If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or my personal Facebook profile you have been seeing snippets of a piece that I'm referring to as "the big project" or "the big commission." I have been commissioned by a local church to create a hanging triptych to be hung at the very front of the church's sanctuary. Three panels approximately 3.5 feet wide by 12 feet long each. It's very exciting to be working so large and getting to play with all the silky, shiny and sheer fabrics I can get my hands on to create this large piece of fiber art.
I usually am pretty wary of taking on commission pieces but after meeting with Melissa and Laura one afternoon in October, I came home excited and inspired. There were already bits of an idea in place, but they needed someone who knew how to put it together. This fiber piece is being created to compliment the stained glass windows that accent one side of the sanctuary. I pulled imagery from these windows and started pulling fabrics and colors. Stained glass has always spoken to me, these particular stained glass windows are a bit more modern looking than one would imagine when you think "church" and the lines and color are very much along the lines of my style of artwork. I have already been thinking about how these window designs would play into my beaded jewelry and other various works of mine.
This process has been interesting due to it's size, I have the first cartoon for the first panel and it's taken over my dining room table. There's lots of rolling, unrolling, moving cats, and placing fabric going on in my dining room. I pin together sections and stitch, pin, cut, stitch, press, roll, unroll....
I wanted to go skiing yesterday, but I couldn't ski with a free conscience knowing that the Easter deadline is looming over me. I thought I'd finish this panel yesterday but I only got to the point of sewing the rest of the pieces at the top together and starting to measure and press the edges. As usual, this is a long tedious process. Just the way I like to do all of my artwork. I did solve my slippage and too-small-ironing-board issue though. I've been pressing and moving fabric between my ironing board and my dining room table. My ironing board was taking up more space than was comfortable to work in and moving the fabric back and forth just wasn't working for me or my surfaces.
I have had a padded table cover sitting in my Amazon wish list for forever. Ever since someone (Cheryl maybe?) suggested it at a learn-to-use-your-sewing-machine workshop day at my place a few years back. The top of a table pad is vinyl but the other side is soft and thick. Thick enough that I can do light ironing on top of. I can also pin into it! Why I waited so long to order this table cover, I'll never know, but it's going to be a huge help with this project and future projects.
I cannot wait to have this finished and be able to show the finished hanging in all of its glory, but for now, bits and pieces and fun pops of color. A huge thanks to Melissa for suggesting hiring me to make this piece and to Bryan for being totally cool with me turning our dining room into an extension of my studio and being a cat-wrangler when I cannot have them messing with this.
I have a few other things coming up too:
I'm the March Presenter at the Weavers Guild of Kalamazoo! Monday, March 11th, 2019
I will (as usual) be at Fiber Feast with the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild modeling and selling my jewelry for their annual fashion show and luncheon. Saturday, April 13th, 2019