2019 / quilting

if at first you don’t succeed…

butterfly copy1

In my last post I talked about how my photography hobby had become a big part of my life and that I wanted to somehow try to merge it with my fiber work.  I decided to start with a simple photo with a limited amount of imagery in it so I went back through some of my photos from the butterfly place that I took earlier this year and printed this one out.  It’s a pretty simple photo – just a leaf and a butterfly so I thought it would be a good place to start.


I had an enlarged version of the image printed in black and white, made a tracing of the primary liIMG_6441nes and then pulled out some fabric to work with.  I liked the position of the butterfly in the photo but I wanted more color range so I decided to change the butterfly image to a monarch and pulled out some yellow and orange fabrics to work with.  I put a layer of Mistyfuse on the back of the fabrics and began assembling the quilt top.   All the pieces were fused in place and quilted and then the black lines and all the details were added.

The finished quilt is on the right above.  The final result is a bit more of a literal interpretation of the original photograph than I would like it to be.  While it’s unlikely that it will ever see the light of day (beyond appearing in this blog post) because it’s not at the level that I would like it to be I am glad that I saw it through to completion because it gave me an opportunity to learn.  Working with my own photographs is a new direction for me so of course there is going to be a learning curve and good amount of experimentation until I refine the techniques that I will use.

After I finished the quilt above I came to to a couple of conclusions:

1: I want the finished result to be more abstract and not such a literal interpretation of the photo.

2. I want the color to be more suggestive.  By that I mean I want it to be saturated color but I want the color to not be so center stage.

3. I want the finished result to have more of a “sketched” interpretation – as if I took a black marker to the fabric, sketched in some fast lines and then grabbed a watercolor palette and added a few brush strokes.

With all that in mind, I started again.  This time I started with a white base and added some all over stipple quilting.  Once that was done, I fused my black “sketched” lines in place…


Then I took a deep breath and broke out the paint and added some color…


Monarch 36″ x 36″


After the paint had dried I fused on a few more detail “sketched” lines.  While I don’t think this finished quit will win me any ribbons, I am much happier with the results compared to the first one I made and I did enjoy this method of working more than I did with the other one.  I will continue to explore this new fused sketch and painted technique and see where it leads…


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