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Archive for the ‘Improv technique’ Category

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Don’t read this blog post if you are offended by swearing.  By the F word.  You have been warned.

It started with a couple indigo dyeing days over the last year or so.  A little bit of prep work on the fabric – resist techniques using simple things like rubber bands and old CDs, plastic templates and rocks and more time consuming resist techniques using shibori stitch resist.

Hint…if you include a couple friends, it is a fun morning!  The chemical side is real simple.  It’s just a matter of keeping track of your time when mixing your brew.

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Next up is the design process.  I have done one of these quilts before…using my indigo fabrics and improv techniques.  Here’s a picture of the first one:

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This time, I wanted to include words since I had just taken a class from Jessica Wheelahan on improv letters.  I showed up at the class.  There were only 4 of us so we had very personal attention.  When asked what word I wanted to do – I said FUCK.  Yup.  That was my word.  Sometimes no other word works.  It is my favorite swear word.  I don’t use it often but I like it.  Here are my results from that class:

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Next step was to put my fabrics up on the design wall.  Initially, I was going to do “OFF, IT and YOU”.  It seemed a bit harsh though so after consultation with a few peeps, I changed it to “Fuckity Fuck Fuck Fuck”.  Now…doesn’t that sound sweet?

Once I was happy with the arrangement, it was pinned and then quilted using the Sweet 16.  I used trapunto technique behind the letters as I wanted them to stand out.  To make sure no one missed them.

And, the finished quilt.  On my favorite fence (what is left of it) overlooking our side paddock and being held by Mr. W (note his cute boots!).

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I like it.  I’m pleased with it.  It makes me smile and frankly, I don’t care what others think of it.  Next time though, I might stick to my gut instinct and not soften the message.  Sometimes F-OFF, F-IT and F-YOU are appropriate…even if only said under my breath.

Several people have asked me if I’m going to enter it into any quilt shows.  Probably not.  I did bring it to my local group for show and tell but I gave them a warning to close their eyes if they were easily offended.  I’m not sure if people were offended or not as I received relatively little feedback.   I’d like to show it because I think it is art and I think art doesn’t always just have to be PRETTY….it can relay a message.  However, I don’t think I have a strong enough interest or the energy to rock boats any more.  Fuck it.

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Many techniques used on this one.  Improv piecing, machine quilting, embroidery, hand quilting.   It started as demonstration blocks for a workshop I led in August.

I’m not sure if you can see them or not but there are ‘shadow’ women embroidered around this quilt.  Women of different shapes and sizes.  Also words.  This has a body diversity/body acceptance statement associated with it.  A little bit of anger at the societal focus and societal bigotry toward women who don’t fit into a certain size range.

I like it.

It was said to me yesterday that my work has a unique look to it.  Maybe.  I’m not sure.  Sometimes I think I have a distinct look but then I look at the bigger picture, I look at other improv quilters and I’m not sure.  I guess the bottom line for me is that I am enjoying what I am making.  I think I take inspiration from others and then hopefully create my own piece rather than copying someone else.

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Here is a slide show of the progress on She Let Go.  I think I’m nearing completion on the top.  I like most everything about it.  My plan is to let it sit for a day or two before I finalize the piecing.  Today I made some major moves on it and am more satisfied with it.

I’m thinking to do a trapunto-type process behind the words so that they pop.  I also think I’m going to doodle quilt it; or ‘quilt the snot out of it’ as my friend Susan says.  Sweetie is warmed up and ready to quilt.

My other thought is to use all the left over fabrics for the back.  This is the 2nd quilt I’ve made with this collection of fabrics and I’m ready to move on to something else.  Perhaps I’ll make it a double-sided quilt – I like that idea.  The only thing is that I will make the pieces larger so that I don’t have a huge build-up of seams.

I have quite a few left over ‘building blocks’ – especially the diamond shaped string pieces (which I love but they just didn’t work) – so there might be a smallish wall piece in the making before I totally put this color palette to bed.

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I started a new quilt – improv – challenged by a group to use an ugly fabric.  “She Let Go” is inspired by the poem by Safire Rose.  I used her poem previously in my New York Beauty quilt.  I’m in the beginning stages…building blocks.  I love this stage of quilt design.

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Next is a picture of 60×60.  Top is finished.  Machine FMQ is finished.  Now I’m doing some hand embroidery/stitching/Kantha.  Another favorite part of the quilting process for me.  It sits in front of the TV so each night I do something on it.

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And finally, a piece of Alcohol Ink on tile that I recently finished.  I had an old canvas that I painted black and then Mr. W attached the tile (left over from the bathroom remodel) to it.  It hangs in the little house.  This was using just one color of alcohol ink (black) and blending solution.  I love all the colors that developed and the texture.  The 2nd and 3rd pictures are close-ups.  It is truly meditative work.  I couldn’t do another like this if I tried.

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