Monday, 13 January 2014

Studio Series: Children's Community Quilt

Children's Community Quilt © Karen Thiessen, 2013
Ta da! Here is the culmination of two-and-a-half years of joyful labour. I finished this sucker in early December 2013 with the help of few weeks of all-out effort. Although my neck and shoulders didn't care for the long hours, it was well worth it. I had about 20 pictures to work with and had the difficult task of choosing only six. I scanned all the pics and performed some Photoshop magic to remove names and scale them to all the same size, then printed off the batch and taped them to my hall walls. Once up on the walls, I looked, arranged, rearranged for a few weeks until I decided on the above configuration.
Children's Community Quilt: flowers © Karen Thiessen, 2013
I then digitally printed each of the pictures onto a special fabric, then painstakingly pieced the quilt together. Thank goodness for the striped fabric to guide my cutting and sewing.
Children's Community Quilt: rainbow 1 © Karen Thiessen, 2013
Once I decided on a backing fabric, I assembled the top, cotton quilt batting and back sandwich on my quilt frame and then spent an entire year hand quilting it. In theory it would have been faster to machine quilt parts, but I knew that the likelihood of me wrecking it was minute with hand quilting.
Children's Community Quilt: rainbow 2 © Karen Thiessen, 2013
I quilted all the borders first and then stitched each panel, saving the best for the last. 
Children's Community Quilt: orange sun © Karen Thiessen, 2013
I must say that I worked on the quilt while I was preparing for a solo show and a group show, so at times I worked on the quilt to procrastinate. At other times, I had to put the project on the back burner while I tended impending deadlines or was travelling. 
Children's Community Quilt: hair © Karen Thiessen, 2013
This was the last panel that I embroidered and I must say that the hair was the most fun to stitch. Then all that was left was to remove it from the frame, trim it, cut and piece the bias quilt binding, machine stitch it on one side, hand stitch the other side, create a label and sew it on, make two hanging sleeves and sew them on, and cut two hanging sticks (one is a weight stick), drill one, photograph it. 

The Details:
Children's Community Quilt 2011-2013
Materials: cotton fabrics, quilt batting, and embroidery floss; polyester sewing thread, hanging sticks
Techniques: Drawings by Ava, Kate, Rachel and Sarah digitally printed onto special fabric; machine-pieced; hand-quilted and embroidered by Karen Thiessen (2012-2013)
Dimensions: 96 cm wide by 115 cm long


Anonymous said...

What a labour of love - such exquisite detail!

Well done! I'm sure the children were thrilled to see their work preseneted in this way.

Judy Martin said...

I love this.