Que Sera - 1m x 1m approx. (3' 28" sq) $675
Cotton, organza, fusible web, organza, Shiva paintsticks, cotton batting.
I finished it a couple of months ago but hadn't been able to show anyone. I created it to enter into the Manly 'The New Quilt' exhibition. One of the rules is that work must never have been published in any medium. That was my first entry in a juried competition and sadly, it didn't make the cut. The bright side is that I get to show it off now and get some opinions on it.
What do you think? Does the background need changing? How would you do it? (please click on 'comment' below to leave your opinion, don't worry about my feelings!! I'm a graphic designer so i'm used to getting artwork changes).
Here's how it was created:
I wet some PFD white cotton fabric down and pressed to the piece of Colorbond steel I use to do all my fabric painting. Having the fabric damp makes it stay in place on the colour bond. I then put some magnets on the edges to keep it there in case it wants to come off later on. This is my fabric painting set up:
For fabric painting I use this piece of Colorbond Steel, i've stopped it wobbling by gluing two aluminum L shaped metal poles to the back in an upturned V shape. A rolled up piece of calico underneath stops the metal cutting through the drop sheet plastic and catches all the drips. I keep my fabric paints in the Ikea CD shelving next to it.
I sketched the original figure in my sketchbook and then redrew it onto the fabric using a yellow water colour pencil - light enough to see and not get in the way too much, and a colour that if any remained it would help with the glow. I then drew over this with the Shiva's using them like oil pastels.
The yellow water colour pencil and the initial outlining of Shiva paintstick.
I then went and added more shading and layered in the different colours, softening and blending as I went with Citrus Turps.
When the figure was completed I added in the background. This is the first whole cloth quilt top i've done and I think for my next one I will try keeping the background plain and just see what effect quilting has by itself. I'm still getting used to how much you can change an image by adding sewing. After I put in the background I used about a half bottle of Citrus Turps to soften it up with a stiff paintbrush. My apartment smelled like alcoholic oranges for a good week!!!
I let the Shiva sticks cure for a few days and then heat set them with a hot iron and rinsed out the fabric to get rid of any remaining turps. I wanted to try adding some iridescence to the background so cut a few small squares of shot organza out and started pinning them down.
I liked how this looked so I fused lightweight fusible web to the back of some bigger pieces and left the baking paper on them that i'd used to protect the iron. I then set up the soldering iron and cut a freehand grid through each of these sheets of fabric and web. This meant I could just peel each square off from the backing fabric like a sticker and then position it over the quilt top and give it a quick tap with the iron to hold it down. I did this while the quilt top was still on the design wall, the flannelette protected the wall itself from the heat. At this point I found out that when you iron vertically irons get heavy!!
The solder cut squares of fusible web backed organza. This is what was left over so I have tons left for another project! Cutting with the soldering iron meant they heat sealed around the edges - so no fraying.
Next I pillowcased the quilt using the escape hatch as I didn't want any binding (for how a how to please see the tutorial pages on this blog here) and added the quilting.