Wannabe Art

A place where one old woman shares her daily ups and downs and her attempts at art with strangers and friends out in Internet land.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Black and White Still Life

I am taking a class online from Pamela Allen. Our first assignment was to create a black and white still life. I am a funky type color person...I really like bright colors so this assignment is going to be a challenge for me. I was lucky that I had a bin of black and white fabrics left over from a black and white lap quilt I made about three years ago in another class. Pamela said no patterns ...just cut out chunks...so this is what I did as shown in the following photo.

After some juggling I knew that I was going to go with three bottles...they were going to have shadows and there was going to be a window in the top right corner. Pamela uses a ladder stitch to attach her pieces...she does this by hand. If it was good enough for her then I was going to give it a try. I am not a hand held needle person...so this was a big step for me. (My Bernina was very confused as she usually does all of my stitching.) My ladder stitches were very wonky...and it was really hard to push them through to the back fabric. I discovered I was using a blunt tipped needle...so no wonder I was having trouble. Then I went back and read directions again and discovered that I really didn't have to take these ladder stitches to the back fabric ...that they could lock into the batting...and when we did the machine quilting at the end it would tie all three layers together. (I forgot to say that Pamela starts her pieces with her her quilt sandwich all put together.)

I wanted a window...but was having trouble...as it now really made my piece a night time piece ...and what could I put in that window?

After placing the window...it grayed out the quilting I had done on the wall that surrounded the window area ...so I added some cording...got to use a new foot for that.

Now that I added the cording, I had caused myself another design problem...I had a big window on the left hand side that needed to be balance on the right side...so what was one to do...add a funky fish clock. (After all I do live at the beach.)

Every bottle needs a label. The Internet is great...I found these labels and printed them out on cloth using my computer.

Here are the labels sewn onto the bottles. if you look carefully you can see my wonky ladder stitching ...I used red thread as I had to be able to see the thread...the black thread disappeared into all of the black fabric. Just in case you are wondering using red thread didn't improve my ladder stitch at all. (Am going to practice this stitch.)

After putting labels on I needed to do something to tie the window and the clock to the bottles. There was just too much space in between the three. So I made some cords...using yarn and the zig-zag stitch on the machine and then pieced three funky flowers that will be scrunched together so that they will have texture. Will add along a few leaves to the cording. The cording will be couched down for the stems. The picture of the flower doesn't show the 3-d effect that I hope to get... am hoping that will happen when it is sewn.

And that gets me to this stage...am thinking I will make stars in the window... also am going to have to come up with "something" to anchor the lower right hand corner, as of now the "blank area drags the eye off the quilt at that spot. Will continue to work on piece and will post final piece at the end of the week.

After posting my picture in our forum...Pamela pointed out that my window was straight...my table at an angle and my back wall was off... she suggested some fixes for me...I ripped out the ladder stitches on the top of the bottles. (by the way ladder stitches are easy to unsew.) I then slid new background fabric in behind the bottles. I added black fabric to get the table straight. I also by accident cut off part of the fish on the clock...so it now is a fishless clock...will repair that later. Am now trying to do a wine glass...Pamela had suggested maybe a cork screw...so if the wine glass doesn't work out...will try that. as you can see below...the window is gone...

This is my sewing room after my revision....

After posting my corrected piece...Pamela Allen suggested that I might want to redo the necks of my bottles because they all looked similar and in a large to small format...since I was going to remove the rest of the red ladder stitches anyway...I decided that the short bottle was distracting so removed it totally. Reworked the bottle necks, reworked the window, and added a wine glass. (Right now the piece shows a paper wine glass...but will be stitching down an organza wine glass on the piece. Pamela suggested the wine glass "fall off the piece"...so am doing that. I am still going to rework the flower pot in the window...but here is revision 2.

I am really pleased with it...what a change from the original!

If you would like to see a post of how she goes about creating a piece- check here.....


Don't you just love her work?


At 8:43 AM, Blogger Karoda said...

This exercise is a good attraction to taking the class! nice piece.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Kay said...

What a fun post! I truly enoyed reading the stages you went through, and Pamela Allen sounds great. Some teachers I've had don't provide enough feedback.
By the way the finished piece looks great (I like the round clock much better).


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