This week I have been dealing with the background of the Franklin quilt. Franklin’s selfie on which this piece is based, was taken in front of the Paris Opera House. I envisioned one of the birds alighting on his hat, the bluebird of happiness. So it was important to me to include the lines of the Opera House.
I first tried to draw the lines in chalk. I couldn’t get them to line up properly and soon had extra lines every where. I cleaned that off the quilt and printed out just the Opera House on card stock and sewed along the lines without thread, making a template.
This template allowed me to use a Pounce Pad (filled with loose chalk) to mark the lines on the quilt. It worked great. When I began quilting those lines, however, the result was weak at best. I had envisioned the lines quilted in gray thread, and the result was simply not good. I thought about just quilting a fill pattern in the background, but I really wanted the Opera House. I wanted the connection between the bird in the Opera House and the bluebird of happiness. I felt that was important. Critical, even. Sampling a number of ideas, I settled on quilting everything but the lines.
I’m quite pleased with the effect. I was near tears last week. It’s hard to shift when you’ve created and carried an image in your mind for months. In the end, as hard as they are to make, those shifts often lead to better things.
And it’s a whole new year! Welcome 2022!
After Sonia was finished, I did a cute piece for my niece’s daughter. She loves black cats.
It was a fun piece to do once I let go of the idea that the cats had to be 100% identical. I loosened up and had fun with the building and the quilting.
With the cats completed, I was able to start on the Franklin Habit quilt. Franklin is an author/knitter/designer/artist/teacher extraordinaire who recently moved from Chicago, which he hated, to Paris, which he loves. He took an amazing selfie that, the moment I saw it, I knew I had to quilt. So, with Franklin’s permission, I’ve been working on this piece for the past few weeks.
I started with the eyes. Franklin’s round glasses are iconic, so I wanted to focus on those first and get the eyes right.
From the eyes, I I did his forehead, then his nose, and then the rest of the face.
Once his face was complete, I added the scarf, and then the coat.
I added his hat and last, but not least, the bluebird of happiness!
The quilting of Franklin is underway - my favorite part. But that’s for the next post.
In other quilt news, I brought Martha and Berkeley home from Tilting at Windmills Gallery. I am honored that Terry wanted to include them in the incredible work she has there, but it pushed them into a price point that was too high. I can’t accept commissions at one rate and expect Terry to sell quilts at another. That wouldn’t be fair to anyone involved. So Berkeley is back above my mantle, and Martha is now alongside Giuseppe in the hallway, and it makes me wildly happy to see them there. Once Franklin is completed, I will have all the quilts from Polarsky on photographed properly and feel better about offering them for sale.
I will end this with a wish for peace, comfort, joy, and boundless creativity to find you in 2022, along with my finishes for 2021.
Sonia is done! She’s residing on my design wall until the sewing room is clean enough to put the binding on. I have designed the mug for Sonia, which I’ll put on the site later today. There will be a tote too, and maybe a print. I’m waiting on samples.
Meanwhile, I have a time sensitive project to complete. It’s a Christmas gift from my niece to her daughter, who loves cats. On Friday, we got our boosters and flu shots, after which I came home and dove into the project, just in case the shots took me out of commission for a few days. The result was a bit of a chaotic mess.
Once a piece is built, all the fabrics in place, I clean up somewhat before the quilting process. When I’m finished, how much I clean the room depends on how intensely I worked on the previous quilt. For larger or more complicated works, it helps me clear out all the energy that went into a quilt before I move on to the next one.
The gift for my niece is a quilt of two cats under the moon. This is the beginning, back side. I hope to have the quilt done this week, in plenty of time for her to have it ready for her daughter’s Christmas.
New site, new blog.
This what would be the living room in a normal house. Here, however, it’s where I make the cases and cables for DyakCraft, and it’s where I quilt. My main and backup machines are both Bernina, as is my quilting machine. I’m definitely a fan!
The view from the front of my room. The black fabric on my cutting table is Moda Grunge in the color Black Dress. It’s a staple in my quilts and that is the last of that color in any shop near me! I ventured into NH yesterday to procure that. I have several pieces coming up that will need it, plus shipping on fabric is still all out of whack, so a stash of it is a good thing right now.
The design wall is presently filled with tote samples. It makes me happy to see some of the quilts that are no longer here. Helen, the chicken, is the only one at the house right now. In the corner is Lance’s table, and Lance. He’s often a fixture in the sewing room. Beyond the room is DyakCraft’s packing area and office in what would be a large country kitchen. This house has held businesses for many decades, though, and any hint of kitchen is long gone. We have a small galley kitchen on the second floor.
Under my needle right now is a quilt of Sonia Sotomayor. This is my first foray into a person’s face, and it’s been a challenge. I’m usually nervous when I begin quilting a piece, and Sonia was no different. I put it off for quite a while. Eventually I dove in, however. I’m using silk thread, 100 weight, for this piece, a departure from my go to of 40 weight Glide. I thought Sonia deserved the more subtle and refined look of silk. Right now I’m quilting her hair, adding swirls and curls in silk, but openly so that there will be more texture to her hair. I am still undecided on the background quilting. Once I have her completely done, I’ll hang her on the design wall until I decide.