This is part of series of blog posts about the creation of Seachange: Whale Tracks that has been selected for the Studio Art Quilt Associates* global exhibition Season After Season (on tour 2019-2022).
Throughout construction of the seascape, I constantly checked the sequence of colour and value to ensure the turquoise band of “whale tracks” was prominent but not jarring. I swapped out some of my fabrics along the way. The interlocked nature of the piecing, and the limited availability of certain hues, meant that back-tracking wasn’t really an option. Once I commenced a section of piecing, I was committed and had to trust my instincts.
Vertical lines on my design wall allowed me to also check that elements of the design fitted within the permitted width. Vigilance is essential. It is challenging to something to a specific size. While the exhibition prospectus allows for six inch variation in the length, it only allows 1 inch variation in the width which doesn’t offer a lot of flexibility.
- Height: 72-78 inches = 182-198 cm
- Width: 30-31 inches = 76-81 cm
When it came to the sky, I stalled for a few days. I wanted to incorporate a band of pieced clouds to unify the top part of the design with the seascape. The first hand-dyed fabric was too patterned and competed with the cloud elements. I auditioned some more evenly dyed solid colours. They were too flat. Eventually, after re-examining my fabric stash, I settled on lightly patterned piece that serendipitously placed a white smudge on the horizon reminiscent of the vapour of a whale spout. Breathe.
Before I joined the sky to the sea, I laid the work out on the living room floor and measured it carefully to check the position of the horizon and that the overall design still fitted within the size parameters (factoring in an allowance for quilting “shrinkage” and trimming up). Once I was happy with the composition, I layered up my backing, poly-wool batting and top and pinned the layers together securely for the next stage.
On the Clock
Eschewing timesheets, I don’t log every minute that I am in the studio. Nevertheless it is very instructive to track my time on certain projects so that I understand my process and can more accurately estimate my time for future projects. I use the toggl.com app that is available for both desktop and mobile devices. My report shows me that I clocked up 30 hours and 24 minutes in the design and construction phases. The next stage would take much longer…please come back for the final instalment.
- Design & fabric selection: 3 hours 35 minutes
- Construction & assembly: 26 hours 49 minutes
TOTAL: 30 hours 24 minutes
Follow My Process:
Here are my blog posts about the creation of this work:
- Part 1: Design and Fabric Selection
- Part 2: Construction and Assembly
- Part 3: Stitching and Finishing
Season After Season premieres at the Texas Quilt Museum La Grange, Texas from 7 January 7 – 24 March 2019 and tour through to 2022. Other venues include the 25th European Patchwork Meeting in Sainte-Marie-Aux-Mines, France from 12-15 September 2019.
*Studio Art Quilt Associates offers many exhibition, network and mentoring opportunities for its members. If you’ve been thinking about joining SAQA, add the discount code “WKS ” to the application form (and add my name Brenda Gael Smith in the referral field) and you will receive a 10% discount on the membership fee.