After The Party

The journal of the making of the quilt!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Its pinned for Quilting!

We finally managed to find some time when we were both able to attend the quilt pinning. Helen brought it all round to my place and I cleared off my lovely large work table. It didn't take long to pin even though we pinned quite closely as the cotton batting was very 'loose'. You couldn't tug it into place as it just ripped apart, like a wad of cotton wool. We trimmed the edges to an aproximate shape although they will be more ragged eventually. I thought that Helen had done a wonderful job of sewing the letters to the word blocks and fraying the edges of the blocks. The frayed edges give it the "I'm losing my grip and its falling to pieces" look.

Here is it pinned for quilting:

As we pinned we discussed how to quilt it. We liked the idea of a spiral to emphasise the downward spiral of the feelings of a victim of violence. We were thinking of ways to fracture the spiral but found it difficult to articulate or picture. We also decided on the spiralling in the centre and something more 'spiky' at the edge to symbolise the 'up and down' nature of the violence victim's relationship and feelings before the inward spiral takes over. We moved to the computer to draw a few options.

We tried using EQ5 but it wasn't flexible enough so I opened Photo Impact and started scribbling over a photo of the quilt. Here are a few of the ideas we played with in order of development. They show the quilting much larger and with more impact than it will actually have on the finished quilt but they give a guide to Helen who will be doing the quilting.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Backing Fabric

I went shopping yesterday and found this fabric which I thought would be suitable for the backing fabric. I must confess on Friday I forgot to buy the fabric I was going to buy for the backing, so I tried to get some on Saturday where we were shopping and they didn't have any, so I bought this. I hope it is suitable. I also got some batting. It is organic Hobbs cotton batting and was quite a reasonable price, but it is not very bonded together and is easy to put your finger through it. It will need quite close quilting to hold it altogether, which is okay as I was intending to do that. I hope Janice has lots of good ideas about what type of thread to use and what kind of quilting to do!

This is a photo of the batting. I couldn't get it light enough (mainly 'cos I don't really know how to use the camera or photoshop properly - but hey, I did these photos, and this post, all by myself! woohoo!)

I have decided to vlisofix the words to the background using a thin strip around the edges so the quilt doesn't get too stiff, and because I don't know what thread to use just yet. I am fraying the edges of each word background before attaching the vlisofix and fusing it to the quilt top, so it is a pretty slow process. I have done 8 out of the 12 words so far and I'd better get on and do the rest because I am supposed to go out to Janice's today to bast the quilt layers together. So I had better scram!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Slow Progress

After Janice came around last weekend I haven't made a lot of progress except to decide I need to stitch around each of the letters of the words. The vlisofix isn't sticking too well and if I leave it until the quilting stage and the letters fall off I will be really frustrated. I have done about one third of the words. I hope to get more done tonight. I am going shopping for cotton batting tomorrow (and maybe a little fabric shopping on the side!).

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Another look "in the eye"

I've taken another look at the photos in the blog and I think what is hitting me in the eye is that the first 'i' and the first 't' are parallel so I will change the angle a bit. I wonder if the word 'stop' has enough impact. Should I make the letters thicker so it has more impact? I want the emphasis to be on stopping the hitting as that is the solution to violence even though I know that, practically speaking, it is a much more complex thing than just saying 'stop'.

The sense of 'gaining power' that I was talking about in my last post was about feeling that if the thing that is being used to hurt me is broken then it can't be used to hurt me any more. So cutting the belt up means it has no power to hurt anymore. I can remember a childhood incident when my mother broke the wooden spoon hitting one of us (I can't really recall if it was me or one of my siblings - we all got the wooden spoon or belt or jug cord), but I can remember feeling relieved and thinking 'well that means she has to stop'. Family violence was such a common part of my upbringing that it is no surprise I ended up in a domestic violence situation. When the family solution to problems is to slam doors, throw things, hit people, it takes a while (a lifetime actually) to realise life doesn't have to be like that.

What happened to that "i"?

I just looked at the blog and it hit me 'in the eye' that the first "i" in 'hitting' is too high. I am going to pull it off and move it down a little bit.

Words and Background

Janice has done a wonderful job on the background fabric. She came round to my place today so we could put the words and background together. The first photo shows the words in the arrangement we agreed on. I think it looks fantastic!

The second photo shows the correct orientation (more or less, maybe it needs to go round clockwise a little bit more) and the corners folded back to give some idea of the finished shape. The colour is not as good in this photo, changing light I suppose and an inxperienced camera operator (me!) The quilt will be an irregular shape when finished. Janice and I talked about how to hang it so that it stays vertical and I suggested using plastic template sheet in pockets on the corners like I had read on someone else's blog a couple of weeks ago. We decided to use black fabric for the backing and cotton batting. When I have purchased them it is back out to Janice's for basting it together. Yipee.

I haven't used cotton batting before. Janice says its wonderful to quilt with so I'm looking forward to that. We also discussed how to do the edge and options for quilting, but I must confess that after 5 hours of prep today my concentration was waning (a lot! sorry Janice) and I didn't take much of that in. I am not the world's greatest quilter so I will be following Janice's advice here (if only I was listening!!). The backgrounds of the words are just pinned on at the moment. I think I will tack them onto the background and then we will baste the whole thing. The quilting stage will be when the words and their backgrounds get stitched to the painted background. I am going to stitch the word backgrounds in from the edge so they fray to represent feeling 'roughed up'. This will be echoed in the edge of the quilt itself.

We also talked about options for the cross in the middle. I was going to make it of a piece of leather belt and a piece of elecrical cord that I have on hand, but one is light and one is dark and when we held it up against the quilt top we realised it wouldn't show properly as a cross. Janice suggested making both parts of the cross from the belt. When I saw that meant cutting it in half I thought "yes" that sounds right and I had a sense of gaining back the power that I had lost. I asked Janice if we were going to be brave enough to show the quilt at our club 'show and tell'. Janice said that was entirely up to me. I'm not sure yet but I think I will when it is finished even though I will feel a bit exposed. (I'm more worried that they will think it is a dud than that I might have to tell my story, where has my confidence gone?)