Saturday, September 26, 2015

Doesn't It Feel Good To Wind Up Loose Ends?

     I've been in the procrastination mode with finishing up art pieces I've started. I decided to get them finished so that I can feel free to begin with new ones that I have brewing in my head and on the sketch pad. One of them that is sort of an art piece, although not really mine, is a marionette that I bought in Burma in 1984.
     The country is now called Myanmar. Back then, I was backpacking there and bought this puppet for me as well as another one for my brother. I was also carrying two large bronze sculptures from Nepal in my backpack waiting for a safe place to ship them home. I was hesitant to add two more large, heavy items to my pack to carry but they were so beautiful I thought it would be good for my soul to add the weight and I was young and full of energy. I finally shipped them all from Bangkok and they all made it safely. Over the years, the moths got at my marionette and destroyed her clothes. I've been hesitant to redo them because I hate repair sewing work.
     I began by prying off a sequined bib that was nailed on over her clothes. Then slowly cutting off the first layer of silk jacket around her strings, followed by a wrapped pant-like thing around her waist and legs made of upholstery fabric. Underneath that was silk pants that were almost totally disintegrated from the moths. After cutting those off I discovered a layer of cotton underwear. All of those items had her puppet strings going through them that I had to cut around. Here's what I did to sew her new clothes:

1.) I tried to recreate patterns from paper from the clothes I had cut off.
 2.)Then I pinned fabrics to the patterns and cut them out.
3.)The easiest thing for me to do was to pin the pieces onto the puppet
4.)Hand sew the pieces on to her.
5.)Find where the strings were attached and cut holes in the sleeves, pant legs, etc. there .
6.) Untie the knots in the strings.
7.) Feed the strings through the holes, and retie the knots.
8.) I started with the cotton underwear and then sewed the layers on up; redoing the strings each layer.
9.) Dab matt medium around each hole in the fabric so that it wouldn't fray. (I did this as I went.)
10.) Nailed on the sequined bib.
All in all, quite a job. I'm glad it's done. And I used mostly fabric I had on hand. I had to buy the fabric for the jacket and the pants. But I used silk for the wrap, her belt, and her hair ties,  that I had picked up in Cambodia a few years ago. And I used cotton for her underwear that I had as remnants.

 By the way, she has human hair. As I worked on her, I wondered about the person or persons who created her all those years ago and whose hair she has. Her country has experienced great turmoil and I hope all the people involved have managed to have decent lives. When I visited, I was treated so wonderfully by everyone I encountered. It is a beautiful country and has several marvelous cultures.

My Burmese Marionette

     I also finished hand quilting the small quilt The Puppeteer. I used a single strand of embroidery floss in various colors for each area of the quilt. I used a running stitch that shows in the background areas. In the foreground areas, I used a very tiny stitch on the front, only grabbing a few threads and a regular sized stitch on the back to keep the "grab" even so that the quilt will lay flat. Jude Hill calls this a Wizard Stitch. I like that name.
The Puppeteer

So I have one more unfinished art project I hope to finish this coming week. Then on to the new ones. It feels good. I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts so that the artists know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Great Value For A Good Cause

     Today begins SAQA's annual auction of art quilts. You can go here to see how the auction works. Most quilts are 12 x 12 and there is huge variety of themes and color choices. This is a wonderful opportunity to obtain a small artwork and support the media of art quilters. The profits go to SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates), which you can read about at that link. That organization has so many benefits and has changed my life with its exhibition opportunities, discussion group, journal,  and meetings with members. Here is the quilt I made and donated for auction. I monoprinted the fabric, hand-stitched, machine-stitched, and machine-quilted it.
New Growth
I'm linking this to Off The Wall Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts so that they know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.