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Saturday, July 17, 2010

My process in a new piece.1

Finally I'm back blogging. I have spent a fair bit of time upgrading my computer skills, learning how to process my pics in Zoombrowser and even worked through the manual. In the past I found that every time I wanted to blog I had to learn the process all over again. No more of that
( I HOPE) !!!
I have wanted to describe my process in detail for some time and have finally done it. As I worked on this piece I took pics of every step, edited them and have come up with 40 pics that describe the whole process from inspiration to finished piece.
It all started when Pat Lemaire and I took classes with Anna Hergert last spring at Fibreworks at St. Lawrence College in Kingston. Anna is a fabulous teacher, one of the best that I have come across. We are actually thinking of bringing her to Prescott but that is an entirely something else and more info will follow.
This blue piece was started in that class. One evening with sewed until one in the morning just because we couldn't leave it alone. You know how that is, experimentation had to continue.After learning all of these new skills I had to make a major piece.This is how it began.

I had been reading a book "Peace In Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk which really resonated with me on a spiritual level. He spoke about the circle of life and how a leaf has many stems. This phrase stayed in my head and as I walked down the stairs into my studio and started pulling out fabric.
I took out a couple of Elaine Quehl's hand dyed pieces and pinned them to the wall. I kept adding more until everything seem to vibrate, it was delicious and vibrant and wonderful. Even the threads and beads that I needed were already in my boxes.It was ready to go.
Editing the fabrics down was not easy. In the end there were two pieces that seemed to work together and then I had to decide how to cut. them so that it would all work.This decision took at least a week. I would arrange it , leave it for a while, look at it and then went on to the next.
This was my final choice. The next step was to make a small quilt out of each section.Anna layers fabric ,backing, and batting, sews around the edges, clips the corners and then turns it right side out like a pillow case.I ended up with 5 small quilts after I hand stitched the openings closed.
To make the corners nice and crisp, you have to clip them.
Next I made my design elements out of freezer paper and placed them where I thought they would work.I wanted the leaf to be the focal point, and the circle motif to be secondary. I also wanted some circular movement. because the quilts were finished, I had to think carefully about the stitching so that I would maintain the integrity of the shapes.The tree was first to be placed on the quilts and I used a freezer paper stencil and three shades of Shiva sticks. With a stencil brush I was able to achieve the soft colouring that I wanted.
I used the sticks to colour the paper and the brush to brush it in( another Anna technique)
Here I was checking to see how much colour was actually laid down.
The tree stenciled onto the main quilt.
Now back to the design elements to see how it was working.I loved the tree, but what more does it need? How do I get some circular movement going?
I have to stop for now but will continue with the process on the next post. If you have any questions please ask, I will answer at

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