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Showing posts from May 10, 2015

My First Portrait

This week marked 11 years since Pooch and I first met. Last year's present was the EPP Death Star. This year I wanted to see if I could top that. Pooch has always said his likeness should be captured and given to the Nation so I decided on a portrait. Here is how it came out:

I had been thinking about portraits in fabric since seeing this quilt in Yokohama last year.
Man, that was a good quilt show. All the photos are here. I knew I wouldn't be producing anything like the little girl but I thought I could try the technique out and make it my own. I started with a favourite photo of mine of Pooch in Tokyo, eagerly awaiting the arrival of a bowl of Ramen.
There were several steps I took in going from photo to portrait so I've captured them in the photo above and labelled them 1-5.

1. I opened the photo in an editing program (just the one installed on my windows laptop), cropped it to just the face and changed it from colour to black and white. I also played around with the l…

Thinking of Andy Warhol

Two very different occurrences took place this week and both led me to think of Andy Warhol - something I can't say I often do. But having begun to think of him I found myself combining everything I had heard about him into a big cloud and finding that is contained more than raindrop sized holes. I went so far as to download a biography of him just to check if the two instances I am going to relate were true - and by god, when I read that book I'll certainly come back and tell you. The Japanese have a word -  tsundoku - for buying books and then not reading them. I have a tendency to do that although even that I've tried to curb which links in nicely to my first instance. 
Instance One During a random google I discovered there was an organisation in the southern part of San Francisco called Quilt Works which, as well as a shop, has a community outreach kind of function. In fact while I was there they were cutting up a bolt of fleece to make blankets for foster children arri…

The Blue and White EPP Quilt - an Update

Way back in March 2014 my parents came to visit us in Tokyo. During that visit my Mum and I went to a fabric shop and picked out some fabrics for this quilt:
It took a while but I finally made the few hundred hexagons and thousand or so diamonds and yesterday I finished assembling them into this.
One of the most remarkable things about it (for me, at least) is that it has come out as the right size. I just need to add a border (I'm thinking broderie anglais white with a plain blue underneath) and hand quilt the bugger - so give me another year and it should be done!

I designed the quilt to have three sections which would blend into each other. The tonal variation was something I added in later. First of all there was the bottom part - all hexagons.
Then the hexagons became separators between diamond stars.
And then finally, in the top part, the diamond stars became separated by other diamonds.
I didn't use any cut of fabric larger than a fat quarter so it is very scrappy. Mayb…

Popping Out for Fabric

Saturday saw me hanging out (so American) with a friend who wanted to go fabric shopping. I thought I'd been pretty spoilt by the shops I'd seen so far so wasn't expecting much. Uh-huh? It was basically an aircraft hanger.
There were at least four aisles. My vision went blurry after a while. They had *everything* from a muppet STD... milk bottle tops on netting.
Random aside - aren't these colours amazing together? And the textures?
Mmmmm. And even Christian Grey would have been satisfied by their range of cords.
And where else can you get pompom trim in ten coloours and two sizes?
No wonder they had shopping trolleys at the start. And just when you find that ideal print... realise they have it as a complete colour range (?).
Unbelievably, I actually left the store empty handed. There was just too much to choose from. Plus, as you can imagine with a store that size, everything was just a little bit...
...dusty. Although I am sure I'll be back in the fu…