Sunday, 13 November 2011

Pearly Princess Journal Quilt

A new month always brings a new theme on the Sketchbook Challenge site and I'm eagerly looking forward to it. It's quite sad to think there is only one more month to go on the project.

The theme for November is Imaginary Animals, and I let this sit in my mind and stir for a while to see what would come to me. It sounds an esoteric process but this year I have discovered that my subconscious artist mind responds well to these kind of challenges and that I can trust it to come up with something.

The first thing that came bubbling up were memories of the artwork of the Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo. He made portraits like the one seen above (Summer) by using other imagery to compose the picture. In this image seen above it's flowers. I've saved you the more gruesome examples although they are the ones I find most fascinating. If you're interested you can see them here! He has also used wildlife, fruits, and books to achieve the same purpose. I've no idea what this had to do with imaginary animals (he never painted animals although he did used animals to make a picture with) but it struck me that I could picture one of my own animals in an imaginary way.

I then remembered I had a lovely picture of Troi, the greyhound, when she was a lot younger. It formed part of my collection of photos and images that one day might be turned into a quilt. I grabbed it and conveniently I had already had it copied to A3 size so that it was large enough to fit my 10 x 10" Journal Quilt size perfectly.

All my Journal Quilts this year are not just done for the Sketchbook Challenge but fill the dual purpose of participating in the JQ project run by the Contemporary Group of the Quilter's Guild, for which the required size is 10" square.

At first I wanted to use flowers too, just like Arcimboldo, and cut them from various fabrics to make up my Troi but then I remembered that one of our required elements for the Contemporary JQs is that a button has to be added to our last 4 JQs. And loo and behold, I have definitely fulfilled that requirement and then some!! As soon as I thought about re-making Troi in buttons the Pearly Kings and Queens of London came to mind and as I always refer to Troi as my princess (she is such a precious girl!) what could be better that a Pearly Princess.

The background had to be a sturdy furnishing fabric to sustain the weight of all those buttons. I made the Pearly Princess separately on a piece of calico (musling in US), cut it out with pinking shears and sewed it onto the previously machine quilted and bound background as shown.

I added the title (I set myself the challenge of having text incorporated into all my JQs this year) by using my Xyron Design Runner and this too was bordered with buttons. To date this was the most fun JQ to make! The moment I discovered that somewhere iin my stash I had actual moving eyes was a special highlight!

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