Thursday, December 25, 2008

Phenomenal Woman (Christmas Present #2)

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.

5 comments:

lyndasthompson said...

Great work, hope she likes it.

Frieda said...

I like her very much. Nice work.

terificreations said...

this is incredibly beautiful. Love the quilting and the texture that comes from it!

Teri

Mary L. said...

Fabulous!

momtofatdogs said...

I think your Wall hangings are beautiful. I couldn't figure out how to contact you another way but :
The Log Cabin Quilt on my blog is pattern from "Toad U Sew Designs" & I think it's called "Thinking Outside the Block". It is a very basic 1/4 log cabin block. All the strips are 1.5 inches wide & then the 3D effect is acheived by the way you turn the blocks. I liked the pattern & they have you iron half the blocks with the seams pressed out & the other half of the blocks with the seams pressed in, there are 100 blocks in this setting. My only issue with the instructions was that with all the attention that I paid to the pressing, they don't tell you which blocks to place where in which setting. I "flipped" seams a lot to make it all lie flat. If you don't mind that, it's great.

Sam