Monday, December 03, 2007
Here she is...Bessie Smith, the incredible Blues singer, on a quilt! I scanned the photo and worked on it with PhotoShop. Not only did this eliminate the background but it took created more of a line drawing with higher contrast. I burned the result on a CD and had Kinkos print it to 24" x 18". This, I cut out and carefully used Xylene to transfer the image onto muslim.
Years ago at an auction I bought four long strips of vintage fabric...six by six squares pieced by hand into blocks. The blocks were sewn together by machine...one single line. Nothing about these strips were really measured or particularly flat; but, I loved the colors, the nostalgic feel, and very idea of time and "handmade". I knew there would come a day for me to use them. I envisioned them surrounding a xylene transfer of Bessie Smith when I visited the museum where my solo exhibition will hang this coming summer. I wanted this quilt. I didn't really think I could make it though...but, once the transfer was complete, I got carried away. I couldn't help myself. I loved every minute of making this, very stitch, very button, even the rod's sleeve on the reverse.
The buttons are mostly vintage, collected over years. I used a variegated perle cotton for the quilting on the strips. The rest of the quilting is all French knots. I backed the quilt with a delicate floral print on black. The size of the piece is 51" x 44" For a non-quilter...especially not someone who makes anything remotely traditional...I'm thrilled.
Posted by Susan Lenz at 3:31 PM