Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Crane Construction

My February Contemporary Quilt 12 x 12 Journal Quilt is based on the cranes on the GWQ site that I see every day on the journey into work. They produce fascinating angles and silhouettes and I like the variety in size and colour (there's at least 8 of them). I played around in Photoshop to simplify the shapes and patterns.

Rather than using applique for the cranes I wanted to piece them so that they were part and parcel of the final piece. Despite fairly careful thought and planning there was some 'unsewing' along the way. First of all I added sky strips to the crane uprights and then cut into the background fabric. So far so good but I came a bit unstuck doing the same with the diagonals - far more difficult to match up ( thank goodness for a sharp new seam ripper!) I thought the insertion of the last red upright would be straight forward but as the strip was wider then the seam allowances had to chop off some of the width so the diagonals didn't look too odd. Perhaps applique would have been simpler but I did achieve a slight 3d quality to the cranes by pressing the seams inwards.

Next the quilting. After establishing some basic lines, I worked mainly from the back using silk buttonhole and cotton perle thread in the bobbin, interpreting some of the patterns in the gridwork in the cranes (they're really complex and change according to what angle you're looking at them ). The sky was quilted following the patterns and swirls in the background fabric but in retrospect something simpler would have been more effective

And then I painted over it in acrylics! I really like what I achieved on the cranes themselves - just what I was hoping for, with the quilting and background colour showing through the paint. The sky was less successful - mainly as the quilting was too fussy

Overall I was pleased with the results , especially the composition and the patterning on the cranes - definately scope for further development of ideas. I also had a go at attaching a facing using the techniques explained on 'Jeri-Rigged' blog. This worked reasonably well for a first attempt but another time I'd use thinner strips for this sized piece.


The Wittering Rainbow said...

What an amazing transformation the acrylic paint makes - it really turns it into something different and exciting.

fiona d said...

this is such an exciting technique - I really like the results. Requires some courage as well, I imagine!