Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Evolution of an Octopus... Part Two!

... On to the thread! Choosing the colors for this quilt was a bit tricky. The fabrics were so bright and the image itself had so many levels I had to be sure to find colors that would provide enough contrast to make the details visible without being overwhelming. I ended up with a total of 8 colors. Yes there are only 7 in the photo because at this point I was so focused on how in the hell I was gonna pull of these tentacles that I completely overlooked the fact that the woman had a head full of hair! So some brown was added later.

By this point in the process it was mid- March and I had promised my client I would be done by the end of the month!!! I deiced the only way I would find the time was to pull early morning shifts. Waking up between 6 and 7 am gave me a solid 2-3 working hours before going into the quilt shop. While not a morning person by nature I found out that I work every well with a hot cup of coffee and a little sunshine....

Rise N' Shine! 

I deicide to start with the smallest pieces first. Her face had a lot of details and some very tiny pieces. I figured if I started here it would be all downhill from then on.... right?... WRONG! ( Side Note: I wish all my ex's would read my blog... that way they would see that on a rare occasion I am not ALWAYS right! Rare!)

On day one I stitched out her entire face in black, took this creepy pic and was all in all feeling pretty good at this point. 

I still wasnt sure how I was gonna work out the tenticles, so after the face I moved on to the long flowing lines of the Octopus itself. This phase moved very quickly. It was a total breeze and gave me hope that I might make the due date after all. I was really happy with my thread choice it provided just the right amount of contrast.

Halfway through the purple I decided to attempt a "Tentacle Test Run" I simplified the shapes avoiding circles all together. I wasn't very pleased with the outcome. Compared to the striking lines of the purple the orange was almost non-existant and the shapes were not exciting in the least. (It looked like shit)

This photo makes the differences obvious... All I'm think here is "Fuuuuuuuuccc****....... Where's my seam ripper?"

And there was definitely a lot of seam ripping going on with this one!

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

If you look closely at Exhibit B you may notice that the lines in her face are no longer black! About half way through stitching her body I realized I had pink legs, pink arms, pink hands and a black face!!! Boooooooo! Commence freak out! And this my friends is why I have a seam ripper tattooed on my arm!

I made an executive decision and chose to leave her eyes black. I couldn't risk screwing them up this late in the game.  However with my fingers crossed,  I restitched the rest of her face. I also choose to bite the bullet and stitch out each and every little tentacle. 284 circles to be exact! It was incredibly time consuming and my client was gracious enough to give me an extra 2 weeks to complete the quilt, which was a huge stress relief. I went with a deeper orange this time and it really did the trick! Morning after morning I got into my teeny, tiny circle "zone" and just knocked them out one by one. Here you can see the difference between the the old and the new.

The final results where really impressive and well worth the time!

The morning I finished sitching I was nearly speechless. This project was so overwhelming at times but in the end it all fell together. I'm not really sure how I pulled this sucker off! But I did! It took and entire day to tear away all the stabilizer. When it was finally done I took about 100 pictures of the front and just as many of the back! 

I also added something per my client's special request... my signature!

To finish it off I chose a funky, yet subtle black swirl by Micheal Miller and just did some simple wavy lines for the quilting. I only had a day to take it all in before shipping it off. But man what a day! I couldn't stop touching it... all that texture feels amazing! I just stared this quilt every chance I got thinking over and over "I made this... I MADE THIS ?!?" 

My name is Mary Kenyon and I made this! THE END!

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