Posts Tagged ‘fiber art’

How the dreams came to life

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Hi Jennifer,

little detail

So, now that I accept that we’ve finished those August quilts, I have to let you in on some of the trials and tribulations I had when it was all coming together.

I knew from pretty much the beginning that the quilt would be a “spinner selector” for the dreams you have when you go to sleep. Some nights, around here, we badly need a good night’s kip and then nightmares come along – you just never know what you’re going to get when you toddle off to sleep-land.

But the very start was to jot down and think in broad terms about all the different kinds of dreams you can have and anything related to dreaming. Here’s what happened: (click on the image for a bigger picture that you can read)

Dreams sketches

I jotted down every word and phrase that related to the concept of ‘Dreams’ and let myself scribble whatever came to mind. Here’s a photo of that page from my sketchbook.

The big 2-columned list in the middle reads:


  • Daydreams
  • Aspirations – wishes and hopes – plans [sketch of star]
  • Night Dreams – do you dream in colour?
  • Bizarre/incomprehensible
  • Nightmares
  • Recurring dreams
  • Subconscious revelations
  • Hidden meanings
  • Jung… interpretation
  • … auras/afterlife
  • Monster under the bed! [a little sketch - that was my first possibility]
  • What do animals dream of?
  • Out-of-body
  • Counting sheep
  • Insomnia
  • Fever/illness – hallucinations!

Rough ideas and word association

The fabric with the pink, orange and green shapes and dashes on it immediately asked to be drawn on, so I played with that idea and then dived in with pens blazing. This is what happened..

The sweet dreams scrap:

Sweet dreaming

The bad dreams fabric strip:

Bad dreams

(Gosh, those blobs did remind me of jellyfish, didn’t they?)

Unfortunately, some of my favourites got cut off when I made the final piece – eg the little alien under the word “Odd” in the bottom right – I rather liked him! (I’ve kept the scrap).

What happened next?

I cut a 10×10 piece of Timtex. Then I stitched together four squares of the “WoobWoobWoob” fabric to make a 4-patch, which I sewed into the centre of the Timtex square. These crazy words are – as a friend suggested – meant to represent the words and images floating in your head as you try to get off to sleep.

I made the circle and fused it to the polka-dot fabric, but I didn’t iron it to the main piece yet. (You can see the post I did about the circles here).

The main thing next was to audition the layout for the rest of the piece. You had sent me a scrap of purple fabric, which looked great but wasn’t quite enough, so I went to my stash and matched it as closely as I could with a piece out of an old shirt. Perfect! Here were some attempts at a layout:

layout one

Layout one with the scrap of purple: nice.

layout two

Layout two with ribbon: a bit bright?

layout three

Layout three: oh, look, there’s exactly the right amount of ric-rac left over from last month’s parcel. Hmmm….

Laying out the purple

The purple strips were added, trimmed, and ironed.Then the rest of the base was built, out to the corners, which was where I used the wild flamingo fabric. Slow and careful sewing the ric-rak around the outside of the fusible polka-dot circle, and then the whole thing was ironed to make sure it was all flat and tight.

Dreams - the base of the front is done!

Next post: inserting the spinner!


Home: The Design Phase

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Hi Bev.

I brought my camera to the pool today and snapped some shots of my home away from home. This is where I go to burn calories and blow off steam. This is the place I’m going to try to represent in my next quilt. Wish me luck!

This is the drawing I’m working with:

I know, it’s looks like my daughter drew it, but I’m going with it. The proportions are off and I didn’t fuss with it because I’m not trying to make a realistic, perfectly proportioned fabric likeness. Instead, my goal is to achieve a whimsical likeness of a place I enjoy spending time.

We’ll see how it all shakes out.

- Jennifer