acrylic paint on fabric

JM's quilt - Quilting

I've been powering ahead with JM's quilt, i finished the construction yesterday and I got started on the quilting this morning. image I kept forgetting different parts like her beads or the gold knobbly bits on her glasses but we got there in the end.

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And I got to start the quilting today, I always try to do the colours on top first to hold everything in place.

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No matter what I do I have to go slowly, it's almost impossible to fix any mistakes since the fabric is unforgiving, so I have to try not to make any in the first place. I'm sticking mainly to echo quilting again, I want the quilting to accentuate not dominate. It's not a huge quilt so it's a lot quicker and easier to quilt; not so much folding to fit it through the machine to reach the middle. I'm looking forward to seeing this one finished!

JM's quilt - half the hair.

She's looking a bit more like JM now and a little less creepy :) image

She'll look a whole heap better once she has eyes and a mouth, but at least she has hair now - nice colour too, not quite red but it sets her glasses off nicely.

It would be nice to have the face finished completely before moving to the other sections, probably would make them less odd to photograph, but by doing them last I have more control over the colour levels and I can adjust to get the best possible mix. Once the pieces are down it's tricky to move them so I like to leave the most important bits for the end. Plus it's a form of procrastination!

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The colours are off in this photo cos of the flash - but you can get an idea of how it is all going together.

JM's quilt - face tones.

Well I've done the face tones for JM's quilt, they look great and I'm feeling really confident with this one. image

I had a tough time with the glasses, using thin long pieces is really tricky and it's easy to stuff it up, I managed to make it work but it took almost add long to do the four colours of the glasses as it did for the rest of the skin! They look great, possibly my favorite colour to work with, and they suit her skin tone so well. Jan-Maree must have been thinking of me when she wore them for the photo ;)

I'm afraid it's not so flattering when she has no hair, eyes or mouth, but I can see she's going to be beautiful!

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Jaimee's Quilt - Photos!

Finally it's on the wall! I'm really bummed once again that my camera skills are not up to scratch, and really missing my photographer friend extraordinaire Jules :( But the photos are ok, I think I'm never going to be really happy with them - no matter what I do no photo will ever beat seeing the quilt in the 'flesh'. I've got to admit, I really really love this quilt. Jaimee and her girls are just beautiful to look at, and I loved making it. Maybe I've found my groove?

So here it is:

L Carroll Full On the train, Anzac Day 2014, Lucy Carroll, 2014 (195 x 140cm)

L Carroll Eva On the train, Anzac Day 2014 (detail), Lucy Carroll, 2014 (195 x 140cm)

L Carroll Jaimee On the train, Anzac Day 2014 (detail), Lucy Carroll, 2014 (195 x 140cm)

Jaimee's quilt - eyes!

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Still no mouth but at least she has some eyes now. I've got a few little bits of the applique/collage to go, obviously Eva's mouth, and the medals as well.

Jaimee's face is all done and she looks fantastic, easy to make it look good with such a great subject!

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Hopefully I can get started with the quilting by the end of the week! No time to procrastinate this time :)

Jaimee's quilt - almost finished painting.

I'm onto the last few panels now, just the colours of the face and arms to do. They just happen to be the most tricky and I may have been procrastinating... I've decided to start putting the quilt together and quilting the pieces as I go. This is really not like me, normally I'd put everything together before I tried to quilt it. There are lots of good reasons for not doing it this way; there's a good chance I may find it harder to make pieces meet, and I might find myself unpicking things or hiding small problems, but I had such a hard time quilting the Amber quilt as it was so thick and stiff that I'm hoping this will make the quilting of the important parts much easier. I've added the seat panels and quilted the edges, I'm trying to put enough quilting in to hold it all in place without distorting the surface.

Here's part of the far right of the quilt, it's part of the seat and the train window. I'm really happy with the colours and I actually like the watercolour effect of the background. I'm always a bit dubious when trying new things so it's nice to see something turning out better than I'd expected!

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And hopefully here's a better close up of the painted panels:

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If you get a chance, check out the work of this street artist: http://www.jr-art.net/

 

28_millimetres_-_women_are_heroes_action_dans_la_favela_morro_da_providencia_favela_de_jour_rio_de_janeiro_bresil_2008 28 Millimeters, Women Are Heroes Action dans la Favela Morro da Providência, Favela de Jour, Rio de Janeiro, Brésil, 2008

He's an absolutely phenomenal street artist who began working in Paris when he was a teenager. He's gone on to take his particular brand of street art across the world, and I particularly love his Women are Heroes project.

