister said...

Thanks, Rachel. You are a sweetheart! I always love hearing from you, just brightens up my day!