Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blast Off

This project began as an FFF Challenge. The theme was space.

I spent days looking at marvelous photos from the Hubble Telescope. However, as much as I was in awe of the photos, nothing spoke to me. Finally I hit upon this theme = going into outer space.

I wanted to use dyes, but my past experience had been just painting the dyes on a piece of cloth laying on a table. It didn't work as I had envisioned. Lots of flow across the table; very little control. Therefore, my first step was to make an adjustable frame on which to secure my fabric. I recycled wood from some old frames I had used when I lived in apartments and moved a lot. These were very flexible, but no longer needed. I think the photo explains it very well.


Old side rails from my portable shelves


Side rails recycled into a frame for dying and painting

I lightly sketched my rocket, platform, and buildings as seen from across a bit of water. I used a textile maker in gray as I only wanted a little bit to show threw the 'dust from the blast off'. Then I applied dyes. It took several layers of dye to get what I wanted. Then I began with the paints. I ironed between layers to preserve what I had already done. Previously, I had skipped this step. Not happy when the colors moved. I learned from that mistake.


Sketch on stretched fabric on frame


Dyed with painting started

When I was satisfied, I added an inner border of a very soft brown and an outer border of a dark purplish-blue. I spent two days interviewing borders. I was very invested in this step. I thought the brown was perfect. Fortunately, I had just barely enough to do a 1\4” border. Then I started quilting. That took a while. I messed up on the inner border, but tried for days to save it.


I was in love with these borders. Hard to cut them off.

FINALLY, I realized the borders had to go. This was hard. It was after reading from the Quiltart list that I knew I had to do it. I don't remember who, but someone said something that has stuck. It was similar to , 'If you are in love with one piece of fabric maybe that is what needs to go.' I sure wanted those borders. Cutting them off lost 7” in both horizontal and vertical directions, plus I was in love with both fabrics. However, as it turns out, cutting them off was absolutely necessary to achieve the final result. I know it is not perfect However, it is the best I've quilted so far. I darkened the details to better show the quilting. The full art quilt is truer to the actual colors.


BLAST OFF 17" x 37.5"


Blast Off darkened detail 1

Blast Off darkened detail 2


My name, Ann E. Ruthsdottir, machine embroidered on the front.
It actually is hard to see because the color blends in so well.
However, it would be quite a job to take it off.
I had to lighten the photo in order to see my name.

Comments welcomed and appreciated.

9 comments:

Stacy said...

Very nice! I love the quilting and the painting, too, especially the grasses in the foreground.

JYA Fiberarts said...

Lovely dye painting and terrific quilting! Ann, you did a wonderful job on this!

Michigoose said...

Marvelous! and I finally get to see the thing up close and personal. The piece you posted on the FFFC photo spot was intriguing, but way too small.

In real life, it is just as fantastic as the little thumbnail showed. I LOVE it, and I think you were correct in taking off the borders, although they are a fantastic color. Wonderful job, Ann!

Pamela Price Klebaum said...

This is a great example of listening to yourself well. The final product is just outstanding! Major major fine job on the quilting!

pcoxdesign said...

Gorgeous Ann! Loved the colors and the quilting.

norma said...

Just wonderful! I love your quilting and the dye painting looks great.

kathy york said...

Love it! Especially the theme and your vision of it. Painting and quilting really well done. Thanks for sharing with us!

Laura Krasinski said...

Wow.. this is really a work of art...

alexa said...

I love it! The quilting is great. I especially like the blast off clouds. Keep up the good work. Alex