I am making pots this week. No, I have not changed media. This is an expression coming from a story told in “Art and Fear” by David Bayles and Ted Orland. The link takes you to the story re-quoted in a post about writing. The gist is that in order to progress and turn out the best product, one must experiment and learn from experience. The more pots one makes the more one learns and improves. If, on the other hand, one doesn’t take time to experiment, a mediocre result is likely.
My Muse is Yelling
It is time to start my next “large” quilt. I am eager, compelled even, to try my hand at recreating the image of my college roommate, Sue, taken by her husband. He shared this picture with me and our friends along with a hilarious and harrowing story. Doesn’t Sue look serene in her surroundings. When the world is topsy turvy I often feel drawn to making quilts to counter balance the chaos. At first, I thought I would crop the image further, focusing on Sue’s face and torso. It would be next in my 12″ x 12″ thread painted portrait series. Instead, I am going to make pots. It is currently scaled at approximately 36″ H x 24″ W.
Can I up the scale and still thread paint Sue’s head, arms and feet? Is this insane. No need to answer that. We all know the answer. Normally, I start by printing the scaled image on inkjet fabric sheets. However, Adobe Acrobat and MAC’s new operating system haven’t been speaking to each for over a month. Why is this relevant? Because it allows me to “tile” the image. More on that shortly. The Senior Executive Director of Studio Operations worked hard on this problem. He even succeed. Unfortunately, I would be totally dependent on him if I went this route. Toss that pot away. Finally, after much pot making and time wasting scouring the Internet for solutions I stumbled upon a reference to Rapid Resizer in a magazine article. It’s a miracle. I can now tile images again.
Do you see the seam lines in the above photo? That is tiling. It is useful whenever you want to print something larger than the page going through your printer. Rapid Risizer automatically takes the image and divides it into pages or tiles with a cutting margin. You can even select the size of the cutting margin. In this case the cutting margin is the seam allowance.
Since this is larger than anything I have ever attempted to thread paint before, I need to make pots. I hoped to quilt it on my mid-arm sit down machine. Chuck that pot. The size and the “punch” of the needle leaves gaps and lumps between threads that refuses to fill in. What’s left? My domestic machine with the 8″ throat. That won’t work unless… Yes, that pot is good enough. Instead of thread painting on a multi-layer quilt sandwich, I backed the ink jet fabric with two layers of Sulky’s Totally Stable Stabilizer. It won’t be easy. However, I am confident I can roll the top as needed to thread paint on my trusty domestic machine. No doubt, I will continue to make more pots as I work my way through this piece.
When I need a break from the intensity of working on Sue, I can start my 2024 Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt. My black fabric is here.
I’m linking up to the following posts: