Monday, February 11, 2019

Hidden Messages, Part III

Hidden Messages, Part III
69" x 72"

Update: My quilt has been donated to the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, NE.  I couldn't be happier that it has found a permanent home! You can see it here.

I have been working for weeks trying to photograph an image of my quilt (here and here), so that you can see the light shining evenly from behind all the circles, revealing the hidden message.  And, I think I like this shot with the sun behind it better, mostly because the lighting looks real, and bright, and pretty.

Unfortunately, because it is not lying flat, some of the letters are hard to read, and it is a bit distorted from the wind.  You will also notice the darker "grey" area at the top. I wrapped the top of the quilt to the back to make the hanging tube.  I didn't want the hanging tube attached in the normal way because it would interfere with the ability to read the first line of the poem.

To get the next image, I hacked a LED light fixture and used it like a small light table and then photographed two blocks at a time.  It took forever to take all the photos, and even longer to assemble them into one photo, carefully trying to match the exposures and brightness and line up all the grid work.  I'll be honest, it doesn't look that good.  For some crazy reason, my camera had ideas of it's own, and it changed exposures for every photo because of the light it perceived, which was different for every pair of circles, and empty white blocks.  I tried a LOT of different settings. None of my choices gave me a consistent exposure, so I opted for second best and tried matching by hand in Photoshop for each one.  Eh, it's not a perfect process...

I do like how much I was able to pop the contrast and brighten it up a bit.  I really dislike how the white part looks tinted with either yellow or grey, and the more I tried to get it to look white, the more it blew out all the quilting lines.  It was so frustrating!

Meanwhile, now that the poem is revealed, I can share with you some more process shots.
The first part was making the white part of the quilt.  The machine quilting was on my Juki, with a walking foot.

Lots, and lots of lines!

The fun part was selecting colors for the letters, and colors for the circles.  And then making them! This was my original selection of fabrics.  Little did I know that I would be changing these later.  I opted to toss out the purple and pinks, and added umber, ochre, and red.

Next was using Mistyfuse to apply the letters to the background.  I absolute loved the way these looked, and considered ditching the circles all together. Who can resist text on quilts??
However, now that it's finished, I am really glad I added the circles.  I think it makes a really nice metaphor about how hard it is to see the truth sometimes.  Thank you for your patience and following along with me!