January 5, 2010

My Process...Part I

Below is a description of how I usually create my art quilts. I will try to do this in two parts.

Original photo

I like to start with one of my own photos. This one is a bit dark, but for creating an art quilt, it will do just fine. I print it out on plain paper and pin it to my design wall. (See the photo in yesterday's blog post.) I then think about size. Since these quilts are relatively small, 12" x 16", I first dig through my fabric scraps. I like to use a mix of my hand dyed fabric and commercial fabric. I'm not trying to match the colors to the photos, but rather for me, a feeling of beach and ocean colors. This could mean brighter colors to some artists. This is where you have to go with the "wow, I like this color" feelings. I then pin the fabric pieces to my design wall. I add or throw out some of the pieces as I go. Sometimes they start to fall off the wall but at least they are in one pile.


I cut the backing and batting larger than my finished art piece and layer them and pin to the design wall. Then, I make a sketch by just looking at the photo. When I like the general sketch, I trace over my pencil lines with a Sharpie pen. If I want to keep it this size, then I use this for a pattern. If I want to make it larger, I trace it to transparency film and use my overhead projector. I would then have to trace it to a larger size paper. Now that I have the pattern sheet to the size I want, I place it on a light box. At this point, some of my pieces will have Wonder-Under applied and some will not. I place the Wonder-Under (lite) over the pattern and trace. I then iron it to the fabric and cut it out. Then, I pin to the wall and keep tweaking until I have the "first draft" of my art piece. Everything is pinned in place.

First Draft pinned to design wall

At this point, I let it sit for a bit while I do other things (like laundry, ugh!). I keep taking a peek at it though and may tweak it more for composition. Tomorrow, I will describe the quilting and more of the tweaking process, so stay tuned!


Vicki W said...

Thanks for the tutorial!

Jodi Flood said...

Hi Vivian, I just joined the Blast Off Class with Alyson Stanfield and saw that you were in the class and are also from Northern Virginia. Thought I'd drop in to say "hi." I poked around your blog a bit and love your quiliting style--it must take forever to get so much detail in your pieces. Your work is beautiful! Well, I'll see you in class!


Hi Vivian,
I was going through websites and blogs from other students in the blast off class. I really enjoyed your. Beautiful works and the step by step, loved it.

carrie said...

Thanks for these posts- very interesting to see how you work. Great end result!