Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"Mama's Voice"

The theme for the Quilt Alliance's annual fundraiser and contest this year is "Voices".  It ties in with their commitment to record the stories of quilters and their quilts, so their voices can be documented, preserved, and shared.
It's a great theme!  Learn more about the contest here, so your voice can be heard as well.  It's great to know that proceeds from your quilt being auctioned at the end of the year will support this great non-profit.

I have used the annual contest, with its 16" X 16" format, as an opportunity to explore new ideas in my studio quiltmaking, and this year was no exception.  I've long been intrigued by the idea of creating pictorial quilts as bona fide illustrations, and in this quilt, I gave it a try.

I didn't have a story in mind, but rather a scene I wanted to set....and the voice I celebrate is that of a mother reading to her child.

This was all new to me!

I started with a simple line drawing.

I decided to reverse it, and focus in on the faces, rather than showing the whole hammock.
Faces are tricky, I learned that quickly.  And next time, I'll go lighter with the blue pen.  It is hard to get that much disappearing ink to really disappear for good.

But I needed it to guide my hand embroidery.
Here are the faces partly done, and before I colored in the skin tone with colored pencil.

Then I got to put them "in context", suggesting the hammock without showing the whole thing.

Providing some shade for my readers seemed appropriate, too.  These are collaged cotton leaves cut out from quilters' fabric, Broderie Perse style.
I'm starting to gather my floral embellishments, which will give a country garden vibe to the piece.

And here is the completed "Mama's Voice".
What are they reading?

You decide.......
I would love to practice more faces in the coming months, and see what other stories I can tell with my quilting.  It's fun, and a real challenge.
You'll be able to bid on this quilt in the fall.  I'll let you know when and where.