My Moby Dick

One of my clients came to me with a challenge.  She wanted me to make a quilted wall-hanging of the condominium of a very good friend.  The detail alone was daunting, but what made the request specifically challenging was the boxy-white nature of the building.  This is a much beloved place for my client.  She has wonderful memories of summer’s spent at this Ocean City condo.  I needed the end result to be as beautiful as her memories.

What I decided to do was make the background like a sunrise.  The sky could be multi- colored where the building could not.  I also ‘lit up’ the section of thecondo that her friend owns.  Then I made the grasses and fences in front of the building in purples and blues to imitate the early morning light along the dunes. 

I also had to be careful not to make the whole building white.  I have done this on small-scale quilts, where white is the primary color.  At those times I leave the details to the stitching.  But on such a large project, I had to inject more color.  So I chose to enhance the shadows and architectural features of the building that may otherwise be unnoticed.

This was also a challenging quilt because of the handwork I had to do to put in the rails along the balconies.  The layers of fabric and the backing on this quilt made the hand sewing difficult and I had to use a set of pliers to pull the thread through.  My fingers ached for days!

So this was my great white whale, my Moby Dick.  It almost defeated me, but unlike Captain Ahab, I had a wonderful husband who cheered me on everyday.  Thanks, Babe!

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I have always loved the process of transforming pieces of fabric into quilts. For years I collected scraps, just to be sure I'd have the right piece for the project at hand. Eventually, as my skills progressed, my hobby grew into art. I moved from simple quits, to 'landscape quilting' and then eventually onto portrait work. I am new to the art field and am self-taught, learning from my mistakes as well as from my successes. I create my images using only fabric and thread. I remain true to this limitation for two reasons; first, I love the challenge of finding new ways to depict ever more challenging subjects. Second, fabric work remains my true love. I enjoy the hunt for fabrics; where other artists might blend oil paints, I love finding that perfect shade or pattern for a specific need. I refer to my style as "gestalt impressionism" for one needs to take a step back from my pieces to get the whole picture. My view point changes by what is influencing me at the time. Recently I've begun to focus on the journey of the individual. I enjoy working on portraits of people whom I feel have lead interesting lives.

Posted in Sewing

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