Friday, December 21, 2012

Park Place
40.5" x 51"

I am excessively pleased with this little quilt.  I loved it from the start, but it sure seemed to take a long time before it's turn to be completed.  And, I am still not sure if I am finished or not.  I think some of the people need to be hanging out in the park, picnics, exploring the gardens, etc.  And, I think I would like to add flowers to the gardens.  What do you think?  Meanwhile, if I do move some of the people around, I will let you know and post an update!
Did you notice that it looks slightly larger at the top?  This is not your imagination.  I made it slightly larger to add to the sense of perspective pulling your eye in.  This quilt started with the stack of blocks.  And then I added this piece of shibori to create the lawn.  It was perfect!
Then with the layout of the fabrics in place, I knew I wanted more in the foreground, so I added a piece of tracing paper.  The idea in my head was now starting to take shape.  I sketched the general idea, and started thinking about fabrics and colors for the next section.
I used some commercial green cotton fabrics, and applied hot wax with a brush, then bleach discharged and overdyed green.  I love the effect of the patterned cloth for the gardens, and still trying to decide if I want to enhance with hand stitching to make flowers.  I do want to add the flowers, but I don't want to cover up the nice texture and lines already present.  Dilemma!!

The trees were made in much the same way as the garden fabric.  I started with green hand dyes, painted hot wax in the shape of the tree, bleach discharged and then overdyed with rainbow colors, one at a time.  Then fused them in place.  You can see the lovely machine quilting in swirls in the tree tops.  LOVE IT!!  The hard part was scaling them to look successively smaller as you move towards the buildings.
Next came the quilting of buildings, the cut work and hand work on the windows.
 What is not obvious is that when you machine quilt certain motifs on a piece, it can distort the shape somewhat.  This happens in everything I work on, and is easily fixed.  I usually toss my quilt into the washing machine (oh, horror!), on cold, hand wash cycle, and then flatten, and pin it to either a carpet, or a design wall.  Next, I put a fan on it for at least 12 hours to completely dry it.  When I unpin it, the good and flat shape is now rather permanent.  This step is called blocking, and for me the hard part is the waiting!
Next the quilt is trimmed and I either apply a binding or facing to finish the edges.  Then I added the little people.
 Or I tried to, but got distracted.  I suddenly had a vision for a stop motion animation film, involving this quilt as the set and the little people moving in to their homes.  And my vision came complete with a sound track.  Only, I have never done that before and didn't know how.  Fortunately, as my obsession grew, I found answers on the internet.  And, I even had the software, unknown to me, it came with my computer!  Voila!
This was seriously time consuming back breaking work!  I set the stage on the floor, and the lighting, and the camera and  moved all the little people until they filled in their new homes.  That's 133 people to move, one at a time, taking a picture each time. 

And, not to complain, I really do love my cats, but.....This work is hard on the knees, and hard on your back.  I could NOT do it all in one night.  And as I left the scene, the cats came in and disrupted things, by lying on the quilt, shedding on the quilt, carrying the people off with their little teeth, and playing games of tag at full speed right through the work area.  It was frustrating to say the least.  Yelling did not help!  I resorted to taking snapshots with my iphone of every section each time I stopped working.  Then I used the snapshots to set back up the next day the people in their correct positions.  By about the 4th night, I had to take a break and stop working.  Day 6, I started working again and brilliantly cut one of my design walls in half and placed it on top when I finished.  The cats did no damage that night, and so the task became easier.  And I finally finished taking ALL the photos. 
This is Garfield, pretending to "help" me...

Here is the movie.  It is unlisted, so you can't search for it on YouTube.  Enjoy!!

24 comments:

Victoria said...

OMG!!!! That is the coolest thing. Well done!

Gerrie said...

Oh, Kathy - what fun you must have had, despite feline frustrations. I love it.

Anonymous said...

Kathy, I love this!! It is a wonderful quilt, Comgratulations! Christine

kathy york said...

Victoria, Gerrie, and Christine,
THANK YOU! It is always nice to hear when my work resonates with someone!

Kay Koeper Sorensen said...

Kathy, that is amazing!
I loved it.

Laura said...

That was soooooooooooo much fun to watch. I can't wait to show it to some friengs. And I luv the quilt!

kathy york said...

Thanks Laura! So glad you enjoyed the video!

Martha said...

Kathy, this is totally amazing. And I love your patience and ability to let your cats do their thing as they enjoy your creation. How would we ever get along without our studio assistants??!!
Martha Ginn

Deborah Boschert said...

So fun! I just love it. I am so glad you persevered and shared it! I especially love the cartwheeling person moving into the top floor. What great music too.

And of course, the quilt is a stunner! Congratulations.

Helen said...

Hi Kathy

What a wonderful creation! Love the music. Was it your inspiration?

kathy york said...

Thanks Helen! The quilt was all me. The video was partially inspired by the music.

emprint said...

FANTASTIC!!!

Susan Turney said...

How fun!!!! I loved watching!

Anonymous said...

Love the quilts and song by Philip Philips..

Anonymous said...

great quilts and love song by Philip Philips....

judi said...

How FUN!!! thanks for sharing.

Martha Tsihlas said...

Your video is so clever, I couldn't stop smiling. Well done ( and I adore that PP's song)

kathy york said...

Thanks again everyone! So nice to know this little project is bringing a smile!

Leslie Tucker Jenison said...

It would not be possible to love this more!

kathy york said...

Leslie,
Thank you! So happy to please!

Sue Dennis said...

That is such a great video clip and the little people so cute moving in! Well done you for sticking with it!

Deborah C. Stearns said...

What a wonderful piece -- I especially love the stop motion animation. Very cool!

sewagogo said...

Love the quilt and love the video!! I know it was a lot of hard work and it certainly paid off - very inspiring!!

Ruth Inman said...

Kathy!
I have an idea for flowers in your flower gardens... if you havent done it already.... take a look...

http://www.rinman.net/R101/rinman.nsf/kathyyork?OpenPage