Week in Review 2022 – 06/24

Look Back

The sky, or upper portion of the image is made up of jagged, scraps of red fabric. The base and much of the right side of the image is covered with tightly packed yellow buildings with blue windows and doors.
Image #1
This will be my blueprint or guide for piecing together Bat Sh*t Crazy.

It is time to look back. I am at the half way point, a partial finish, in the making of Bat Sh*t Crazy. The impetus for the piece was Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. How could I depict the horror I felt and what I imagined people of Ukraine must feel as their peaceful world was turned upside down. I’m not sure what audiobook I was listening to at the time, but I heard the phrase bat sh*t crazy and my journey began. I could visualize Putin as this ominous, evil presence flying over an innocent Kyiv.

Look Over

A simple village, set on a hillside with side by side yellow townhouses, sporting blue windows and doors fills lower and most of the right section. There is red sky above.
Image #2
The Bat Sh*t Crazy top is complete!

If you compare the blueprint imagine I created in EQ8, image #1, with image #2, the finished pieced quilt top, you can see how helpful it is to have a piecing diagram, but also how I adapt, adjust and intuitively work as I progress. A design wall is very helpful. It allows me to check scale and value as the piece comes together.

A closeup of the bat, whose wings have been thread painted in shades of grays and body in mustard colors. It has fangs and a Russian white Z is placed on each wing.
Image #3
A closeup of the zany bat. I added some evil vampire fangs.

Looking good. There is sufficient contrast between the city on the hill, represented by the colors of the Ukrainian flag, a typical architectural style of Kyiv and the unsettling red sky. Time to move on and create Mr. Evil – the bat. I opted to thread paint the bat so I could get the fussy detail I was looking for. Check out the vampire fangs and the symbolic Russian Z’s on the wings. Creepy! But would it stand out against the blood red sky?

Overlook

A simple village, set on a hillside with side by side yellow townhouses, sporting blue windows and doors fills lower and most of the right section. There is red sky above. Flying over the city in the upper left is a bat with Russian Z's on its wings.
I finished the insane bat this week. It is currently pinned in position. Note the freeform Z’s painted on its wings.

Time to step back and take on the full view. It works. I thought it would. Still, it is reassuring to reach an overlook, a time to take in the view and be delightfully surprised. The contrast is visible from 40 feet back.

Look Forward

Now it is time to look forward. How in the world will I quilt this? Suggestions are welcome.

I’m linking up to the following posts:

By Gwyned Trefethen

I am an artist who uses fabric, thread and miscellany to create designs gifted to me by my imagination.

18 comments

    1. I rarely venture out into social commentary or the political arena with my art. However, some situations demand attention. Thank you for taking the time to share your response and thoughts.

    1. Thank you, Sharon. I find the EQ8 monthly tutorials are a great way to familiarize myself with all that EQ8 can do. There are so many fun “tricks” I wouldn’t have discovered on my own, but have become part of lexicon. Bat Sh*t Crazy really stretched me, because I designed the majority of townhouses myself so that the scale would work. I used a townhouse block and crazy piece block that comes with the program. I kept tweaking the townhouses to vary roofs, windows and doors. What’s great is being able to print out the foundation piecing for each townhouse.

  1. I think you hit on something very important to your interpretation of the Ukraine chaos: your attention to your intuition. I believe that is a quality you “exploit” which sets your work apart from others. We all have intuition but most of us ignore it, choosing instead the path of least resistance.
    Your interpretation of Putin/”Bad Bat” is inspired! So thoroughly ugly and evil! Kudos to my favorite contemporary artist!

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. It isn’t always easy to follow the guidance of the whispering muse, but experience has taught me to sit up, take note and figure out how to make things happen.

  2. I did a quilt full of buildings which were full of windows. I had a handful of quilting designs for each and made sure I scattered them around the quilt so they weren’t close to the same location. I did ‘X’, loopy lines, ‘V’, straight up and down lines, across lines, swirls in windows which were ditched too. The buildings were mostly straight lines in horizontal or vertical, crosshatch, wavy crosshatch, triangles, meander. And yes it took a very long time as I was changing thread to match each house and window. Looking good, love the bat!

    1. Wow, you went all out. I like the idea of swirls in the windows, at least the larger ones. Some windows are just 0.5″ x 1″. Like you, I think horizontal and vertical lines make the most sense in the buildings. Perhaps some in the ditch. The turbulent sky is what I am finding the most challenging. That bat was quite a stretch for me. Glad it is working.

  3. Hi Gwyned, what a great execution of your vision. Would a turbulent sky work, with lots of swirls and movement? You did a great job and it looks like the perfect project for foundation paper piecing!

  4. Hi Gwyned! First of all, the title of your project . . . well, it’s just perfect in my book. Crazy is a rather mild word but we won’t argue over semantics. HAHA! I was thinking the same thing as Andree about the sky quilting. As I drive home from work, I’ve often encountered a deep, dark shelf cloud. I just know I’m driving into heavy wind and rain, yet I can’t stop because I want to get home. How to convey that in quilting becomes the question. Lightning bolts, tornado shapes, swirls implying lots of movement – it will be interesting to see what you decide! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

    1. I worried that the title might offend, but I have been delightfully surprised I was wrong on that account. You aren’t the only one who has given the title the thumbs up. Now it is my turn to give you a thumbs up. I had thought of lightening bolts and swirls, but not tornadoes. You’ve got me thinking. Just the impetus needed to jump start potential quilting motifs. Thank you, Roseanne!

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