Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Design for Midsummer Night's Dream

I thought I would share the creative process that has been going on behind the scenes as I have worked through the design of the Midsummer Night crazy quilt. When I first thought of this theme for a crazy quilt, I knew I would be making it encrusted... VERY encrusted. I love looking for and deciding on what types of embellishments will be used to enhance a seam or a bit of fabric! The fabrics would have to be of various values with fairly subdued colors to reflect the night.

First I listed the colors I would use and various embellishments to be added later. I also included a list of the visual sparks from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, as I read through the play. This quilt will reflect the sleeping Titania in the center panel, and the visuals from that "Midsummer Night" will surround her.
Visual journal - notes
My scanner couldn't read these for some reason so I had to take a picture and there is a shadow over the page. Oops!

In the play, as Titania lays down to sleep in Scene II. "Another part of the wood.", the fairies sing a song that makes sure that this list of critters:
Visual journal - notes 1
leaves her alone. In the final version of my design, these will be put on the outer edges of the quilt in the darker blocks, away from a sleeping Titania.

After the lists were made, I started playing with the design of the entire quilt. Here's version one:
Visual journal - design 1
I was going to get very ambitious with my extra embroidery and embellishments in this version. They would totally dominate the CQ blocks beneath them and I decided it was just too much.

The second design took the ideas from the first design and placed them on the wide border surrounding some regular CQ blocks.
Visual journal - design 2
But it didn't really have a focal point and I thought there needed to be one.

That's where the idea of a center panel of a sleeping Titania came in. Beginning with the center panel idea, I worked outward from that, coming up with the current design of the quilt [at first I typed "final design" and then I realized how foolish that thought was :0)].
Visual journal - design 3
The blank areas around the center section of blocks will be the darker fabrics forming a border.

[[Edited to add: I will be putting the same type of embroidery in this border as I would in the second design. It was just too late last night to keep drawing and I wanted to get this post up!]]

So, that's where I stand right now. Nat has received the box of paints and fabric I sent, so hopefully, he can work on the center panel this weekend. Meanwhile, I'll start working on fabric selection and placement. WooHoo!


Jo in NZ said...

Marty, this looks great! I really like the second idea, with the tree etc in the border, however, I really like the layout you have choosen too. I'm glad you are back to blogging. I look forward very much to the progress of this piece.

Rian said...

Oooh, fabric selection--fun stuff!

Marty, this is going to be an amazing piece. Thanks for sharing the creative process from the beginning, I would never have guessed that a list would have come first. I'm excited to watch this piece come together. Oh boy.

Th Midsummer Night's Dream is a wonderful inspiration.

Allison Ann Aller said...

I love that second one too! Really cool!
This design process is great to go through....You didn't ask for opinions, and I hesitate to presume here...but maybe your could draw up your central panel inside the border of blocks inside the scene with the tree and grasses etc...just to see how that looks!

What an exciting endeavor this is. Thanks so much for sharing it with us....

Marty52 said...

All ideas and opinions are always welcome, Allie. I really like the second one, too. I'll draw up a version with a center panel and post it Friday to see what you think of it. ;0)

Brat (beverly) said...

FYI...I have an old VHS tape I made from PBS. It's a filmed version of "Midsummer's" as produced in Central Park. I think it's well over 10 years ago. The main actor was William Hurt. It's a visually awesome production and managed quite well to capture an ethereal, 'unreal' look to the fairy realm......brat

Paintings on Silk said...

Hey nice way to detail an art piece in progress. I'm beginning and like to hear how people come up with their ideas.