Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"Windswept Poodle"

"Windswept Poodle" 12"X12"  by  LeeAnnaPaylor 
This is my STAT quilt for our challenge to interpret the artist Edward Hopper.
I had two working designs based on his diner piece and his apt building piece. Edward Hopper loved to paint shadows on houses. When I consider common characteristics of his artwork, I think of strong shadow and light, of grayish skies, of isolation. I decided to do another poodle piece, this time reflecting a house.

I want the viewer to see how alike the house and poodle are, repeating colors and mood.

I decided on these fabrics with a couple batik scraps for rocks and foreground. The black and white fabric grades from light to darker and I've had it for years. Waiting for the right project.

I rooted through probably 50 or more sky fabrics til I found just the right shade of gray-blue with the right clouds. In person it is perfect, but my new studio lights still mess with my colors on camera.
The post (HERE) discusses my cutting disorder.

Isn't it interesting to see a finished quilt and think of course it looks like that!
When designing them however there are hundreds of little choices like how wide to cut the word fabric, what shape to cut the rocks and how large, where shall I put them, how small should the house be to give distance, how far down shall I put the poodle in relation to sky and grass, and what part of the picture should he be in? Just what angle should the ears be cut to appear to be whispery in the wind? Just a few of my choices.

I seamed two extremes of one fabric with two rectangles together, then seamed a piece of gray across those two on an angle. I then free cut the poodle from this created new fabric, to imply hard shadows and angles. It worked! I love how it came out. I went over it when done with pencil, to further shade the back and beyond the poodle into the sky.
I went in with rayon thread, and created free motion seagrass over some un-raveled wool. I ended up pulling some wool out of the stitching as it was too solid but now I like it. I took this pic in the dark, and it gives you a better sense of the mood of the sky color.
I liked several Hopper quotes, and you know I like words, so I printed out this one, "More of me comes out when I improvise" then traced it onto fabric with a pen. That is so true for me. I do much better work when I improvise, don't second guess, just keep moving. This whole piece was made in 3 hours. After 2 months of thought.

I free motion quilted the whole and then created a new binding technique. I didn't want any kind of frame around the piece to contain it. I only wish the photos were as striking as the real piece looks, as it makes me smile in a very satisfied way. It worked this time. This photo taken in the dark conveys more of the real color.
Edward Hopper painted pictures that made one wonder what his people were thinking. I wonder what this poodle thinks? Thanks for looking, please tell me your impressions. LeeAnna


  1. sometimes I wonder what you are thinking ...
    Love the grasses.

  2. This sure put a smile on my face.

  3. love it..the bottom photo is better to show the sky. You did NOT trivialize this at all. I would rather see your interpretation than a copy simply done in fabric.

  4. Fabulous!!!! I love it when you improvise, you are so creative!! Where do you keep all your little art quilts? Do you have an art wall?

  5. right now, they are in their own little container because we are not done. I am not sure how I will show them later...

  6. I adore this one it is refreshingly fabulous! So enchanting :)

  7. I love to see quilters (or artists using quilting as their medium) interpret art styles or specific art pieces). You are so right about all the "little" decisions that need to made while you are composing a piece. That's the part that makes working improvisationally so terrifying for most of us. The hardest thing is to "trust the process" and believe that the beauty will be found *because* you won't know where you're going until you get there!

  8. Hi LeeAnna, Returning your visit to Isabella's Whimsy (via Val's Quilting Studio). I like your blog. What a sweet poodle you have!! Great inspiration. This little Windswept Poodle work is adorable! Looking forward to seeing more.
    Janie, Isabella's Whimsy

  9. Gorgeous dog! You quilted its ears beautifully. I always love to look at your art pieces.

  10. Fantastic work LeeAnna!
    Turned out great! Love the sky! So like the dutch skies!
    You really captured the scale in this art quilt!
    All those creative thought process hours were worth it!

  11. What a fun little quilt! Great use of fabrics and quilting!!

  12. LeeAnna this is so great! Love the test fabric in the quilt too.

  13. Love the improv approach. And I am a big fan of Edward Hopper. Great art quilt.

  14. Stopping in before I head to the land of Second Graders to say good morning!Your whimsy always make me smile!!! LOVE THIS one LeeAnna!