The making of There’s a Place called Mars…

I thought I would share a kind of a step by step process of creating my Martian quilt. My last few quilts I have worked up my initial designs on the computer. I start by scanning in line drawings then arranging and scaling them on Photoshop. Once I have things the way I want them I decide on the size and print out the image full size by selecting tiling in the print dialogue box. I join all the sheets together using clear packing tape, this makes it nice and strong. I lay my PDF fabric over the top and tape it securely to the top edge of the paper. I can see quite clearly through my white fabric to trace the design in pencil onto the fabric. I leave my design under the fabric while I do my painting.
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On this quilt I wanted it to have a soft atmospheric quality, so I decided to try the D’uva chromacoal powders. I cut freezer paper templates of everything on the quilt. I ironed down a freezer paper template around the weird rock shape to protect the surrounding fabric. Using a stiff stencil brush I applied the chromacoal powders.
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I put in the reverse freezer paper templates to color the background. This all has to be heat set when done. I put it in the oven for several minutes at the suggested temperature.
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I inadvertently got a grease spot on it from the oven and then had to paint in another floaty alien thing.
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This orb is painted with tsukineko inks and the jellyfish below is painted with Jaquard Lumiere, and Setacolor textile paints.
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After the painting was completed. I layered the quilt with wool batting and a hand dyed back fabric. Next I hand basted the heck out of it. Wool does not have a scrim and things can shift very easy while machine quilting.
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I outline quilted the painted type to help it stand out. Silver paint didn’t seem like enough for the space ship so I foiled the window.
spaceship The making of Theres a Place called Mars...I did not want a traditional binding framing the quilt so I chose to sew the binding on and turned it to the back.
binding The making of Theres a Place called Mars...Then I had my husband take some slides for me. When the slides came back the colors were more vibrant on the reds than the actual quilt. And I liked it better! It really started to bug me and so I put the quilt back on the table and pulled out a red Shiva paint stick. I found a sample scrap of fabric that I had used to experiment with the chromacoal powders for the planet surface and tried out the paint stick. It seemed to give me the color I wanted so I bit the bullet and re-colored the surface of my finished quilt. SCARY.
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Then I got so bold as to pull out a purple Shiva paint stick to enhance the shadows on the Martian woman. I tried beads on the quilt in various places but decided the only place I wanted them was on the Martians helmet and one large one on the eye of the snake lying next to her.

10 Responses to “The making of There’s a Place called Mars…”

  1. Anonymous says:

    that process is amazing! your style is even more amazing!

  2. Sandy says:

    The finished quilt is beautiful! Colors, shapes, stitching, all of it. Will this go on a wall or in a museum?

  3. Kuky says:

    Wow! I didn’t know that was how it was made. Amazing!

  4. XRD1 says:

    Truly astonishing work. I might send you some photos of my late mother’s quilting work. I am sorry she is not aroung to see yours.

  5. Tace says:

    I have never seen quilts like yours before. They are amazing, quilt almost seems too humble a word for them…you know? I especially love your Martian piece.

  6. Crystal says:

    Wow…this is stunning. You have unbelievable talent.

  7. Liz says:

    I just saw this quilt at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Newport News, VA– it was BY FAR my favorite quilt; you are my new favorite quilter; have you written any books?
    WOW, WOW, WOW!!!

  8. Hi Liz,

    thanks! I have not written a book, yet. but It is on my list of things to do, I have been approached by a few publishers about it in the last year, so it is moving up the list of things to do.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I like you quilt. It’s nice, except for its typos. “It’s” is a contraction for “it is”

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