Posts Tagged ‘exploration quilts’

The Quilts for Obama show continues to get a great deal of buzz.  I recently found out that there is a possibility that the show could be extended.  Nothing has been confirmed yet but I will let you know.  In the meantime, Sonji Hunt has been collecting links of the 44 artists in the show.  After you have finished visiting here please take a look at Sonji’s blog to see the fabulous work of the show participants.


I have been working on a new piece for a show about Africa

n Merwomen and Merwomen.  My quilt is called Olokun kept Us. Olokun is said to be the keeper of the deepest part of the sea.  She is often depicted as a mermaid. Sometimes she is described as being/connected to Yemaya.  The quilt I  constructed evolved from a dream I had.  I had been reading Nature’s Studio by quilt artist Joan Colvin.  I admirolokuntransfer1e her work and found some of her collage techniques interesting.  In rendering Olokun I wanted to show her deep in the water but I also wanted her to be a part of the water.  Reading Colvin’s book got me to thinking about ways to make my figure blend into the background fabric.  I did not want to applique the image or have her sit on top of the fabric.  I began this quilt three times before I got the effect I wanted. Here is the first “block” I created.  I came up with the idea of  painting Olokun on to iron on adhesive and then transfering the image onto fabric.  I thought that this was one way I could get the sheer look I wanted — where the figure would look like it was emerging from and was one with the background.  So, I held my breath and used a light gray colored pencil to sketch in the figure. I then painted the figure on to Heat n Bond lite with liquid acrylic paints.  I let my painting dry, cut it out and got my iron out and this is what I got in my first attempt



What I discovered in this process is that Heat n Bond Lite is not the correct adhesive to use for this process.  I found it too plasticky.  Also, the ransfer became hard and peeled in someareas.  Still I felt I was on to something so I decided to try it again.  In the next version I made a more detailed drawing and really focused on painting the face. This time I decided to paint on Wonder Under.  Here is a picture of the painting in progress.  My next post will show the steps I went through to complete the transfer and build the rest of the quilt.



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As I mentioned below one of my art goals for 2008 is to create a small weekly quilt. This is not an original thought obviously since so many others have been taking part in this process for years. Still, I think I will learn a lot by working this way. In the midst of working on larger projects I find sometimes that it is nice to stop and do something small. Working small is also a way to clear my head.

SCREAM by Deborah Grayson Bailey

Here is my first exploration quilt, “Scream.” Unlike my usual process I did not do a thumbnail before I began. I simply sketched right on the canvas. I used primed 7oz canvas as my surface, painted the face and then stitched. I did something weird here that gave me an interesting result. When I painted the face it was too yellow (I was going for a glow). Using Golden matte glaze I covered the entire face in purple to tone it down and then I went back in and rubbed off the paint in areas where I wanted highlights. You can still see some areas where the paint dried on me and I couldn’t get it off. At first I panicked because I had a big purple mess. Still, I kept rubbing. I then free motioned stitched the hair to make her face pop more. I wasn’t using the right needle for stitching through the canvas but I kept going. Despite the look on *her* face *I* am pretty happy with the result. The piece is neither beautiful nor horrible it just is.

In the coming week I hope to experiment with either monoprinting or silk screen. Right now I am finishing another 8×10 piece using my printer and neon pink thread. Exploration is GOOD.

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