This week brings us to downshift number two in the design stage of my free-motion quilting project. (See my post It's in the Details for more about downshifts.)
This time, it's about the dress/gown/coat. And the hair. Several colors of fabric were tested on the quilt, and red-violet seemed to look best for the young lady's dress (let's just call it that from here on in), especially with the hair fabric I'd chosen. More about the hair in a minute.
After tracing the dark areas in the black and white photo onto the freezer paper dress pattern piece, I cut them out with an Exacto knife (leaving all outside edges intact). Then I ironed the pattern onto a test piece of the red-violet batik (below left) and filled in all the open spaces with a black Marvy fabric marker. It worked, with no bleed-over at the edges. I love these markers! It's paint, but it applies more like ink. And you don't even have to heat-set it!
I realize the black looks a little stark against the fabric, but when someone is standing back from the quilt, it will look like natural folds (that's the plan, anyway). So I committed to it and repeated the process on the actual dress piece.
The next step was to put the highlight areas on the dress. Since I didn't have the right color of marker or type of fabric paint for that, I opted to cut them all out of a lavender batik and fuse them onto the dress base, using the photo to check proper positioning. Maybe not the perfect shade, this lavender, but I was determined not to go out and buy more fabric!
After that, all the dress needed was some fancy trim on the sleeves and on the one front opening of her coat (the other being hidden from view). Plus a little detailing with the black Marvy paint marker here and there. Again, the shadows and highlights may seem a little stark at first glance, but when you lay it on the quilt top and step back, it works fairly well. I think I'm ok with it, at least for now.
The hair was easy and fun, especially after figuring out what fabric to use for the clasp. The fabric used for the hair itself might be considered an odd choice by some folks. Anybody care to guess what the fabric's actual intended use is? Be as specific as you can, because the first person to comment and get it right gets a free copy, postage paid, of Joyce Becker's wonderful book, Quick Little Landscape Quilts! (I happen to have an extra.) [Update--we have a winner, Gill in the UK!]
The last thing done to the dress was hand-stitching the lacings with gold metallic thread. Then, finally, hair and dress were fused together. Here's the lady, laid over the drawing for her final fitting.
One more thing. Please don't think, when a product is mentioned by name on this blog, that I'm in any way trying to promote it. I don't work for anyone but myself, but am a firm believer in sharing tips, methods, techniques and product names that work for me. What I will never do again is say anything negative about a product on this blog. (If you think blogs aren't being watched by industry, just say something unflattering about a name brand.) I experienced a failure with one particular product--which turned out to be totally my fault, as I was using it wrong!--and blogged about it. Soon afterward, the manufacturer wrote me, politely, to ask for specifics about how I had used the product. The upshot of it was that I apologized profusely, thanked them for pointing out my error, and took all mention of the product and my experience with it off the blog. Not that I had slammed it or anything, don't get me wrong; I had simply shared my experience. But after that, I decided never to share an opinion on a name-brand product unless my experience with it is a positive one. Lesson learned! So again...I love Marvy fabric markers! :)
Hooking up with Leah Day's FMQ Friday blog--just look at those gorgeous photos--Duchess Reigns is back on the machine! Also linking to Sarah Craig's Whoop Whoop Friday post. Between her restoration of an antique quilt and a historically significant piece of family memorabilia, this is a very interesting post. Don't miss it. And don't miss the reader hookups below each of those posts; you'll find wonderful blogs there, as well.
Have a great weekend!
p.s. Linda's Landscapes Etsy shop is having a Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale. Take 20% off all prices now through December 3rd, simply by using coupon code HOLIDAY20 at checkout!