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.