Monday, December 03, 2007

Bessie's Quilt


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.

6 comments:

Micki said...

For a non-quilter you have done an amazingly wonderful job. The vintage fabric and the buttons are just the right touch. That is a wonderful photo of Bessie.

Gunnels blog said...

I AM a quilter, and I love your quilt! It´s wonderful! i love it! the squares,the stitching, the transfer and the vintage buttons !!!!!

Karoda said...

This is cool! and I don't really think of you as a non-quilter...my definition of quilter is a very wide and deep one :) anyone who puts a needle through layers is a quilter.

Dianne said...

Oh Susan, this is just so wonderful!! I love the fabric you've used, and how you've put it all together - and what a wonderful image.

Wanda said...

I need to come and spend some time with you. I can't seem to get started with my "learning to quilt" project. Maybe that's what I'm supposed to do when I'm unemployed. I miss you!

Vivian said...

Your Bessie quilt is amazing! I haven't tried that type of transfer...I only use the Printed Treasures fabric sheet. Love the stitching and embellishments you added. You ARE a quilter!

Vivian