Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Quilt Guild Challenge

I belong to my local quilt guild in Lexington, VA (Rockbridge Pieceworkers Quilt Guild) and this year we did the two-color crayon challenge.  This was a lot of fun because the two colors I got could not have been more appropriate for me...
What luck because my favorite holiday is Halloween!  We could also add black, white or beige to our quilt but at least 51% needed to be our chosen colors.

Anyone who follows my work knows that I'm an out of the box thinker when it comes to my artwork.  I have made traditional quilts in the past but I consider myself a textile artist who creates art quilts; wall hangings that incorporate various textiles and most of the time an "unusual object" of some sort.

With this in mind, I went to Pinterest for inspiration.  I found a watercolor and ink painting of a female in a beautiful ball gown.  That was it!! (Pinterest link)  Using my purple and orange colors, I was going to transform this girl from a stunning blue dress to a Halloween Masquerade Ballgown!

I first researched the artist that painted "my inspiration" and her name is Inslee Haynes (or Inslee Fariss).  She is a New York City-based artist and illustrator and she can be found at Inslee By Design.

I then graphed the design to the largest size I could without going over the requirements for the challenge (100" perimeter)

My next step was to cut out my pattern and quilt a background for her.  I found this chandelier fabric at Walmart (cringe!) and I went into my fabric stash for the realistic looking wood fabric.
The quilt peeking out from the right is my Steampunk quilt

Next, let's start designing her ball gown!  Ball gowns are traditionally "pouffy and sparkly" and I enjoy beadwork and embroidery so I knew this was going to be the focal point of my design.  I went through my stash of orange and purple ribbons, beads, embroidery floss, felt and paint.  I then sat for a few days looking at what I had... waiting for inspiration.  I always tell my husband that I could never be on Project Runway because they have no time to sit with their project, they just have to cut and sew and cut and sew.  I am a slower designer.  I have to do a few steps then let it hang there for a few days and even maybe a few months!

Then inspiration hit:

We traveled (from Virginia) to Indiana for Thanksgiving and to Wisconsin for Christmas.  I needed handwork for the car and this was the perfect opportunity to finish her ballgown.

I used beige felt for her head and arms and permanent brown and black markers for shading on her arms and to draw her face.  I initially cut and sewed brown felt for where I was going to put her hair but I knew I would be covering up most of the brown felt with "3-D hair."

And then came the hair...(which I hand sewed in place)

Over the Christmas holidays, I found a white chandelier ornament that I wanted to use.  I wasn't sure how I was going to incorporate it into my quilt but it looked just like the printed background fabric.

Next came the paint and the clay.  I painted the chandelier purple and orange and added the same color beads.  I then made a masquerade mask out of orange and purple Sculpey clay then glued sequins to the mask and the mask to the stick.

Next the chandelier.  I knew where I wanted to put it on the quilt but it was big and bulky.  I remembered a wall hanging I made 8-10 months ago where I cut a hole through the quilt and strung a spider web through it.  Problem solved!

I felt like her hair needed something else, like a hair clip so something.  So I made this out of Sculpey clay also, the same material as the mask.

The challenge isn't until March's meeting so this hasn't been seen by anyone in my guild yet.  I hope that it has enough of the two colors for the challenge but if not it was a blast making it anyway.

Thanks for looking!

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