Joy Of Parenthood

The Joys of Parenthood

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m starting a series about life as a parent and an artist. I started three different pieces during a week long workshop with Sandra Sider in late September and finally finished one of them. The piece started with what I thought were just experiments. I took photographs of joyful moments with my one and three-year-olds and created silhouettes using fun, bright fabrics.

01-chairs 02-guitar-girl 03-music-time 04-ball

The silhouettes seemed to be working, so I kept making more and then grouped them into a larger piece. When I left the workshop with Sandra Sider, the piece had a purple center and bouncing balls at the bottom left. Something about those elements bothered me, so I first changed the center background to green. That helped, but those bouncing balls taunted me until I finally created a block about reading time in that space. I liked the image, but the green for the figures wasn’t quite right.

05-with-balls 06-green-center-with-reading

I found a darker green in my stash that worked much better and, as a bonus, it was made of small circles like the other fabrics in the block. With those changes, I was happier with the piece and started sewing down the figures.

07-sew-people 08-sew-leg

Next, it was time to add some free motion quilting throughout the piece. I used a variegated thread with yellow, orange, and green in it.

09-quilting 11-quilting-on-pattern

It’s very visible in the blocks where the background is mostly solid but it disappears in the patterned blocks. It’s okay, but it makes me wish there was more balance with where those solid backgrounds are in the piece. Then it was time to finish the edges. I had planned to do a facing so there is no real binding or border, but the structure of the piece meant that I would lose the straight lines on the top of the blocks that extend past the block above them. The 1/4″ seam would create a small step down on the top of those blocks and I didn’t like that visual. So I decided to create a binding that would match each block to have essentially the same visual as a facing.

12-quilted 13-corner

As I was digging out all the fabrics for the binding, however, I pulled out a fun wavy striped fabric and I pinned it to the wall behind the piece. It seemed to work, so that became the binding instead. It helps bring all the crazy colors together in this fun piece.

joycomplete

Now it’s time to tackle the next piece in the series! Stay tuned for more art about being a parent.

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