People often ask how I create my art quilts, so I have gathered together some process photos for you to enjoy.
My piece, The Ladies, evolved from a black and white photo taken of a garden party, sometime in the 1920’s. What fascinated me the most, about this photo, was all the hats, so they became the focus of the design. One woman, wearing a trench coat and beret, seems quite daring, in comparison to the rest of the “ladies”. The faces were less important to me, than the hats, but still convey a lot of character through the use of hand-dyed and batik fabrics.
These women belong to that era when women were called “ladies”, and thus, the name of the piece – The Ladies.
With each piece, I start out by enlarging the photo, or sketch, to my desired size. Then I create a tracing to overlay the foundation piece of fabric. This helps me to be sure that I am placing the pieces in the correct spot. I use a fusible web, on the back of the fabric, and temporarily stick the fabric pieces to the foundation.
This is what the start of the process looks like:
I start placing small pieces of fabric, fitting them together, in a similar fashion to piecing a puzzle.
Gradually the picture develops:
If I am satisfied with the look of the picture as it develops, I keep going. Otherwise, I can replace pieces, as needed, to get the correct shading, and look, that I want.
I love adding little details, such as the purse, that the woman in mauve is holding.
Finally, I look at the whole piece, and decide what background I need, to accent the piece.
In this case, this lovely, multicoloured fabric creates the look of a garden behind the ladies. Just the look that I wanted!
Next I add stitching to hold everything in place and to bring out all the finer details.
Here is the finished piece:
And a detail view:
I hope that this glimpse in to my process, answers some of your questions. If you have further questions, please leave me a comment. I would be delighted to help out!