Holiness is now basted and the hand-quilting has begun. Hand-basting on the floor took about a week. Now that that's done, I can begin on the next quilt about stones. I can only hand-quilt for about 30 minutes each day (to prevent injury to my hand,) so that gives me lots of time to work on another quilt.
Here's a small sketch I did a while ago, a quilt that would include some drawings of stone shapes, probably done through scratching into flour-paste resist, but with other methods also possible (direct drawing with thickened dye, monoprint, discharge, etc.) I was thinking of an arrangement of the stones that would recollect the way stones are lined up on a gravestone. When I showed the sketch to a friend, she said it reminded her of the layout of a cemetery--all the better. (Thanks Louise!)
I'm thinking of this as a large quilt, about 70x80. I redid the sketch, re-drawing to eliminate overlap in the rectangles, and then tried folding up yardage to size and putting it up on the design wall. Very difficult to work with. Then I put the drawing into Photoshop, and filled in spaces with different values of gray. That got me further, but I decided it would be better to do a small maquette with actual pieces of fabric rather than continuing on the computer. You can see a couple of results below. These are about 15x18." I cut 3" strips from the various grays I thought I'd like to use, and then cut them further to size. In the first trial, I used a range of values from light to dark, but with a preponderance of medium values.
I did several more versions, concentrating more and more on the medium values. Below is the 5th iteration; mostly medium, but keeping one light in the corner and a few somewhat darker. This is getting closer, but I'll try another step towards a narrower range of value, all medium.
Then I'll work further on the composition--I'm not satisfied with the relationships between the shapes. I'll start by tweaking the design I have, but I think I'll likely end up starting over again. Having the range of values set may help me rethink the composition.
And not everything I've been working with is gray! I'm just finishing up a hamsa for a friend who is in the middle of chemotherapy. A hamsa is an amulet commonly found in Jewish and Middle Eastern cultures. This website has many nice images and some explanation. This hamsa is a little smaller than my own hand. I enjoy doing the embroidery, and keeping my friend in mind as I sew.
I'm thinking I will face it with another piece of cloth, cutting it into the hand shape--like this one I bought years ago and carry around in my purse:
And here's another one I made for a group quilt, put together for another friend undergoing treatment for cancer. The Hebrew word in the center is "Chai"--life.