Birds all around! As I headed into my studio today, I found a house wren perched on my loom. I have no clue how he got inside but he looked quite content. I had to walk through the studio to open the doors which frightened him up into the rafters. I grabbed a broom and tried to gently nudge him toward the door but he had other ideas. Stormy, our dalmatian, became curious and came to help. I was finally able to get the bird out without Stormy taking it on as a toy.
So, now back to moving the hummingbird project into the studio. Once I had the image finalized on the computer, I printed it out. I had to “tile” the image in Photoshop Elements to print it using my home computer. I ended up with 12 pages to tape together. It’s in black and white as my printer doesn’t do colors.
I drew lines with a sharpie to delineate different colors. I usually start with the lightest colors and proceed from there. This can get tricky as some pieces are tiny. I go ahead and mark them at this point, and decided if and how I will put them in with fabric later. The grey scale is great at showing value, but colors having the same value won’t show up as being different from one another. I keep a color copy of the posterized image close at hand so I can add lines delineating these colors as well.
I decided to focus on the hand first and the hummingbird later.
Now comes my favorite part; choosing the fabrics! There is something so satisfying about handling batik fabrics. And something therapeutic about playing with colors.
I figure out what color families I will be needing. In this case: greys, pinks, greens and tans/browns. I have my fabrics sorted into bins; each bin contains a color family which contains varying values of the same color. I will pull these bins out and pull out any fabric that I think might work color-wise with my design. I will often end up with thirty or forty fabrics on the table. Then I will finalize color selection according to the number of shades I need and how they complement each other. In this case, I used the colored poster on my iPad to determine colors. The posterizing can change the color a bit but, in this case, that was helpful as finding flesh colors wasn’t required.
This is what I ended up with for fabric for the hand. Looking at these fabrics, I couldn’t quite see a “hand.” This had been my problem with this project from the beginning. I just wasn’t 100% convinced these would morph into a hand. But I knew I had to take the leap or this quilt was not going to happen.
Each fabric was arranged according to value within it’s color family and each was assigned a number. I went back to my pattern and located where each would go and labeled it by number. (Remember painting by number?) Finally, I covered the pattern with a sheet of mylar and traced the outlines and numbers. This will help me with placing elements onto the foundation.
I dyed a piece of fabric for the background. It is almost solid black, but has a bit of dark blue swirled into it. (More on dyeing fabric in another post.) I cut this into a rectangle several inches larger than I wanted the quilt to be before adding any borders. I’ll use this as my foundation.
Next step? I’ll begin “painting” the hand with fabric.