Friday, September 28, 2012

Q105 – Who Did Desi Adore? – Quilted Wall Hanging

Good day,

And here she is…

Who Did Desi Adore?

About last March I stumbled upon, online, a magnificent portrait of Lucille Ball. It was Harry Warnecke’s 1944 portrait; belonging in a collection in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

I was entranced with the colors of her skirt, her black blouse, the thing she is wearing on top of her glorious orange red hair, the red, red of her lipstick, and the near perfection of her alabaster skin. My first thoughts were, could Andy and I capture the colors of Warnecke’s portrait in some fabric and quilt composition.

My first creation was a geometric rendition of an abstract and fractured quilt block. This was done, but you will have to read more of this adventure in my next posting Q106 – I Really Love Lucy.

We then discussed about the possibility of creating a stylized mosaic portrait quilted wall hanging of the Lucille Ball photograph. I figured that I could superimpose a grid on top of the portrait and create a mosaic design of simple squares of fabric. The issue became as to what to do with those parts of the portrait where a single square of the portrait may consist of more than just one color. In keeping with the abstract and geometric idea of the quilt block construction for the fractured quilt block of the I Really Love Lucy, I decided that the design could be generated with the use of triangles and squares. I then discovered the surveying technique of triangulation. Our Who Did Desi Adore? is a variation of a gridded mosaic and equilateral triangulation.

The final dimensions of the wall hanging Who Did Desi Adore? is Length – 35 ½” (90.2 cm), Width – 24 ½” (62.2 cm). The triangulated mosaic is composed of 1” squares sewn and created by cut 1 ¼” squares, including the seam allowance. Also the squares composed of triangles are created and sewn by two triangles of the same size. The fabric composition is all solid colors of the Kona Cotton line from Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

As we decided to give some additional body to our Who Did Desi Adore? wall hanging, we composed the quilt sandwich of four layers; the top, two layers of cotton batting, and the back. The actual freeform quilting, done on a domestic machine, is quite dense.

Here are some more images and close ups of our Who Did Desi Adore?

And as happenstance, or maybe the quilt fairies would have it, Harry Warnecke’s original 1944 portrait of Lucille Ball, the same one we used for our inspiration, will be on exhibit from October 27 through January 12 at the Dorothy Jenkins Gallery of the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida… Believe it or not, this is only 45 miles (72 km) from our house in Tampa.

And, and… our Who Did Desi Adore? has been accepted as a finalist entry at MQX West 2012 in Portland, Oregon the coming October.


Jim and Andy

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