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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Indicating a spotlight in a quilt

On the Quilt Art message list, Madeline recently asked how to indicate a spotlight. This is what I did to indicate a spotlight in this piece called "El Ritmo Flamenco (The Flamenco Rhythm)" in 2004.

It seems a little simplistic now, but I did this piece for the Robert Kaufman QuiltQuest Challenge. You were to use the Color Rhythm fabrics, and I am happy to say, that except for the netting, the shiny stuff and the cording I used on the "curtains", all of the fabric was from this line. Nothing else was used.

To show the spotlight, I wanted something see through, yet glowing. I found the shiny crinkle iridescent lame in the fancy dress goods section at JoAnn's. However, it was a tad too bright. I needed something to break up the reflective quality.

After trying a whole bunch of sheer fabrics, from georgette, to chiffon, I finally settled on plain, old black netting. Illusion netting was just too dense. The open hole structure of the black net allowed the shiny stuff to show through but knocked it back a bit.

The flamenco dancer was inspired by a press photo of Teresa Torkonowsky, a famous flamenco dancer, teacher and purveyor of dance accessories. Ms. Torkonowsky was kind enough to give me a copy of her 1950s black and white press photo and the permission to use it in this piece.

What doesn't really show up in these photos is that the dress is three dimensional. Each of the layers is gathered and stands out from the background. Her "flower" in her hair is made of gathered lace and her earring is the catch part of a hook and loop closure for a necklace.

This piece was part of the traveling show for the Kaufman Quilt Quest that year. One of the funny things, or maybe not so funny, is that it was almost lost. After entering the show and sending the piece off, I discovered I would be moving from Connecticut to Ohio. I dutifully sent off the change of address to Kaufman, which they acknowledged. About two weeks after the quilt was supposed to be returned, I frantically got in touch with Kaufman. It appears that they had had a computer crash and lost my current address, so sent it to the old address. Fortunately, the new owners of our old house were on good terms with us and they over-nighted it to me.....too bad I had to pay those fees and have the heart attack, but at least I got the quilt back safe and sound.

1 comment:

Michigoose said...

Jamie Fingal shared this which is a group quilt by Teresa Shippy, which I think used Shiva paintsticks. At the time I did mine, paintsticks were not to be found in my neck of the woods, but I think this is a really fantastic rendition. It is about the Long Beach Blues Festival.