God and Country started out the same as any other piece, except that I had no idea what I was to do. I signed up for a Live Painting session for May back in March, so naturally, I assumed I had all this time on my hands, right? Well, that time soon was consumed and before I knew it, it was two weeks before I needed to have something!
I had too many ideas; I was flooded with excitement, ideas, and visuals. I couldn’t keep focused on one topic, one vision. I really was stuck. Eventually, it struck me smack in the face, gut and heart. I saw an image that stood out. It was simple; it was perfect. An American flag waving in front of a cross with the sun shining brightly through.
Sometimes, we have to sit on our heels a bit and let the confusion disperse. Sometimes, we have to breathe and just trust that God will take the wheel. And when he does, I just turn my face up and say “Alright.” Sometimes, the hardest part is trusting that it will all come together.
I played with the image in Photoshop until it’s suitable for fabric. I call it “cartooning” because basically that’s what I do. I flattening colors,shades and hues, define shapes and lines. And when I’m done, I flip the image so it’s in reverse, like in a mirror, and either print or trace my pattern. And from there, the magic happens.
Once I have a pattern to work from, I use fusible web to trace a piece and iron on fabric. I then begin pinning everything to my background.
For my cross in the center, I used freezer paper as a template to work my fabric puzzle pieces around. Freezer paper has a slight waxy coating on one side that is great for ironing on fabric as templates for applique and it does not leave any residue.
Once I’m done, I then have to iron on smaller pieces of fabric to larger pieces, and dissemble it if I’m presenting during a live audience. Otherwise, I’ll just continue to iron everything done.
After the top is pressed and ironed, I make my standard “quilt sandwich” and begin sewing/quilting.
This piece utilizes a variety of cottons, batiks and artist hand-dyed fabrics; raw edge machine appliqued and machine quilted. .
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