I hope you guys aren't tired of seeing this quilt yet! The good news is the next post will be the finished quilt! After my last blog post I added the brightest highlights to her face and chest:
|Thread painting portrait: skin highlights|
But the nose just didn't look right, and even after sleeping on it and everyone on IG saying it looked great, I decided to rip out all the light yellow stitching on the right side of her nose. It was tricky because of how dense the quilting is, but only took about 15 minutes! Here's the after, and to me it was definitely worth ripping out those too-bright stitches:
|Thread painting: surgery on her nose, fitting since she had several surgeries for a deviated septum!|
Then I focused on the background and the lower shoulder area:
|Thread painting: I think we're up to 7 bobbins now.|
Now more on the hair, adding lighter layers to the hair and brighter and brighter layers where it catches the sunlight. Also I think I added more to the background...it is honestly getting hard to tell where each bobbin goes!
|Thread painting: the hair has more layers than I can remember! 8 bobbins.|
Next was focusing on all the little details, especially brightest area of her hair. But I also added highlights to the left eyebrow where it catches the light, and tons of stray hairs.
|Thread painting portrait: after 9 bobbins (I think?)|
I'm almost done! At this point I've spent 10.5 hours on this quilt--mostly quilting and trying to decide on which Aurifil thread colors to use. They sponsored all the threads, sending me 25 small spools to use on this quilt, but I think I've only used 18 of those. There are a few little details left on this quilt and then it's time to block and bind it! Whoop!
How I'm Feeling
Jessica and I knew of each other for many years before we became friends. Our homeschooling circles occasionally overlapped, but we basically thought the other one was stuck up (or whatever the 10 year old equivalent is). When I was 14 I started "dating" her good friend and neighbor (there were no actual dates, I think we held hands sometimes though). He liked me a lot and would tell Jessica about me. I guess he convinced her that I was pretty cool, and she initiated a friendship with me. The relationship with her neighbor didn't last long, and we fell out of touch after a few years. But I remained close to Jessica.
I really miss her friendship and understanding. She was the type of friend you don't talk to or see for months at a time, but when you're together no time has passed and there are hardly any lulls in the conversation. Sometimes I wish I could just email her, just to send her little life updates or songs or gossip.
She went into massage therapy with a focus of energy work. She had a very holistic side, even though she was critically minded and skeptical of many things. One of the things that haunts me most about her last few months is that she wasn't given the space to accept her imminent death. She knew it was coming, but in her circumstances she was unable to celebrate her life. I felt it then and still feel it now that she needed that. I wish there had been a way to have a blessingway for her to make the transition easier and more natural. I know that may not make sense to very many people, but I think it would have made sense to her.
In Memory of Jessica thread painting series:
4. Highlights and background (you are here)