Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sharing the process- a new upcoming workshop

I am often asked "How do I come up with my ideas?" or "How do you put it together?" when people see my artquilts. I know each one of us is unique and go about the process completely different but I am going to share with you my process with this last quilt I made, my signature quilt, that ended up growing as I assembled it. It became larger than I originally planned. 

First comes the inspiration, that can be from anywhere, books, nature, photos etc. In this case I was admiring and amazed by the month challenge on Wet Canvas in the floral/botanical area. They had posted photos of caladium and everyone interprets it their own way. I loved all the leaves and colors, then when everyone started posting their pieces, it was great. Wow, amazing. I was inspired also by Signchick or Beths acrylic painting where she used purple in the background and I was now filled with ideas to make a quilt. I needed to make a signature quilt for my quilting group. Every camp someone makes a quilt that everyone signs, then names go into a hat and one person is selected to win the quilt. The theme this camp was "Jungle". The leaves were a perfect fit for the theme and I was off and running. I started by drawing up my own interpretation of the caladium leaves. I then took this drawing and blew it up to the size I wanted the leaves to be.

I then took my drawing and painted it to give it color and life.

At this point I am thinking of different ways to transform this into fabric and how will I arrange the elements. I started making small thumbnail sketches of layout ideas and decided I liked the boxes of color in the background. I went through my stash of fabric and found a batik I just loved that had all the colors of my painting along with the purple I wanted to incorporate.

You can see here that I have leaves in bunches and some flowers, which I eliminated. I still like this design but as the quilt evolved I make different design choices and decisions as to placement etc.  Now I choose my fabrics. I choose the batik with all my colors and added some of the colors from that fabric like the green. I painted the pink and lime green fabric that i used for the caladium leaves. Then using my templates I cut out and fused the fabrics together to make the leaves. I even used the cut outs I had left over from cutting out the leaves as new leaves if you look at the quilt you will see that. The leaves without different colored edges are just the left over fabric from cutting out the ribs for some of the leaves. I sew all the blocks together after laying out how I want them to fall. This part of the design takes the longest, I have to square everything, figure out how how much to add to each piece to make it even sewable. I could have also fused all of the squares onto a base but I decided to piece since I need the practice. 

Here you can see the smaller black fabric on the top of the quilt, that was my original size and it is under this new quilt. I am beginning to place the leaves onto the base to see the composition etc. Once I am happy I can iron these elements into place and then add the other smaller elements such as the leaves, outlines.  I ended up taking out a few of the leaves and adding in the outlines of the leaves instead. I ended up simplifing as I went along.

Here is a piece of my hand painted fabric that I didn't cut up, I love this piece and may want to make it into commercial fabric for one of my next fabric lines. So here is the final quilt.
The colors arent great here, I need to photograph it during the day, the incandesent lights make it yellow at night! Uhhgg.  I finished it off by satin stitching the caladium leaves down, I wanted a thicker black outline around them, then I just freemotion quilted the leaves and additional lines, I did a minimum of quilting on this quilt due to my machine acting up, since its an artquilt and will be hanging I will be fine.  I plan on teaching a workshop where we will first do our sketches and then translate into a quilt design. Look for that in the next few months.


ale balanzario said...

Thanks for sharing, very interesting post!! Love the colors in your quilt.


Shirley said...

Wonderful blog post - creativity is such a mysterious process! And it is nice to see how others work.

Nancy Goldman said...

Hi Desiree, thanks for posting your process. I love this quilt. The colors are beautiful and I like the variety you created with your different renditions of the leaves.

becky joy said...

Thank you for sharing. It was very interesting to see your process. Nice work.

Jim Simms said...

How very cool!!!

K-Sue said...

This is so-ooo out of my league, but I am fascinated with seeing your creative path. What a beautiful project.

I think those of us who are less artistic believe that an artist just sits down and goes to town all in a straight line with the end in site. Thanks for showing me how you work.

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