Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Reconstruction no.1 was a true exercise in creativity for me. It's the first time I ever worked with denim, (in a quilt) and I had to exercise a few brain muscles on this one.
First I didn't want there to be a lot of bulky seams, so I kept most of the seams open and raw edged, securing them with zig-zag stitching.
Secondly, I was unprepared for how the twill weave on some of the pieces would prevent me from having an easy time quilting... the more I quilted the more some of these areas stretched and expanded, leaving me with long ridges and channels of excess fabric. Unlike the old quilting adage, "you can quilt it out" meaning the more you quilt the flatter the fabric will become, I found that the more I quilted the worse things got.
I don't know if it is because I am a big fan of "Project Runway" of if it was because I was using old denim pants, but I kept hearing the voice of Tim Gunn in my head, repeating his mantra, "Make it work!"
So I did!...
I cut long slashes where the fabric ran in raised gopher-made-like trails, and inserted red printed japanese fabric strips behind. Then I turned the raw denim edges in and carefully stitched things down.
I added an applique patch in one other problem area, and then scattered a few more all around the quilt to balance things out visually.
And I also added lots of big, red embroidered stitches through out... just for good measure....
and intentionally included certain naturally occurring imperfections found in the recycled denim, as honestly that is what drew me to wanting to work with it in the first place.
And when I was done, I found that the "problems" I had encountered and my solutions to them, ultimately created a quilt that was much more rich and interesting then anything I had originally set out to do. (But as for working with denim again... not so sure about that... we will see!)
Reconstruction no.1 is available for sale in my Etsy shop.