Friday, July 10, 2015

106 pieces plus

Life for me as a quilter who frequently works with templates has become considerably easier a little while ago, just about around Christmas time. That’s when I discovered that our local copy and computer shop prints documents up to sizes A0. That’s a pretty decent size for a quilt! And if you split up the document in two, or more, size options increase considerably. And you don’t have to draw with an overhead projector anymore, which so far has been my outdated mode of working. That was quite a revelation indeed.
Add to that my slowly increasing knowledge and sort-of-aptitude with Photoshop, and you can probably imagine that my techniques of working out a design are in evolution.
Currently I am making use of these developments. After all, I don’t want to give up making quilts of my own just because I have begun longarming. I do plan to enter a quilt for SAQA’s “Diaspora/migration” exhibition, as this is a topic that is pretty high on my list of concerns right now. At first I had not planned to enter, because it seemed as if I had to turn my experiences with the Syrians into a quilt. Because of my personal and emotional involvement it was not easy to come up with a design that did not exploit their plight. But it did not feel right to use their stories in my art, and if there is one thing I don’t want to do, it is to turn the persons I have got to know and even become friends with in some cases into an object of study and artistic interpretation. But about three weeks ago an idea began to take shape, and in the course of exercises for my class with the Pixeladies I began experimenting, and by now I have come quite a way with it all.
Most importantly, I have checked size restrictions and the date of deadline, my two weak spots in entering processes lately. A0 is a possible size - although preference seems to be given to free-standing and three-dimensional objects, whereas I am simply planning a wall-hanging - and end of October is just right for my limited brain capacities in remembering exact dates – I now have taken down that entry needs to be finished and done with before I get onto the plane to New Zealand. That’s easy enough to remember!
So I have used a photo which I got from the internet, taken it through various stages of abstraction, and highlighted the outlines.

Not to forget: a decent grid on the back, with additional matching points where seams need to come together.

Here you can see me as I am cutting out the template pieces,

Old-fashioned 'selfie', done by timer

and these are the pieces slowly being assembled on the design wall.

It’s a total of 106 pieces – with I think two or three pieces extra that have “number plus a” as I realized during cutting the template that some corners might be too tricky.

All of this is only going to be the background for overlaid text, done in stitching. 
I guess I have a load of work ahead of me. And I’m afraid the part with all the small pieces better be pieced by hand. What have I got myself into, ...?


  1. Wat a job!!! But it seems to become a nice quilt!!

  2. It looks like a major undertaking. Glad that your copy shop is making life easier for you.