Monday, October 27, 2008

MyQuilts Part 6

This piece is called Earthbound. I was very pleased to learn that it had been accepted into The Grand National 2008 show titled Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, held at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery.
This work is really the result of my wanting to know if I could create a somewhat larger, more complicated piece than I had done to this point using the top stitched curve piecing method I so enjoy.
The answer is YES I can.
I began with not much more than a doodle that kind of, sort of, looked interesting. I played and developed it into a reasonable drawing on 9" x 12" sketchbook paper. The image was then projected onto a large piece of paper which was taped to the wall and traced into it's current size. This image would be traced again so that I would have a second layer to "map" how each individual piece would be added.

If you are unfamiliar with this technique, let me explain the basic premise. Each piece is inserted next to another. Each piece is turned under on one edge and then is placed to allow it to overlap another so that there are never any exposed raw edges. So to be successful at this you must take the time before the first piece of fabric is cut and decide how you plan to insert each piece. Here on the right you can see pretty much the whole drawing as it lies on my cutting table.

Left is a close up view of the water area. The arrows indicate which edge I plan to turn under.
If you like jigsaw puzzles you most likely would enjoy this process. Quite often I would think to myself.........I"ll just go and put in a few pieces.........but it can become a bit addictive and you find yourself there for very long periods of time. The actual piecing alone took me 120 hours, add to that the drawing and redrawing, "mapping" which is quite time consuming, preparing it for quilting and the free motion quilting itself, this piece took close to or possibly even exceeded 300 hours in making. Knowing that, would I do another similar piece? You bet!

I also had the idea, ( since this was not yet complicated enough) that I wanted to put all of the left over bits onto the back of this quilt. I kept every scrap of freezer paper and fabric....If it was not large enough to be of any real use I chopped it up into tiny little bits and scattered it across the entire back, placed a layer of drapery sheer over and then made sure this quilt was basted very well in preparation for all the wrestling it was in for while I did the free motion quilting on my domestic machine.
Then a thought occurred to me. Uh Oh! Can I actually quilt through the layers of the quilt and all of that fabric and paper I just crammed on the back? I guess I will find out. Not wanting to risk making a mess of this piece I decided to make a small landscape with lots of seams close together similar to what I was working on, added all that garbage to the back and see what would happen when I quilted it.
It worked surprisingly well so I was able to get back to the business of completing this quilt. I am quite happy with the result.
If you have an interest in seeing the other works that were exhibited at this year's Grand National check out the online catalogue and for past exhibits visit
It was a fabulous show as usual with some of the most amazing works by quilt artists from across the country. I was thrilled to have the chance to be a part of it.


Melzie said...

That quilt is amazing :D you are a true artist. xoxo melzie

woolywoman said...

Practice in front of the mirror: "I am an artist. I'm an artist. I'm a fiber artist." It's already true, you just have to get into practice saying it. Wonderful quilt- thank you for explaining th method so clearly.

Diana said...

A very amazing quilt and an amazing process.

Copyright Jill Buckley