In order to pay tribute to those who play an essential role in society but who are the primary victims of war, crime, rape and political or religious fanaticism, JR pasted huge photos of the faces and eyes of local women all over the outside of the favela, suddenly giving a female gaze to both the hill and the favela.

“It’s a project made of bric-a-brac, like the favela itself. We had to adapt to this world where the roofs of houses are made of plastic and children’s revolvers are made of steel. We managed to get by in spite of the steep streets, the unsteady houses, the unpredictable electric cables and the exchanges of gunshots where the bullets sometimes go through several houses at once”, says JR.

If you get a chance, please watch his TED Prize Speech, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PAy1zBtTbw

Still on holiday :)

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But I've prepared and cut the sections for painting and I've started doing some of the sections!

Today I painted the panels for the babies clothes and the blankie Eva is holding, they look really pink but the dark sections will mostly be covered by the light pieces. It takes me so long to paint the panels since I only have so much room - I have to wait for them to dry before I can start the next colour.

I'm getting a bit more texture in these panels, using a foam brush instead of a normal one, and I let the different colour paints mix on the fabric. You can kind of see it here:

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Amber's quilt.

image She's all done! Which is lucky since she's due for uni on Friday. Now I just have to write about her.

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Over all I'm happy with how she turned out; I'm feeling way out of my comfort zone with my work right now, which is possibly the most creative place to be, but I'm never really sure when I start something if it will turn out how I imagined.

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This was the first time I painted directly onto fabric with acrylic and I've learnt a lot which will hopefully make it easier for the next pieces. I think this size is probably the limit of what I can make on this machine since it's so difficult to roll the work as I'm quilting (she's 135 by 60cm). But I'm really happy with the colour and texture and the crispness of the edges.

Sewing Amber

I've been debating various ways to finish Amber, but in the end I've decided to quilt her. I'm using just a single layer of felt for the batting and back, as I'm worried about using anything too thick or soft since the fabric is quite stiff after it's been painted. It's working really well, the stitches are colour matched and there is so much colour in her hair that the threads disappear unless you get very close.

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The quilting is not super easy, even with my fantastic machine, but I think that's a combination of size and not being able to fold or roll the work easily. I'm having to go very slowly and I keep taking it off the machine to check. The benefit of it being so stiff is that as long as everything is tackled down I don't have to quilt densely, which gives more impact to the lines I do choose to stitch.

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I've still got quite a bit to do, it's due on Friday so I better get a wriggle on!

Lots going on

I've been quiet this week, but there has been lots going on! I've mostly been getting ideas (and paperwork) together for future projects, and I've started on one of the pieces of the women in Defence. Some of you will recognise Amber, who has kindly agreed to be the first subject. It's all a lot of trial and error right now, but I think we're heading in the right direction. I'm trying to find a way to combine the techniques I was using in the painted paper work with textiles, partly because I like fabric and also because it is easier for me to get my head around working with large sheets of fabric instead of paper. I'm painting the fabric with watered down acrylic, which is very similar to using normal fabric paint but it seems to make the fabric stiff and it gives a really crisp finish. (don't worry - the vegemite jar is actually burnt sienna paint).

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Other news:

Firstly, I've got some great news from the World Quilt Competition - Soldier On received an Honourable Mention! The Australian contingent did really well this year, you can check out all the winners here: http://www.quiltfest.com/activities_detail.asp?id=124

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Secondly, I've just found out that the little version of the bark quilt (I called it Cup Moth) has been accepted into Australia Wide Four with the OzQuilt Network! It's a great opportunity as the quilts travel across Australia to various galleries and towns and I'm in some great company :) There will be an online gallery and a list of exhibition dates online soon, the opening is at Gallery M, in Adelaide, October 24 to November 21 2014. http://www.ozquiltnetwork.org.au/

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Bricks

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I've been struggling with the bricks for the shoe quilt, finally decided to try a layered approach. I've dyed the base fabric so it's a sort of yellow off white colour, then used acrylic paint to get the shape of the bricks. I'm going to layer tulle and some of the fabric I dyed earlier in the week to highlight some of the areas, then quilt on top.

No idea if it's going to work, but I'm a huge fan of trial and error so I'm happy with how it's going so far.