Friday, July 6, 2007

A Pair of Pears

I completed the 2nd mini art quilt in the "pears" theme. This one was easy, because the pattern, the colors, and even the idea of a batik border is pretty much taken right out of the book, Art Quilt Workbook. Chapter 3 is about working from photographs, and the authors provide a pattern of a pear with the shading and highlights included. This worked right into my drawing class this week, too, since we learned about shading and highlights. I'm anxious to draw something, complete with highlights and shading, and then create my own pattern out of it.

This was a good exercise because I learned a lot about creating and working from a pattern. The most important thing I learned is to follow the directions. I thought I would be smart and, instead of tracing the pattern onto tracing paper, simply copy it on the copier. That worked well for tracing out the pieces on the fusible web, but when it came time to place those pieces on the background, I had nothing to follow. I finally went back and traced the pattern, then taped it to the background fabric and slipped the fabric pieces underneath, placing them where they were supposed to go. Instead of saving myself time, I ended up taking twice as long.

In addition, I learned:
  • When you're trying to illustrate highlights & lowlights, don't use fabric with color variation; that messes up the plan.
  • Same thing for variegated thread

Another thing I practiced with this mini quilt was a continuous binding. I've been afraid of those up to now, and instead I've been binding the sides, then the top and bottom. I thought it was time to make myself do a continuous binding, instead (I know it's called something else, but I can't remember the name right now). It actually turns out that, once again, the continuous binding is easier than what I've been doing, and the results look much better.

I'm not sure I can create another pear piece; I don't really know why, except that I'm having a hard time thinking of things to do with pears. I think that's a failure of imagination on my part, so I'm tempted to stick with it and really push myself to come up with an interesting design. The next chapter in the workbook is on creating a collaged art quilt. Perhaps I'll hang out in the orchard just a little while longer, and see what grows.

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