I’m thrilled to share with you (again, but in more detail) Conversations I, which has been juried in to a World of Beauty, the competition exhibit at International Quilt Festival 2012 in Houston, Texas. As usual, the jurors utterly mystified me with their selection: I entered both my portrait of Joshua (which I personally think is the best piece I’ve ever made, seen here) and this quilt, and this is the one that got in! I am thrilled to have a quilt in Houston which is–let’s be honest here–just about the biggest, most important show there is in the quilt world!
A couple Aprils ago, I had the great good fortune to be invited to teach by the Arizona Quilt Guild–it was a fabulous visit. I discovered that it would cost the same to fly via Los Angeles (I’m in Maine, on the other side of the US for those reading from other countries) as to fly direct. If I stopped en route in L.A., I could visit my beloved Sister-in-Law (sister of my heart!), so that’s what I did! When she asked what I wanted to do, I promptly replied: go to the Getty! I had seen photos of the Getty Museum before, including my friend Deborah Boschert’s trip there. The lines, angles and shadows from the tables absolutely enchanted me, so I took a TON of photos. You can see the FOUR (!!!) blogposts from that trip here-1, here-2, here-3 and here-4 if you really want an armchair visit!
I combined two of my photos of the tables and chairs to come up with this composite image…. I also really wanted that stark contrast between stone and sky, but since the chairs were in a courtyard surrounded by buildings, I took artistic license to put my table and chairs somewhere they weren’t in real life!
The shadows were one of my favorite things, but it took a few attempts to get them right. For the quilt, I began with white fabric which I dyed to match the colors in my photos (Thank you, Carol Soderlund…. using my color swatches and formulas and learning from your class did EXACTLY what I wanted with the cloth!). I had intended to use a sheer for the shadows, fused to the beige “stone” paving. But it looked like I stuck something on….and one of the things I liked in the shadows was the seamless transition from beige to dark. So I decided I would use ONLY thread, stitched very closely, to create the shadows, as seen in this photo:
So, on to Plan “C”! Yes, I did test, but it was pretty nerve-wracking to take out the Derwent Inktense pencils and darken the shadows:
I also needed to think about how to create the shaded side of the wood slats on the chairs and table. There is only so think one can cut strips of cloth to fuse. And I didn’t really want to totally mash the quilt by darkening the sides of the slats with thread stitching (as I did in the shadows under the table and chairs). So I used a brown (or was it red?) Pigma pen and wrote words relating to the visit:
So that’s the story….the conversation between me and the cloth and thread and pencils and quilt, but it is just one of the conversations from that wonderful day.