In this post I want to tell you about the birth of the quilt I've made for the Bergamo show "quilters in wonderland" hosted by DireFareQuiltare and held during the Creattiva fair (october 2011)
First of all the theme... in the call for entries was stated: "The journey of Alice in Wonderland is a fantastic journey that brings us back to our childhood. A journey into a wonderland where there are so many fantastic characters, but also a psychological journey on the growth phase of each of us. in Wonderland we meet our fears, our hardships, the difficulties that each of us has had to overcome to "grow". Follow the white rabbit in its burrow, take a look on this world to discover ourselves. "
As you can see there were lot of ways to interpret the theme: literally or introspectively
And since I swim in the introspective like a fish in its pond I immediately set aside the figure of the beautiful blonde girl to look at my path of growth, my fantasy world, my fears.
(and then think... the Wonderland is not so wonderful, Alice is for most of the time alone, lost, scared, sad, and doesn't understand what happens. At the end there is also a mad woman that wants to decapitate her. Oh what a joy!)
So this is how this quilt was born. Its title is "Of the live fears and death illusions"
To design this quilt I started by the naked pregnant woman. Before I drew the outline, building at first a sketch of the skeleton and then "mounting" on it the muscles. To know anatomy helps a lot in the construction of the human figure.
I then built the Notan, that is a study in black and white of lights and shadows. This helps to distribute the colors, as in the second test done in pencil.
After performing the test with pencil on paper I copyed the figure on lilac hand-dyed cotton and I reproduced the shades of colour with lilac paintstick and a sponge. The details were outlined with the Inktense purple pencil.
Here are the three phases: Notan - pencil - fabric. Click on images to enlarge.
Done the woman I went on drawing the background. I made the design on the freezer paper and then ironed it on the front of the background fabric.
Then came the "difficult" part: color the whole thing using the drawing as a large mask from which cut off pieces to color (still paintstick and sponge) the fabric. The pieces are then masked again to protect them against the next color.
There are mainly two difficulties, one technical and one conceptual:
- Cut the freezer paper without cutting the fabric below
- Since each section is uncovered, coloured and then covered again, you cannot see the finished work till the very end. This means that you must already have in mind a definite idea of colors to be applied: which and where. In short, you must have in mind a clear vision of the finished work and of what has been already done to avoid missing pieces.
Here is a picture of the work during construction. I only unmasked the three flowers I was coloring, notice how all the other pieces already colored are covered under the freezer paper. This is to avoid stains and smudges. It's a job that requires great precision.
After the entire background had been coloured came the good part, you can peel off the whole freezer paper and finally, for the first time, the full background is visible. Therea re still white areas where I was going to paint killer whales (with the same techniques but in a smaller scale) and where I was going to applique the woman.
Here are two details on the finished work. You can see the colour shades and the quilting that outlines shapes and fill the background.
I love this quilt, another one that reflects my soul. I'm happy it has been appreciated, also if it didn't earned an award. :)
(oh and no, I'm not pregnant ^_*)