I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was a member of a group called Fiber Frenzy, and at our last meeting we set a challenge entitled “Going Green”. We are to each make a quilt that follows the theme in some way.
Now, most people would think of plants or recycling or something along that line, but my mind immediately went in an entirely different direction.
Growing up in West Texas, which is also known as “Tornado Alley”, we spent much of our Spring watching the sky for the huge storms to roll in. Many times, if a tornado was near, the clouds would turn a greenish color. There is even a line in the movie “Twister” where they say “she's going Green” and that's immediately what I thought of.
I searched on the internet for photos of storm clouds and was entranced by this photo…..
I thought long and hard about how I would depict this phenomenon, finally deciding to use the Water Soluble Oil Pastels that I have been using using for some other quilts.
I took a piece of fabric, ironed it onto a piece of freezer paper and got ready to paint. I cut a tornado shape out of freezer paper and ironed it onto the fabric.
I started by doing a little bit of painting on the bottom part to make the grassy area before working on the sky….
I have never found it easy to use these pastels directly on the fabric but instead I would use the backside of the freezer paper as a paint pallet and mix colors together, adding a little water to them as I went.
As I mixed the initial color, I realized that I was going to have trouble putting any movement in the lines on the fabric…. the brush technique is something I haven't mastered yet. Instead, I decided to use this pallet to stamp the color onto the fabric, so I simply turned the piece of freezer paper, paint side down and placed it on top of my tornado, I ran my hands all over the paper and finally used a brayer on it.
When I pulled it off I was pleasantly surprised that the paints transferred in a very nice manner. I put a bit of water on the brush and added just a little water to mix the paints together.
Then I had another look at my original picture and realized that there needed to be some white clouds to give more contrast to the dark ones. So, I scribbled a bunch of white pastel onto the freezer paper, added a bit of water and started adding some highlights. It was amazing how much difference it made to the finished product.
I really like how the paints pool at certain points, giving a lot of dimension.
After it had dried and sat on my table for a few days, I decided that it needed a little more green, so I pulled out my Set-A-Color paints….an olive green in particular. I dipped my brush in a small amount of paint and then dry brushed it on my “pallet” until there was very little left on the brush. I then added a few highlights.
The next step was quilting. I am not particularly happy with the way that I quilted it, but since it was a challenge I am not terribly worried about it……
I see that the point of these monthly challenges is to simply try something new and learn something new and this time, I learned that I CAN paint fabric!!!!