Remember when it rained a couple of weeks ago on the very day I was planning to do outside fabric painting? I did it anyway... on the floor in the garage.
My mission was to create a background piece for the challenge issued by the Twisted Stitchers -- a small art quilt group here in the Dallas area. The Twisted Stitchers had noted a lack of entries in the "large applique" catagory at the Dallas Quilt show, so they decided to flood the catagory with stunning entries from our members. We are supposed to make pieces that are at least 12 inches wide by at least 72 inches long. That's the minimum that will qualify for the "large" catagory. We're all doing verticle compositions. Can you believe how big that is? I've never done anything that is 72 inches long. In fact, most of my recent stuff doesn't even reach 12 inches. A welcome challenge for me! I might have poo poo'd the idea of applique... but of course that just means fusing which I'm totally comfortable with. I think I can even stretch mixed-media collage into the applique catagory.
Of course I studied Sonji's tutorials before I began and I had high hopes for inspiration and success. Here are the paints I started out with.
How I ended up with such "springy" colors during this "fall" season, I'm not sure.
Here are my two pieces after I finished the painting. On the right I copied Sonji's genius circle pattern and on the left I did some abstract scripty lines that felt much more like "me." That's all on top of various pools of color and spatterings of silver.
Then I ran into trouble. Sonji says she hangs her pieces to dry. In fact, you can see some of her fabric hanging on a chainlink fence on her blog. I was skeptical about picking these pieces up. They are painted on wet wet wet muslin with watery paints. How does Sonji possibly keep the paints from running and just sliding right off the fabric? I decided to give it a try. I picked up the piece on the right and disaster struck. Every thing ran into everything else and I lost every single bit of the circle shapes and most of the varience of color pools. Sonji?!
So I laid it back down on my tarp and scrunched it up hoping to get some nice foldy texture.
Here is a close up of the dried piece from the left with the scripty lines. It will be the background and I'm pleased with the results.
Here is the less-successful foldy piece. It will get cut up and salvaged somehow. (Or folded up and buried in the blue-green fabric drawer.)
Now I guess I should take the next step. What will that be? I'm considering quilting the whole cloth first with a bunch of swirly random free-motion quilting and maybe some dragon flies buzzing about. Then appliquing on top of the quilting. I'm thinking sheers and layers and tall skinny fan-shaped flowers. We'll see.