Friday, July 3, 2015

Inspired By....a Pair of Earrings?

Sue has written before about her art quilt bee and the challenges that are issued every other month.  In May, the challenge issued for June was to create a quilt inspired by a photo from another participant.  Each person's photo was passed 3 times to the right and after the last pass, that was the photo your quilt would be based on.  Most were calendar or magazine photos.  Sue, however, ended up with something a little different.  What she got was a pair of earrings that was passed around.
Some might consider this more challenging than a photo, but Sue was actually glad to have a shape to work with, especially since she knew there was a piece of fabric in her stash with a similar design.  Plus, she knew it was a shape she could work with for making a thermofax screen.  So she proceeded to make a screen using the image in 3 different sizes - to incoporate one of the elements of design - repetition.
The screens were printed on color catchers, a non-woven fiber product used in laundering to pick up excess dye.  As you see in the 3 pieces in the photo, they are varying shades.  We use them in washing hand dyed fabrics so you end up with a variety of colors.  Another plus is that the edges stay clean and crisp.  Next was figuring out an arrangement on the background fabric.
After doing some free-motion quilting on the background the prints were cut down and stitched in place.  Then Sue decided some embellishment was called for.  Each of the prints was overlaid with an embellishment thread or yarn that was zigzagged in place.  Then it was time for some hand stitching.
First was adding some more color, orange, to highlight the shapes on the background fabric that echoed the shape of the earrings.  These were stitched with a back stitch.  Finally, the last addition - which is still a work in progress - is adding random hand stitches (ricing, or chicken scratch) to the background.  Below is a close up of the start of that stitching.
This stitching will be used to fill up the background between the various motifs on the fabric.  The thread is a variegated perle cotton which Sue thinks adds texture and interest and a little more stability to the piece.  Time consuming, yes, but worth the effort.  And it's only a 12" square.  She also thinks this piece might be good for mounting on an art canvas as the final presentation.  We'll post another picture when its finished.

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