Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Larger Than Life

I was recently asked to make a project of mine in a much larger size than the original. In more than one way, this project is larger than life....because it is actually a self portrait and the finished quilt is definitely larger than real life! I thought I had already blogged about the progression of this project, but since I can't find the post, I must not have. So I must start at the beginning!

This project had it's beginning in February of 2006 - I was exploring the idea of making journal pages. Unfortunately this was the only one I did that year, but I was really happy with it and always intented to come back and do more. This quilt was a self portrait - me standing in a cold windy Oregon rain. I purposely used a blue fabric for my skin because that's what I remember about that winter was it was cold, wet and windy. I put a New York Beauty block on the back of it, then embelished this side with some sparkly fiber. I quilted it with a lot of McTavishing and echoing. I brought it in to the quilt shop and it ended up hanging with a group of other self-portraits - and is still there!

Fast forward a few years, I was out walking on one of those perfect, beautiful fall days and looking up at a clear blue sky through brilliant colored leaves I had the idea to make another quilt using the same basic layout as the first one. After my walk I found the templates I had used for the first piece (after a bit of searching, of course!) and pulled fabric from my stash that reflected the lovely colors of the day. This quilt was more simply finished, just basic outline quilting and no embellishment. I enjoyed it for a while, then decided to add it to my Etsy shop for sale.

One more skip forward and we come to the present, and the larger project! I had a request on Etsy to make a larger version of this to cover a futon. Not being one to back down from a challenge, I readily agreed to make it, thinking that with the help of EQ7 it wouldn't be too hard to import my first quilt and creat templates for the pieces. In reality it was more challenging than I thought it would be, but totally worth it!

The image was very easy to import into the program. Tracing the pieces was a bit tedious, but not overly difficult. What was hard was making the proportions work. Luckily my daughter was able to assist me so that my face doesn't look like I could have beat Quasimodo out for the crown of King of Fools!

This picture is my quilt at the end of the fusing process, before quilting. Another thing I didn't realize when I started it was the challenge that merely handling these large pieces would end up being! Luckily I have a pressing mat for my large cutting table, so that helped immensely, but in order to make my templates for the pieces I had to tape quite a few pieces of paper together, then trace them onto fusible web, then iron the pieces to fabric, cut them out and put it all together.

It took me longer than I thought to get it all together, but I am really pleased with the end product! This will definitely be a statement in my customer's room and I am so pleased that my larger Than life Autumn Winds quilt will be enjoyed and appreciated. Does this mean that I might really be able to call myself a "Quilt Artist" after all? Frankly it doesn't matter what I call myself, as long as I enjoy the process I will continue to challenge myself and enjoy what I do - whether it means making traditional blocks, or creating unique works of quilted art!

In Stitches,



DownHome Designs said...

Pam, what a giant undertaking! My hat's off to you. It looks great!

Terry Aske Art Quilts said...

This is fabulous, Pam! I look forward to seeing the finished quilt ... and, yes, you are definitely a quilt artist!

Pam Geisel - For Quilts Sake said...

It's neat to see all the photos together...great job!