The only thing to report so far, is that there are way too many distractions in life. You know, having to stop working in order to eat... sleep... interact with humans... exercise... (okay, that last one is not really a distraction since I tend to let that slide!).
In spite of all these happy distractions, I'm making good progress. Although, I'm a bit hesitant to share at this point because you can't tell what the heck this is from the photos. Right now it kinds of looks like an explosion... or just something truly weird.
But if you're willing to stay tuned, there are two things I can promise. First, this journey will be several months long. Second, in the end this will be an extraordinary art quilt dog portrait (... a lot of adjectives there, I know, but when you spend this much time on something you get to add extra adjectives!).
So here's where I am today. This requires a bit of imagination --- try to visualize a side profile of a big black dog. Here you can see his collar, his ear, and the bottom part of his head and the beginning of a lower chin.
This dog quilt is an original pattern and when finished, it will include approximately 250 pieces of fabric - all hand appliqued. When I finish that process, I will hand embroider whiskers and then machine quilt the whole thing.
|This photo is the portrait that the quilt is based on.|
I started this quilt during a four-day workshop with David Taylor at Art Quilt Tahoe in early November. During the class, David explained the best way to applique this type of work. As I listened, I thought, oh, that's nice David... but I have been doing hand applique for 15 years, so thank you very much, but I think I've got this covered!
Well... isn't it painful to admit how wrong you were? Yes, David I hope you read this. You were right. I was wrong. Here's the deal.
Each piece of this applique is completely dependent on the piece next to it, so you cannot pick this quilt top up and take it to the couch and sit and applique it! Not even to watch football. Nope. The pieces just won't line up right... believe me I had to redo dozens of them. Here's why. If you get one piece just a little bit off from its precise position, by the time you start to add the other 250 pieces, instead of a replica of a dog, what you will end up with is a big abstract mess.
So.... you have to do as David suggested and keep the entire quilt top flat stretched out on a table at all times so the pieces won't drift! And then you must hand applique it while it is sitting flat on the table. And no, fusible will not work - at least not for me. The pieces must be carefully placed and secured one meticulous stitch at a time, otherwise the points won't lay right under the overlay and the convex and concave lines won't line up properly. Very tricky stuff here, but that is what will give it is beauty in the end, at least that is what I am hoping for. There is a chance of course that it will still end up a big mess!
Below is an image from my first post about this project. This photo was taken while I was still forming the pieces (before the applique/sewing process) --- each piece is pinned on top of the pattern (and into a foam core board).
I'm loving working on this one. And if it weren't for the many distractions in life, and if my back would hold up from leaning over the table, and if my fingers didn't bleed from hours of hand applique, I'd work on this one 24/7!
In the meantime, I am linking up with Nina Marie's art quilt link up - Off the Wall Fridays. Check out all the other great work there.
I am also linking up with Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.