Thursday, February 02, 2006

Debra's Winter Madonna Takes Shape

The Winter Madonna is due the middle of March. It has some specific guidelines to follow: use some of the glittery white jersey knit from Barbara and give the piece a wintery feeling.

Winter in Houston is not icy and even though that is the standard fare for most of the country, I chose to concentrate on the winter foliage and the glittery fabrics of the holidays. I wanted the overcast grey sky, silvery nights and the blue mantle of the Madonna juxtaposed against the rich reds, greens and blacks of ballgowns and bedecked homes.

A new source for inspiration was the Dover Publication called Elegant Floral Designs, a collection of permission free designs of black flowers and lace motifs. Each page features captivating flowers in stark black that can be printed any size. I decided to transfer them to fabric and use them like Victorian cutouts. They determined the direction of this piece---a crazy quilt.

I downloaded the images into my photo program and arranged them for sizes. I printed them onto transparency plastic thinking I would do gel medium transfers but that idea proved to be fruitless. So, I used the transparencies as originals and copied the designs directly to fabric with my printer. The images came out great!

This is one of the transparencies pinned to my design wall.

This is one of the printed fabric sheets.

Central Madonna
This is the central Madonna figure with a bit of a Art Noveau look.

Madonna Blocks
6 of the Crazy quilt blocks

Flower Blocks
Closeup View of the Motif in the block

I will do some more crazy quilt blocks for the outside border and mainly machine stitch embellishments before beading the piece.


Barbara C said...

These blocks look great. I love your colors, and those motifs are very nice. When you said the motif transfers didn't come out, do you mean that they wouldn't transfer, or that you didn't like the way they came out? I like the crispness of the black on white. I've also though about sewing the transparencies to fabric. The colored ones are not very opaque, but these black and white images would work. Of course, with these "windows" the piece wouldn't drape, but that's another design issue. Keep up the good work!

Debra Spincic said...

Since the design parts are so small the gel medium had a tendency to smoosh over them and leave a blob. On a more filled in area like the pictures, the medium moves around and evens out but with these it just didn't have the space. Some of the design would be crisp and then the middle would be blurry. I also didn't want to cover a large area of fabric with the medium so if I just did the motif then there was an uneven edge where the medium was stuck to the fabric and the rest of the fabric was plain. With the pictures I usually sew along the picture edge so the whole surface is the medium. It just looked crappy. Then, it dawned on me that it wasn't the best use of techniques and I just printed directly on fabric. The first one got stuck in the printer (of course) but after that it was fine. I sprayed fabric adhesive to a transparency and sent the cotton through on a transparency. That was super!

Today I am planning to do the small border blocks with the glittery fabrics & some soft blue/grey cottons. I am vaguely thinking of an arch with one of the motifs at the top but will see how the border blocks look first.

Your doilies might adhere to a transparency too and then you could print directly. Worth trying.

Rian said...

Oh wow, these are incredible. The gel transparencies are really cool, I love the black lacy look. Also, I'm very fond of the Madonna figure, very art nouveau! One more thing, the black and red is absolutely stunning. This may be the best one yet!

Allison said...

Debra, this is wonderful! Your venture into crazy quilt territroy makes this even more special to me...I can't wait to see this develop!

bd--53fde9 said...

Hi blogger, I was out blogging and came across your site. It's been great reading through. It certainly looks like you've taken time to organise it. Well done and keep up the good work.


Beading help.