Monday, April 18, 2011

New Work: Ohm

This is a piece that I've been working on since last July. I took a class with Pat Mint at Arrowmont in printing on fabric and learning photo manipulation. While playing with several photos from my files I decided that I wanted to blend them and make one photo.

I took this photo of my granddaughter, Aubrey

and this photograph of a hosta from my garden.

and after playing with them in Photo Shop Elements 8, I came up with this. During the process of manipulation I held a key down to long and all the color except black and white went out of the picture. I loved it. I finally figured out what I did and I can do it again.

With Pat's magic formula I printed four banner sections and then sewed them together to a size that equals about 30" x 40". Now I had to decide how I was going to make this into a quilt. My first idea was to print three photos of the Hosta using different filters for each print. I also wanted to use three photos of Aubrey using different filters in black and white.

I looked at this for several days and thought this is Okay, but I wanted more than Okay. So I played with a few more ideas.

I hadn't liked how the printed hostas looked so I took those away and added more photos of my granddaughter to the other side. Again this is Okay but not quite there yet.

One of the things that was bother me was the fact that everything was symmetrical. So I decided I was going to take away one of the side panels. After looking at this for a while an idea hit me. I should make the side panel all black using one piece of fabric and cut her portrait out in three places. After a bit of math, not my strong point, I figured out where each portrait should be placed and cut out the black, adding white fabric behind. It is similar to reverse applique only done by fusing.

During the process of making this piece I decided that I wanted to diminish the effects of the hosta, so I used acrylic paint to dull it some what.

Now I'm to the part I hate, quilting. I had decided that I would following the lines of Aubrey's face and hands. I started machine quilting and had about a third of the face finished. I put it away again and when I got it out I decided that I was going to work on the black panel. I had an idea but I wanted to try it out first.

Since I had lots of these little pieces made I decided to make one as a wall hanging for Aubrey and practice the quilting at the same time. I really liked the effect I got from the design. I used YLI Variations color:Thunder, I really like this thread because the color changes often and you don't end up with blobs of color. I like the straight/wavy line so much in the black panel that I decided to take out all the quilting on her face and carry the line motif across the quilt.

Well, that's it. Comments would be appreciated.


  1. Fascinating process. Beautiful photo of your granddaughter. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. This is a really lovely piece Marilyn. I am sure that it will be treasured by many people. Sometimes we forget to play and just try things!

  3. Beautiful. Your granddaughter merged with the hosta is a wonderful representation of Ohmmmmm- a meditation of becoming one with the universe!