I was delayed starting this until I could get some canvas, which was a suggestion I got from a lecture at the New Mexico Quilter's Association meeting by Jennifer Day.
|Thread painting quilt layers: photo printed on fabric, canvas, batting and backing.|
Then I pin basted it. I wouldn't recommend spray basting because with all the layers too much spray basting will cause skipped stitches.
And then I spent a lot of time thinking about thread and colors and shading. Like, a whole day. Finally I decided to start with the darkest shadows in the hair, then the eyelashes and eyebrows:
|Beginning thread painting.|
This is the same, but with different lighting.
|Starting to thread paint.|
Then I worked on the medium shadows on her face, mostly because I felt confident (at the time, haha) with the thread color I wanted to use (this is after 1 bobbin):
|Working on the medium shadows on her face and neck.|
And again in the different lighting:
|After one bobbin of thread paint.|
I'm using all Aurifil threads, which they have generously sponsored for this project. Here's the back, I love watching it come to life:
|Back of the thread painting.|
Another half bobbin of quilting later (darker face and neck shadows and another shade light in the hair/shoulder area):
|Thread painting progress.|
|I do like seeing it in this lighting, it really shows the texture and compressed areas from the quilting.|
And this is where she's at today, after the second bobbin ran out (more work on the hair, and mostly filled in the face):
|After 2 bobbins of thread painting.|
|She's got chipmunk cheeks!|
It is so hard to see it come together when I'm so focused on the tiny details. I'm questioning every color choice and placement! But stepping back, and especially seeing it in photos has helped me feel better about everything!
|The back of the thread painting after 2 bobbins worth of quilting.|
How I'm Feeling
This quilt has brought everything up again, which is good because I've been talking about it again and trying to find new ways to deal with my remaining anger over Jessica's death (if you haven't read the first post about this quilt, go back and read it here).
One of my biggest regrets is that there aren't any photos of me and Jessica--13 years of friendship and I could not find one of us together! I consider myself to be a photographer, her boyfriend was (still is) a photographer, and my dad is a photographer, and no one had a photo of us together! I went through old printed photos from when we were teenagers, and still nothing. Her boyfriend put together a beautiful photo slideshow for her memorial, and there were many photos of her with her other friends...but none of me. This was the next best photo:
|Jessica and my 9 month old son at his first Halloween party (he's a lemur)|
So...that was the photo he used in the memorial slideshow. I already knew it was the best one, but my heart still broke. How sad that we spent so much time together, and went on so many adventures, and almost always had at least one camera around...and still we never got into the same photo with each other.
Since her death it has been my resolve to take more photo WITH people, especially friends and family I may not see often. But I am still pretty self conscience and feel really silly asking someone to take a photo with me (or of me)! Sometimes I feel overwhelmingly awkward to the point I don't even ask for a photo, and then regret it later--a missed opportunity to share a photo with a friend! So this is my reminder to you, especially if you are usually the photographer in the group: go get in some photos with all those people you love!! If you feel awkward, acknowledge it, put it aside and have your picture taken anyway. :-)
In Memory of Jessica thread painting series:
2. Quilting shadows (you are here)