29 May 2011

Franka in Progress

I’ve been quiet about Franka for a while, but now I want to return to her. The printout has been hanging on my wall in exactly the same state as it was in the last time I mentioned it, just over a month ago. I figured that it would be fun to share with you the process of how she develops from a frame in a comic album to a wall quilt. I have an idea about what I need to do to get the result I want, but there are many design issues (known as well as unknown) to solve along the way.

For this project, my greatest influence is a textile artist called Pam RuBert. She makes humorous wall quilts with her alter ego Pamdora in the funniest situations. Her quilts always make me laugh. So I’m going to study her techniques for fused raw edge appliqué to help me resolve some of the issues with my Franka quilt. It will be a learning process. I’ve probably jumped in off the deep end again, but never mind. It makes things more exciting.

Starting from the beginning, what I’ve done so far, is, firstly, to scan the image from the comic album with as high a resolution as my scanner could manage (1200 dpi). I then determined the size of the finished quilt (70 x 74 cm / 27” x 29”) and printed the scanned image in full size and greyscale. The printout was 15 A4 pages, which I joined together with sticky tape.

The next step was to determine the different design elements in the image, and to draw them in with a permanent marker. My aim is to be as true as possible to the original, but in some cases I need to simplify or alter the image to make it work with fabric. I also decided that I wanted more space around her hand on the left side of the image. This meant that I needed to add more lines to the flowers above that hand. At the same time I also made some other alterations that I felt were needed.

I’ve used permanent markers and a white gel pen to define the design elements. I want the lines as sharp as possible, as that will help me when I’m making the templates for the fabric pieces. The process of filling in the lines is a bit tedious, but essential, because it forces me to make decisions that will help me with the templates later. A drawback with markers, though, is the fumes. I’ve kept a window open beside me to make sure the room is well ventilated. It’s also a good idea to have a scrap piece of paper underneath, as the markers easily bleed through the paper and stain your work surface (in this case my kitchen table). The white gel pen is for correcting mistakes that I make while marking, for removing lines in the original that need to be left out, and for creating more contrast in less well-defined areas.

When I’ve finished defining the design elements, I’ll start thinking about templates and fabric. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Defining the design elements with permanent markers and a white gel pen. 
I moved the border and redrew the flower to the bottom left.

No comments:

Post a Comment