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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Better or Worse? Or what to do...

You've seen these little tootsies before. I did this piece in a 12" x 12" format for the Marianist Environmental Education Center (MEEC) show in February. I painted the feet, fused them on and quilted all the little blades of grass. There wasn't any quilting in the legs, except for around the toes.

The MEEC show closed and the pieces went to the Baptist church in Dayton where they were on display until June 20.

Meanwhile, The Aullwood Audubon Center in Englewood put out a call for entries for their exhibit entitled "It's a Green World."


Obviously, there's a lot of green here...but the title of the work is "Standing on Sacred Ground." My point is that if we treated the earth with respect and didn't do anything to the ground we weren't willing to walk barefoot in, it would be a better world.

This little piece gave me a lot of joy in the making and in looking at it. . . . even if my daughter did give me grief because I made her toenails be a different color than the polish she had on when I photographed her feet for a model.

The problem was, if it was accepted for the Aullwood show, then I had to have the quilt delivered to Aullwood by June 18th, and it was still hanging in the other show. In addition, I didn't want to have this piece in such a small format be at the Aullwood venue. So, I did a second one which was 24" x 24".

Since the original feet had limited quilting and I felt like the sort of "bagged out", even though they were fused, I did the second set a little differently.
First, instead of fusing them, I hand appliqued the legs and feet. Secondly, I did machine trapunto, and quilted the feet and legs along the muscles and tendons.

I don't like how it turned out. They are, quite frankly, scary looking to me. I am contemplating that I should tear out the quilting when it comes back and try to close up the needle holes. That is, if I can close up the needle holes.

What do you think? I really want to know.

12 comments:

Sam said...

I like it! The quilting lines give the feet and legs strength and character. While the other piece was appealing and innocent, this piece shows the strength and determination that is required to leave a soft footprint on Mother Earth.

norma said...

I think that instead taking the quilting out, I would add more quilting. Follow the same lines, just add more.

Michigoose said...

Hmm. It does give strength, Sam. I guess part of it is that I look at it and feel like I have skinned my daughter's legs on the second one! Your comment does make me pause though. Hopefully, I'll get more comments.

Specifically, I'm wondering if I do take the stitching out, whether or not I'll be able to close the holes up since I used a combination of paints and it did change the hand of the fabric. I suppose I could just repaint areas with holes.....

Michigoose said...

Norma, wouldn't that look funny though? I did use two layers on batting in this area. Maybe if I used really fine thread....and I'm not sure if it would draw the quilt in and warp it. The grass is heavily quilted though, and I supposed I could just add more quilting in the grass as well.

LYNNDEL said...

I am intrigued by the 3D effect on the first quilt, but I like the second one also. If the anatomy effect really bothers you, you could put some cuffed jeans on those legs.

Marti said...

What if...you placed a sheer over the legs? it would tone down the quilting, but you could still see the definition?
I have had good luck placing a piece of organza down, sewing where I wanted it...and then cutting off the rest.

Michigoose said...

Marti and Lynndel, both are excellent suggestions....maybe even doing a series! I usually paint two samples and pick the best of the two....and I have another idea for one set.

Of course, getting over the thought of doing the grass, which is really painstaking and time consuming will have to be accomplished. :)

Lisa Ellis said...

I like the quilting lines too. It shows perhaps an older set of legs and feet. In the first piece, the person looked more youthful. Both are great.

Carole said...

Lisa.. I like the quilted lines in the legs and feet... gives a sense stability.. which your overall intent re: green [and good] earth. Yes, I believe someone said 'strength'. I like it just as it is..
They are both great pieces... and a good message, too.

Lunachance said...

I think the first iteration had more real looking legs. Since ripping stitches will be really time consuming, maybe you could "camo" part of the legs with a tattoo.

Best of luck,
Lunachance

Sunita said...

Don't ask me, Lisa! I'm in total awe of your art and everything you create seems so amazing to me :)

Dolores Fegan said...

I like the un quilted legs, but I wouldn't pick it out. My suggestion is a thin layer of batting over the feet and then applique a new set over them.
or if you just add more stitching to show shading as you do in thread painting.