Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Giving advice - Part 2

I don't guarantee that the order in which I am showing the next photos is necessarily the order in which it was finished but whenever the student returned to show me her progress I was simply stunned by the detail and effort put into every section especially as the quilt became bigger and not as easy to maneuver to do all the detailed hand embroidery.

This photo - again with all the black embroidered - shows her fondness of playing chess.

A visit to France with the Eiffel towel - all the outer lines hand embroidered.

Her early childhood years and I really liked how she placed all these photos in puzzle pieces.  The poem to the right was also hand embroidered.

This is a replica of a painting she did as shown in the photo bottom right, this time done in fabric.

A favorite movie

I guess a favorite shop - maybe at a holiday destination?

And finally the big picture after I've done the quilting and binding.

However this is not the end.  This student still plans more embellishments such as buttons and beads but my job is done!!

To celebrate a weekend off with nothing to stress about DH took me to a nearby wild cat farm for lunch on Sunday and although all the big cats preferred a spot in the sun on a rather cold day, we did see a couple of them.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Giving advice - Part 1

Roughly a year and a half (it can be 2 years - time flies and I don't keep track) ago a mom called me saying they got my number from someone who suggested they could come to me for advice on a quilt her daughter needed to make as part of her application to study Architecture at the University.  The instruction was to use any material (clay, cement, paint, fabric, wool, etc) and make something that would represent what is important in their lives.  This student decided to make a quilt and not just any little throw but a double bed quilt depicting her life from birth up to date.

As I grow older the saying 'one is never too old to learn' rings true all the more and what I've learnt from this is that after I find and strangle whoever the 'someone' who suggested me was, I (in future) need to ask people to specify what they mean with 'give advice'.

Giving advice to a quilter is easy as you could use words such as applique, foundation piece, bias and they'd go off knowing exactly what to do but this student has never sewn a single stitch in her life before.  So suddenly 'giving advice' turned into a mini quilting technique lesson before we could move a single step forward and then she had definite and set ideas and anyone who raised a teenager knows you simply don't argue.

Her ability to play musical instruments was the first corner of her quilt and the part she started with.  When she returned to me showing heavy hand and machine embroidery on anything but quilting fabric I began to panic as I realized as much as she'd like to finish one section before moving to the next there would just be no way to quilt over the decorations not to mention the thickness of some of the upholstery fabric used.  So I warned to stop her to stop decorating until quilted and also warned that they might have difficulty finding someone prepared to quilt this.  To make matters worse none of the applique methods I suggested were used instead everything was stitched down on background fabric - adding to the already thick layering.

This is a close-up photo of the upper right hand corner of the quilt with the brown guitar squares and the bent guitar handle flowing into the piano notes in turn flowing from the copied photo of her playing the piano.

One has to give this youngster credit for the effort she put in.  The grey and black piano notes are done in fabric strips, these were then hand embroidered to show shading and the stitching of the squares of the guitar was done with different decorative machine stitches while the guitar strings too were done by hand.

After finishing a section like this with me suggesting how to continue, she'd disappear for a couple of weeks to finish the next part before returning for more advice.  I'll show a little more in my next post.