Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Plenty to Go Around, the back side Part I

Plenty to Go Around, the back side Part I
80" x 80" project

I love how the front of this quilt just frolics in a land of plenty for these little fawns.  On the back I wanted to tell a different story, one that completes the front side, one that is usually hidden from us, but perhaps, not so much lately.

The logistics of putting a different story on the back was daunting.  I could have chosen to use the same technique as the front side, essentially batiking and dyeing all the elements of the composition, and then cutting them out, one by one, and hand sewing in place.  The trouble with this scenario is the quilting.  Trying to quilt through layers of applique on the front and the back would be challenging, especially because I am planning to hand quilt this one.  Too many overlapping seams.  Learned that the hard way on Neurodiversity and again on Wedding Rings and Crossroads.

With this in mind, I drew the picture full scale on paper that was taped together, and then started formulating a plan.  It could be done in a series of panels, the size of my batik frame, with one extra small center filler piece.  In this way, I could do a series of batiked whole cloths and not have to cut out or applique anything.  The entire back would be composed of 5 panels.  The first panel is the fawns!

First up, I already had some fawns drawn on tracing paper for the front side design.  So after I found where I had carefully saved them, I pulled them out, and started moving them around.  When I found a composition that I liked, I taped the fawns in place.  Next, I covered them with the white fabric, and gently traced the fawns onto the fabric.  The fabric is then pinned onto my wooden batik frame and moved to the garage for the application of wax along the lines.

This was a LOT of wax that had to be applied nearly perfectly.  I had to take it slow or risk unslightly drips and mistakes.  I wanted them to look like the fawns on the front that had their edges turned over.  To achieve this effect, I essentially had to wax a double line on the outer lines. I was grateful to have had a lot of practice from doing the front side first!

This was also done in the month of July and Aug.  It was so incredibly hot.

It was hard to work for very long.  The sweat would roll down my arms and then drip on the fabric, and then I had to wait for it to dry before I could wax it.  And, mosquitoes.  Did I mention the mosquitoes? And whining.  I really began whining in earnest for this section of the project.  I share this with you because I want you to know that even IF this project does not end up looking that great, at least I worked really hard under daunting circumstances to get it there.  Ha! Things that helped: a fan, working in the mornings, bug spray, ice water, and itunes, and the belief that this would eventually all be worth it!

Above, I filled the spaces between the deer with solid walls of wax.  Then I applied turquoise dye to the spots and brown dye to the eyes and noses.  I will later go back and add just a bit of wax to the eyes to protect a small section of brown before finishing it with a touch of black.  The black was also used to dye the hooves at this stage. Then I covered all the little turquoise, brown and black parts with wax, to protect them from the later application of the fawns' blue for the bodies.

You will also notice the copious amount of wax to the background after the lines were completed. I love how transparent the fabric looks once it has the wax on it. But, the extra wax was really necessary to to protect these areas from the dye leaking into the wrong places.  It worked really great for that, but it was an extra difficulty when boiling the large panels to get the wax out.  Each panel is about 35" x 55".

Ahhhh! So satisfying to see the blue emerge!

This photo is after the wax is boiled out.  It doesn't look that great because the lighting is weird, and it is all wrinkled.  But that is NOT how it looks in my head.  In my head, I can see it as perfect as I wanted it to be which is immensely satisfying!

Stay tuned, more batik and more panels to come.


Susan Sawatzky said...

So beautiful, that could stand as a piece all by itself.

Kathy York said...

Thank you Susan!