Since the last post, some finishing details have needed to be done to prepare the work for jury presentation next April – just as well to have this done well ahead so that I can move on to new projects.
Backing the work is a delicate and time-consuming process that either “makes or breaks” the finished result. Every piece and type of edging, requires its own process.
The work was photographed in a “pinned down” state. This had to be secured and completed. Small stitches secured the selvage edge then a light steaming creased and set the selvage in place.
A stabilizer was added to give the work “body” and to provide an interface backing that would capture the work’s exact, intended measurement and to rotate trapunto stones to their correct position. I have worked through this process before; it does two things: first it provides a means to draw in extra areas that have not been pulled together during the quilting process. At the same time, it allows you to sculpt the quilted fabric. However, this then leads to the next dilemma.
The centre of the work, which captured the First Nations burial grounds, lay flat but “puffy.” Not at all the intention; however, to align this section to its quilted surrounds, it had to be pulled in during stabilization.
We had discussed various means by which the crow could be raised and supported, to allow air to flow under the wings. It dawned on me that by creating a “pillow” for the crow to rest on, I would fill the flat but puffy centre and create a raised section for the crow. Voila! I was so excited that I immediately emailed Barbara with the idea. She had no qualms.
The pillow was further stabilized to the backing. With the quilted background pulled in severely and the added dimension of the raised gravestones, the edge was overly wavy. As with tailoring/dressmaking, a firm ribbon can be used to pull in this extra surface area. The ribbon was hand stitched to ensure that nothing showed.
The final backing required a cover that would also house the hanging device. I have used a section of skirting board that I have in plentiful supply, which provides just the right height and top lip to take the eye screws and hanging twine (there is no need for picture wire on a quilt project of this light weight).
The fabric for the backing would ideally have been felt, but the next best thing was to shrink a piece of cotton quilt batting. For the size of this piece it was perfectly suitable; however, for anything much larger, I would prefer to use a stronger and more resilient fabric.
The final step was to secure the crow in a way that was both secure but able to be detached. I used eye hooks and fashioned my own loops. The top was secured tight to the quilt but the centre of the wings had to have about an inch and a half of slack to allow for movement.
Barbara came over at this point to help me test fly the piece. I will add her photos to this blog shortly. One or two minor adjustments have yet to be made before our piece is submitted in the spring of 2017.