Friday, June 12, 2009

More Birdhouses, the Birth of an Art Quilt

After the last piece, I became enamored with the simple shape of those birdhouses. I started researching them and found that there were many people that were passionate about birdhouses. They came in all shapes, sizes, colors and designs - just amazing! So I started playing with different images that I collected during my birdhouse surf. I use photoshop to manipulate them into a few new designs. These two, I felt were the most successful. From there I traced a workable sketch. I always edit lines at this point - putting in lines that I want to continue - taking out lines that just seem too much. When the designs were complete, I chose to continue with the one with more birdhouses. I must be in a more is more mood!

A teacher of mine, Elizabeth Barton, suggested to me that I might want to limit my color choices in my pieces. Now in my "More is More" mood - this did not seem very fun but I grumbled my way to my color wheel and settled on burnt oranges and grey blues. I comforted myself with the fact that there was a full range of values to play with.

With design and color picked out, now I just had to figure out how to make the darn thing! It wasn't your average piecing quilt. Nor did I want to fuse it because I didn't want it to flatten out on me. Finally, a good friend sent me Vikki Pignatelli's book Quilting by Improvisational. In there, Vikki explains how she uses freezer paper to get her curves with the seams easily turned under. I thought it would work just as well on the straight sides of my birdhouses. From there I just had to make the freezer paper template and decide on scale - which I changed - twice!!

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