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Saturday, November 6, 2010

The World

This detail image of The World (see November 3 post) shows a portion of the western hemisphere.

The starting point on this quilt was to get one full-sized accurately drawn hemisphere of latitude and longitude lines. First, I downloaded and printed a double hemisphere map on 8.5 x 11 paper and made a transparency by running it through the copy machine on transparency film. Using painter's tape I attached drawing paper (larger than the finished size of the hemisphere) on the wall. Then I put the transparency on an overhead projector (blast from the past) and adjusted the image to the desired finished size of one hemisphere. Tracing the lines with pencil gave an approximate image. Now it was time to get out the compass and ruler for accuracy. Refining of the drawing is done on a horizontal work surface.

Latitude and longitude lines are spaced every ten degrees and are further divided into ten black/white sections marking off 180 degrees around the perimeter and across the equator. The celestial equator (the sun's path across the sky) is also marked with 180 degrees.

All final line markings are done on the paper pattern with an ultra fine point Sharpie. I taped a second large sheet of paper over the accurately drawn hemisphere and traced it to get a second hemisphere pattern. I sure wasn't going to draw that thing twice.

To get the continents, each hemisphere pattern was returned to the wall and the continents were sketched in pencil using the projected transparency. To further refine the placement the patterns were tweaked after removing from the wall. This took a lot of pencil and eraser.

When I was satisfied with all the markings they were permanently drawn on the paper pattern with an ultra fine point Sharpie.

To transfer the pattern markings to the fabric, I ironed freezer paper to the back of the fabric (for stability) and taped the paper pattern under this. Using a light box I traced the lines on fabric lightly in pencil and later with Pigma Micron pens.

The color for the continents and water is achieved with Inktense water soluble ink pencils. On the freezer backed fabric I shaded the colors with a dry pencil. Then I spritzed it with water, covered with a disposable press cloth and heat set with the iron on cotton setting. The press cloth absorbs some of the wet color so I recolored in some instances and repeated the process.

Just a word on the giraffe. Note the use of heavier/darker thread on the eyelashes and finer/lighter thread on the hairs of her chinny chin chin. Using appropriate thread lends to the realism.

Stay tuned for more posts on The World.


geni said...

Wonderful detail!

Rachel said...

Thanks, Geni. This quilt stretched me artistically and technically. I determined to draw the quilt with no preconceived idea of how I was going to accomplish my vision in fabric. It was made the same way you eat an elephant--one bite at a time.