Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Let Your Hair Down

Let Your Hair Down
32" x 53"

Continuing with my series of whole cloth batik line art is this one, Let Your Hair Down. This is probably no surprise to anyone here, but when I work, I can get....well...a little obsessive. It is hard to take a break. One of my personal goals the last couple of years has been to balance work and play.  So, this quilt is dedicated to the idea of letting my hair down and playing more! It reminds me of my hair loose in the water, a peaceful and relaxing moment. Mood.

I used the same process as my previous work.  This one was a bit more difficult because it required more layers to boil out, free hand drawing of the lines, and dense straight line quilting around all these curves. (Yes, I see the irony in the work to make this piece, and the actual theme of the work!)

This is layer 1 of the wax.  The smooth edged lines will get dye.
Next, layer 1 of the dye:
These will be pale when washed out.  Then, I will boil out the wax, draw the new lines and re-pin to the frame. Now, I have to decide where to put the next round of lines.  I feel a bit confused about how to draw them and have them interact in a flowing organic way with the lines that are already there.  To practice, I attempt on a full scale paper version first.  If I like them, I trace with Sharpie, if I don't like them....well, there's a big eraser, ready to go!
I taped the paper to the floor, and then taped the dried fabric on top.  I will try to follow the shape of the lines, but the best lines are drawn kind of in a giant arc and quick motion.  The lines on the paper will be more of a hint, "try to go this direction". The lines on the quilt fabric will not be identical to these, but they will be close.
Wax layer 2, then dye layer 2:
Perhaps, not surprisingly, it requires a certain level of concentration to put the correct dye in the correct place, and not spill any.  This time, I got lucky, all went to plan!

I repeated the process of boiling out the wax again, and then drawing layer 3 of the last round of lines, re-pin to the frame again.  Here is the wax for layer 3:
Layer 3 only has 2 new lines, but it looks even more complicated while working. One more wax boil out and the quilt top is complete.  Next up, the quilting.  I decided to outline each dyed line in a matching thread color, and then add vertical lines from top to bottom of the quilt.  The actual color part of the quilt will not be quilted at all, so will become a bit puffy in texture.  Here is the beginning of the work of tucking in the starting and stopping points of every line of thread that I sewed.  This level of detail makes a big difference in the overall look of the quilt; and though it takes a LOT more time and effort, it is worth it!
Long shadows at the end of the day, here is a close up of the back.
And though it may look difficult to quilt so many straight and evenly spaced lines, there are tools to help! My favorite is 1/4 inch masking tape.
A few more closeups of the front after the quilting is completed and all the threads have been tucked in:

I sincerely hope you like this one! And that it speaks to you.  Play is important. Play more! Yes!


Dolores said...

I love everything about that quilt. Simplicity, quilting, but especially, I love the colours. My favourite.

Kathy York said...

Thanks Delores! I am really fond of the colors too!!