Project Projection

This is how it starts when it comes to making shadow shapes: the overhead projector gets dragged into the living room. This is the biggest shadow shape I’m using, here it’s projected on some Pellon True Grid taped to the wall. I outlined it with a sharpie, cut it out, and pinned it on top of a large piece of shiny nylon tulle. I put stabilizer on the back of the quilt top; here I am feeding the shape through my machine and sewing the outline:

Pinning everything together and laying it out requires my large braided rug to be used as a work surface:

The next step: dyeing yarn for the outlines for the shapes. I’m using bright colors to liven things up; the piece is a bit gray so far.  The largest shape requires 20 feet of yarn. I’ll dye small amounts of fabric or yarn in my kitchen sink:

The first completed shape is orange and it’s on the left side: it’s meant to be subtle.

I’m sewing down the second outline now….updates soon.

Screen Printing Saguaros

I need some fabric for the border of my quilt; I spent the weekend screen printing, and while I wanted the fabric dark, I started out light with a dark pink. Above, the first run of saguaros. Below, two silk screens with saguaros cut out of contact paper stuck; the screens are the same size, but the arrangement of the saguaros is different on each one.

I then did a run of blue, then gray over the pink:

This is how the fabric looked after the first run of gray, it’s the vertical piece on the right:

I thought it wasn’t dark enough, and printed another run of saguaros with what I thought was a darker gray, but it didn’t make too much difference; here’s both vertical pieces auditioning on either side of the quilt top, along with some fabric strips auditioning for window frames for the 6 windows:

I think I’m OK with the vertical border fabric as it is. Which is another way of saying I’m done screen printing out in the heat on my patio. The next step is to put it all together, and then I have to decide what colors to use to frame the windows; here’s a few strips I’m trying out. My sister had the great idea to alternate the colors and widths of the fabric strips for the windows.

Lots to do. More soon, when I can tear myself away from obsessive/compulsive fabric auditioning and sewing. It seems I just can’t stop trying out yet more colors and patterns to see what will work best. This is where having lots of fabric may be my doom.

Collages Are Coming Together

I started work a few weeks ago on the 6 window-shapes that will be a big design element in my latest project, an art quilt about the January 8 shooting. You can see the beginning of the collage here. Once I created shapes that large enough to be trimmed down to 8″x8″ squares (the ultimate size of the inside of the window), I laid them out on a board covered with a towels and pinned silk organza over them and then used a silk screen to squeegee on acrylic gel medium.

Here they are after the gel medium was applied:

It’s always a bit nerve-wracking at this point; I wonder how much of the image from the paper underneath actually transferred to the silk.

And of course, you have to rush to rinse off your tools IMMEDIATELY because acrylic gel medium hardens like a rock in minutes and then you can’t get it off:

That’s what some of the advanced plumbing in my “outdoor studio” looks like!

Here are two of the six 8″ by 8″ squares, ready at some point to find their home in my ever-evolving project on this topic:

It is a bit depressing to think about.

I’m really hoping this turns out as well as I think it can.