Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Starting on a 12" square

When I've been away from the studio for awhile, I like to start working on something small to get me back into the swing of things. It sounds strange, but it is sometimes hard to remember how to start in the studio. It's easier to get the work going when starting small.

The SAQA auction is coming up next week, and although I already submitted a 12" square piece for this year, the deadline often comes and I have to rush to make something. So, I started a 12" piece and if I still like it next April, I'll submit it for the 2014 auction. Here's a link to this year's auction and my piece.  You'll see that it has some of the same fabrics. SAQA 2013 Auction

I think in terms of background, middle ground and foreground as I've noted before. My photography training taught me to be sure there is something interesting in each area, so it's easiest for me to go from there. I photographed the process with my IPhone, so the photo's aren't great, but they are done!
Here's how I started:

I had this fabric and the next one on my cutting table from this year's auction piece.

Added some Misty Fuse to each fabric and ironed them on
Put the smaller pieces on this background and started moving things around.

The next few photo's are of some of the things I tried out and then changed.
I added the yellow piece in the lower area. I liked the thin piece coming down and across. Maybe it's a "J"?

Thought it needed more pop, so I found a fabric in a complementary color. I also wanted to emphasize the horizontal movement.

I added and subtracted blue fabric, and then cut some up to make the line more interesting.

Thought it might need the blue to end the horizontal line

Cut the end pieces smaller and moved the red in and out of the blue shapes.

Ironed them on...always a little scary because it's hard to change anything after ironing.

Auditioned some threads to see what would work
Decided black thread would help the blue shapes come forward more and the contrast would make them more interesting.

After the black thread, I thought it needed "something" else

Added the rectangles and free motion quilted them
Trimmed it to 12" square and ironed some Misty Fuse to black fabric and added it for binding. 
The finished piece.

The back - sleeve and all!

I think I probably spent about 8 hours on this all together. Not including dyeing the fabric of course... I'm not fast at dyeing, designing, or finishing. It has worked as a good start to get me comfortable in the studio again.

Do you work in a similar way?


  1. Jeanne,
    I absolutely love that you shared this. It was great to watch it evolve and gives me great ideas as I move more into smaller abstractions. You will have to share how you did the binding - always a challenge for me. You say you used MistyFuse?
    Great idea to start now on next year's auction. I usually try the same. Some years it works, others it doesn't. :)

  2. Judy, thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I'll write something soon about the binding. It's easy!