|Aqua in Abstract--now hanging|
on the pale aqua walls of our bedroom!
At Quilting Adventures in 2009, I took a class from Katie Pasquini-Masopust. In this class we did all sorts of exercises, leading eventually to our choosing a design for a quilt. I was "stretched" and challenged in this class. For the first time since I was a teenager, I was drawing and painting.
But stretching and being challenged is what I wanted, so I persevered. We began by every student in a cluster of three work tables combining white objects we had brought from home to compose a white still-life. This still-life we then drew, first as a "blind contour" drawing, then one in which we looked at the composition and sketched it. We then composed our own still life and did other exercises.
My memory is hazy about just what we did when, but I recall doing a "painting" of the second still life using black (very smelly!) markers and one "positive/negative" composition using construction paper. One exercise involved taking a water-colored painting, cutting it into squares, and re-assembling the squares into a composition. I'm sure there were others!
By perhaps the third day of the 4 1/2 day workshop, we each chose two designs we were most pleased with. Then Katie PM had all of us move from design wall to design wall, looking at one another's choices, and listening to Katie's comments on the designs. I had put up my very first exercise, the blind contour drawing, and then the positive/negative one. I preferred the latter, but Katie was frank in liking the first better. I decided to go with the teacher's instinct!
We then water-colored our final choices, using the palette of colors we planned to use in the quilt. I had brought a wide assortment of aqua, turquoise, true-blue, and dark blue fabrics. So I painted my design in these hues.
Then we took our original drawing, re-drew it carefully onto card stock, traced it onto acetate using a fine-tipped marker, had it enlarged, and from that made templates. We then cut out our fabrics with scissors, just outside the lines of the template, and eventually appliqued these onto a stabilizer. These were not raw-edged appliques; we used starch to turn under the edges of the "on top" appliques. We used transparent or invisible thread for the appliqueing, with, I believe, a small over-cast stitch of some sort.
Once my quilt was appliqued, Katie came by and suggested that since some of my colors were very close to one another in value, that eventually I might consider satin stitching between these similarly-valued pieces. When I got home, I serendipitously took a crazy quilting class from master teacher Alice Kolb, and Alice had wonderful pointers for satin stitching, a technique that formerly I had struggled with.
I did the satin stitching over stabilizer, too, and then cut it away, sandwiched the quilt as usual, and took it to my wonderful machine quilting friend, Judy Steward, who quilted it most expertly.
No, this isn't my favorite art quilt, but I am fond of it. I have wonderful memories of an outstanding art quilting class. I greatly admire Katie PM and own every one of her books. It is exciting to read them chronologically, and see how her techniques and her own quilts have evolved!
|This is a copy on card stock of my original blind contour drawing. We made|
this in order to have a fairly small rendering to copy onto acetate and then
|This was the water-color that was cut apart and re-assembled.|
Not a very exciting design, for sure!
|Here was the marker "painting" and the positive/negative|
|My water-colored design. I see by all the white areas|
that I never finished it!
Finally, here are some close-ups of the quilt that I named "Aqua in Abstract." Judy's skill at free motion quilting on an"ordinary" sewing machine, puts me, truly, in a state of awe:
|Here, on the pale aqua, it shows up well. I|
didn't really "need" the satin stitching
here, but it was addictive and
hard to stop!
|Judy's machine quilting can better be seen by|
clicking to enlarge!