Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Still Life

Since it is still technically Summer even with the kiddos all back in school -- at least here in AZ -- I thought you might like to see this still life quilt done a while back.  Far enough back that I had not started using paint to enhance shading in my quilts, so I'm thinking it needs to be "fixed".

This was from a class I was lucky enough to be invited to attend.  Another chapter of the AZ Quilter's Guild was hosting the teacher and it was supposed to be for that group, but they had an opening or two and I got to take it.

We were to bring a photo either our own or of a completed art piece.  Not wanting to challenge the copyright laws, I chose a photo in the encyclopedia (remember those?) from an artist who lived long enough ago that the copyright law did not apply to her work.

The only shading is either creative use of the fabric or from the satin stitching around the edge.  We projected the image onto a wall where our batting was taped and "rough cut" the pieces.  I learned I did not like this method.  Later pieces where I projected an image onto the wall, there was poster board or freezer paper to use as templates.  That method, for me anyway, worked better.  It gave me more accuracy than the method used in this piece.

Bridal tulle and beads are used to give a more opaque look to the bowl.

You can see the selective use of fabrics particularly on the cherries.

Finding enough variation for the green grapes wasn't easy -- one place the paint accents would have helped.

I did like the fabric making the peach look very ripe as well as the marble for the table top.  Again, I see places that I may go back and add some paint for shading.

The strawberries needed more variation in the reds and there is definitely a need for more shading on the bowl. 

My apologies for the fuzzy image -- must have been a little close for the camera setting.  You can see the addition of the beads for the strawberry seeds, though.

So that is the still life.  Parts of it I like, and parts need to be improved.

What I learned --
  • I was not fond of the technique we used in class -- you can modify techniques to suit the way you like to work
  • Fabric can be used to create at least part of the shading
  • What you bring to class may not be what you need at all
  • Paint and beads and specialty fabrics can do a lot to create the effect you want
  • You can always go back and add paint and embellishments, even to a finished piece
As long as you learn something -- even one thing -- in a class you have gained knowledge that can be used in later pieces to make them better.

What have you learned in one class that made your later pieces better?

Have you noticed that sometimes what you intend to learn in a class is not what you do learn?

Sometimes you learn just watching what the other students are doing with their pieces.

Until next time,


julieQ said...

What a beautiful piece! I have never been to a class...ever...but would like to someday. I have learned from my mother though...that perfect isn't everything...that you can do whatever you make do with what you have...and find great joy in the making!!

Lorinda said...

Pretty piece. I guess I tend to leave past pieces alone. The learning is enouh for me. I don't need to fix them -- they are just part of my history. I find the quilter's knot to still be the number one thing learned in classes no matter what the class is as long as it involves handwork.
I remember learning it in a class as a student and I ahve sure taught it a lot as a teacher!

Shabby Friends said...

OH MY!!!! That is just beautiful. There is no limit as to what you can add to a quilt. Love the beads. Where do you buy your fabric?

Lois Arnold said...

Juli -- thank you! Your quilts are beautiful! You taught yourself well!
Lorinda-- Thank you! As little time as I have to work on pieces, I'll probably never get around to fixing the shadows on this piece. I agree about the quilters knot, it's so automatic I forget about it!
Shabby Friends -- thank you! Most of my fabric comes from quilt shops. I tend to look for fabrics that remind me of something like the marble in this piece rather than cutesy prints, though I do sometimes buy those too.