My life as a quiltmaker (for chronological order, read oldest post to newest)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

48. LocoMotif 2

All these years of using fabric, and I still have as much as ever--like loaves and fishes, or coat hangers that multiply in closets. But the determination to make good use of my collection remains strong, and the impulse to bring things together that were never meant to be juxtaposed is more appealing than ever. Fortunately, the number of ways I can manipulate fabric has also multiplied over the years.

The piece shown here is the second of two based on my photograph of an old locomotive up in Lowell, Massachusetts (see entry #25). This time I began by printing the photo on fabric. Then I edited the photo with a few computerized filters, and printed those out, cutting them up so I could use a bit here or there. Going through my fabric collection let me find anything that remotely suggested a theme of train, wheel, machine, gear, track, or passenger. Fabric markers, trims, and embroidery floss made it possible to create new fabrics out of old. Working intuitively in choosing and creating the fabrics, I found myself summoning analytical, persnickety editing skills when it came to positioning those fabrics. That turned out to be a good combination for me, although I spent way too long creating the composition. Or maybe I spent exactly the right amount of time, but was horrified at how much that was! This process doesn't get easier, because each new piece, with its own requirements and unique challenges. Drat.

After I had completed the piece, the New England Quilt Museum sent out a call for entries for an exhibit centering on the city of Lowell; the decision to enter was a no-brainer, given that the subject of the piece was a Lowell landmark. It was accepted and hung in the show. There was a fairy-tale ending for LocoMotif 2: a dear friend bought it for her husband. I just love it when that happens!

No comments: