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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hard Times Art Quilt: Fabric Paper Collage and Fabric Portrait

Currently hanging at the Vacaville Art Gallery Annual Juried Art Show April 25-May 20 2009

I belong to a group called Art Quilts Around The World (formerly Around The World In 20 Quilts) The theme for the latest challenge quilt there was Brave New World.

My “Brave New World” idea struck me as we entered into a decline in our economy hitting an all time LOW. (Our home value dropped over $200,000, stocks took a nose dive, and at age 68 retirement is nowhere on the horizon). As we watched our assets plummeting and this recession leans fearfully toward a possible depression it lent to the name: “Hard Times” and the suggestion of the challenge to use recycled pieces.
It was also suggested to do something you'd not done before, learn something new. I took on the challenge of learning to make fabric paper and fabric portraits.

I learned to make fabric paper from glue, water, paper and muslin. Words and phrases cut from newspaper and magazines tell the story in collage form; fabric portrait, using multi-layers of fabrics in 3 shades with cutouts showing the various layers below gives the emotion to the piece and sets the tone. It is then top free motion sewn with various threads and designs.
Making the portrait was a labor intensive experience, and a challenge in itself, but satisfying in the end.

I also used stencils, paint, Paint Stiks, thread painting, recycled newspaper, tissue paper, embroidery floss, hand embroidery, muslin, cotton, Punchinello ribbon and old beads, all things I had on hand. Many of which were found at thrift stores and/or garage sales second hand.

My main foundation piece measures 11 ½ X 10” approximately (it’s an odd cut shape) with a few extra inches for the green Punchinello pieces I laid under it for a little added dramatic flair.

I framed the small art quilt in a black shadow box to show at our local Art Gallery show in February.

The portrait made from a photo I took of myself is approximately 4” X 5 1/2” at its largest sides (also odd shaped).

I learned how to make the fabric portrait by reading Maria Elkins contribution called "Making Portraits" in The Quilting Arts Book by Patricia Bolton on page 122-125. And I learned the “Making Fabric from Paper” from the contribution of Beryl Taylor on page 84-85 in the same book.