Well, last night while I was working on labels, the right name for this piece hit me... Phenomenal Woman. Once I said it, I new all the other names were wrong.
It hit me, just as my sister did when she opened her present today. She was so full of joy, she just hit me across the arm (a tap really, one of those spontaneous reactions). It was great to see. Unfortunately though, it meant I didn't get a photo of her reaction, or of her opening the box. Hopefully someone else in the family did.
Anyway, here she is, all ready to go..... I am also including a few close up shots, as I kept coming back to my friends in blog land for help on how to quilt it. Thanks for the suggestions.....
Full wallhanging (30 1/2" x 37 1/2"):
Her left shoulder, all posed with attitude. As you can see, I finally decided to do a sort of free hand shape quilting on the arms, trying to give it a feeling of strength. I think it is easier to see in person, rather than in the photo.
Her neck was a little trickier, as I had to deal with the necessary movement in two different sections. So I tried to accent the long strong neck, with straight lines that curved at the neckline of her dress.
I knew what I was doing with her hair right away. I wanted to make it look like she had corn-rolls or braids. I used the feather stitch on my machine to create the rows of braids. I am really pleased with the results, as the quilting truly does look like braids and it gives the viewer a perspective on the tight braids coming from the scalp.
I kept up the feather stitch on the braids, which gave them the same texture as the rest of her hair.
Then in the background I used a free flowing loop, that creates motion throughout the piece. I had originally decided on using African symbols on the background, but I found them too angular in shape, which didn't give the effect I was looking for. So I ripped out the first pattern or two and went with this.
I still need to work on the mouth. I ripped out the original outline I had used in red, but haven't replaced it yet, as I ran out of time. So, I told my sister that I needed to take it back after the holidays, to make a few adjustments. She doesn't know I had planned on adding feathers around the neckline. But I couldn't find the right type in time, so I will have to hunt for them while on vacation the next week and a half.
Well, at least I know my sister was thrilled. I even got a hug, kiss and a smile, once she realized she had thanked me by hitting me. Well, what do you expect out of sisters!
Update: I forgot to give credit to the artist in my post. The image I adapted was from a print by Isabelle Vital.