Monday, March 04, 2013

No more distractions...

Enough with the threads, and the feathers and the silly hats. The time has come to get back to work.

I started a new piece today and thought it might be interesting to track the process here. This will be the next in the Latin American architecture series.

I made a drawing of an outdoor cafe in Mexico, based on a photo that I took. I showed how I adapted the photo in a post on my drawing blog here. You will see that it is quite a different view than the photo. I made a copy of the original drawing and drew a 1" grid on it. Then I decided what size I want the finished piece to be and cut a piece of very lightweight interfacing a little larger than that and drew an enlarged grid on it. Then I drew a very rough outline of the design on the interfacing. This is the technique I learned from Elizabeth Barton and I am learning to like doing it this way. I used to draw the whole thing to size on a sheet of paper which I then used as a pattern. Elizabeth convinced me that in my effort to loosen up, this would present me with a more spontaneous, looser design. Instead of tracing my design on my fabric, I now get the approximate size and proportions from these two drawings, freehand cut the fabric, and begin to build on the interfacing, which will eventually end up inside as an invisible layer.

I pulled the fabrics I thought I might want to use for this piece and began to decide where they might go. Then I cut out a background piece for the main part of the building and I will start adding windows, pillars, etc. I'll be pinning these pieces and parts to the interfacing and not fuse or sew anything down until I have all the pieces in place. This makes it so much easier to change my mind about things as I go along.

You can see, along the top, that I have put the fabrics together for the architectural detail at the top of the building. The strips of fabric are fused to a dark blue to get the lines that I like to use.

This is always exciting to get to this point of having all the preliminary stuff—the drawing, the fabrics, the enlarging and then finally cut into fabric and start layering it. It is at this point that I want more hours in a day and I hate leaving the studio to cook or eat or sleep. Because once I get that first glimpse of what it might be I can hardly wait to see what happens next! So I will try to follow this one through on the blog, regardless of whether it soars or belly flops.


  1. Oh, FUN! I love following along. :)

    I know what you mean about not wanting to stop. I get out in my studio on a roll and its 2am before I know it. Quite often on a 'school night' no less.

  2. I've kind of made the same intentions on my blog. I show my process whichever way it goes. I've tried the pattern method and often get really bored with all the work. I really like the idea of working more spontaneously on the foundation.
    It'll be interesting to follow your progress. I love the piece in your banner!

  3. I'm so happy we get to watch! I loved the first one and this looks like it's going to be another treasure!

  4. Not quite clear to me how you follow the guide of the drawing on the interfacing as it gets covered up. Or is that part of the point--having it not fully visible frees you up to make the shapes more spontaneously? Thanks for sharing the process--will be interesting to see it in detail.

  5. Thank you, Terry, for your generosity in sharing your techniques and carrying us along on your quilt journey. Looking forward to what comes next. Love, Del

  6. I love the drawing of the building! I am excited to follow along. Thanks!