The Endeavourers’ Reveal Day, November 2021

The Endeavourers is an online group that creates small art quilts quarterly, all inspired by a chosen theme.

This quarter the theme was “A Headline from a Newspaper,” which I found dismaying. Normally quilting is where I find my peace and I did not want to bring stress and discord into my sewing room.

I thought about choosing a headline from the past, but I kept seeing an image of the real people that are experiencing the tragedies we reduce to headlines.  I wanted to show several people, with the headlines stitched into their faces.  With time limitations, I narrowed down the focus to just one woman, and sketched her out:

Sketch of woman.

I also knew I didn’t have time to hand stitch the headlines, so I created them in Photoshop, and distorted them to fit the contours of the woman’s face as best I could.  Then I removed the original sketch lines, and printed the headlines on a piece of cotton fabric. (I figured it would be easier to cut the fabric pieces to fit around the headlines than to try any more photo editing.)

Fitting the headlines onto the face.

Just the headlines, printed on fabric.

I thought I had taken in-progress pictures but apparently not.

I pieced the background from batik scraps in highly contrasting patterns.  I fused amber and blue-violet scraps to form her face and hair — I didn’t worry about the raw edges because we are all feeling frayed and frazzled these days.

I stitched her eyes on separate scraps and sewed them on  — I think they would look better if the stitching were incorporated into the main piece, but it was five layers thick and I didn’t think the needle would go through all the pieces and the fusible layers.  (I view these pieces as maquettes for if I were ever to create a piece to enter in a show, so I don’t worry about technical perfection in them.)

“Relentless Static”

Close up of the face.

Jagged orange stitching layered on top of agitated batik patterns.

For more about my thoughts while making this piece, you can visit my post at The Endeavourers.  And while you are there, you can see how the other members of the group interpreted the prompt, with everything from Edwardian ladies on the beach to an Ed Sheeran concert!

While I did not enjoy the topic of this quilt, I do think it is a stronger image than I usually create.  I would love to make her a counterpart of positive headlines.