At the end of July, I was reading various blogs, email lists, calls for entry and other art quilt stuff and I came across a project called Thread Tails and Vapor Trails, a quilt contest to honor the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation. Well, I had to enter, right? (My husband is a Navy pilot and it's a big part of the adventure we've shared together as a family.)
When I discovered the contest, our entire house was packed up on a truck and I knew I wouldn't be creating any art for awhile, but the deadline is October 1, so I felt like I would have time once we got somewhat settled in Maryland. And then the first week in September sneaked right up on me and I am finally getting to work!
I've read various "process pledge" blogs lately. It seems trendy to share step-by-step images of projects. It is interesting to see how others create and it will be nice to have a record, so I'm going to share some pictures and ideas over the next.... ummm 19 days. (Yikes.)
I started by making a list of images, elements and techniques that I might want to incorporate. I also gathered lots of pictures from the internet and from Jeff's various flights and travels.
I often make lists of what I anticipate including in a quilt, rather than actual sketches. But, I am not particularly confident with this subject matter, so I did make several sketches. Maybe that will help avoid some indecision or missteps along the way. Quilts are required to be 40x40, so it's probably a good idea to have a plan.
Ultimately, I decided to make a big P-3, the plane that Jeff flies. I used PosteRazor to upload the image, print it out on several pieces of paper and tape them together.
I also decided to create a world map along the bottom of the quilt. I pinned the plane and the map up on the design wall.
I'm cutting a freezer paper stencil of the map and I'll use paint to create that part of the imagery. Tonight I spent nearly two hours with my exacto blade. And I only did North and South America.
Jeff spent a bunch of time with me tonight explaining the various bumps, notches, dark spots, lines and shadows from my giant photograph. Did you know there are parts of the plane called the beaver tail and turtle back? Yeah, me neither.
I'm not feeling too confident at the moment, but I think it has potential. It's a bit of an odd project for me. I never make quilts with airplanes. I generally don't even do anything vaguely patriotic or historic or even realistic. It's a challenge to find ways to use my own artistic style and voice in such specific constraints. I really do want to honor Naval Aviation.
Buy new fabric for the background. What I originally selected is not going to work.
Stamp/paint a pattern on the background.
Cut out Africa, Europe, Australia and Asia.