Thursday, March 06, 2014

Quilting Picasso

This is an update on the creative challenge I decided to embark on last month featuring a textile printed with one of Picasso's works. I did some hunting first to find some additional materials I needed, which turned up in a remnant bin in Wal-Mart:

The off-white roll is a length of scrap canvas that was exactly the right dimensions for my project area. The little plastic bag is filled with small scrap trims, as you see here:

I'm using some beads, thread and scrap batting I had leftover from my last quilted project, and I also have a wonderful collection of trims to work with from the original kit I purchased from Kathy:

Once I basted the Picasso to the batting and canvas I quilted it first as the textile is very thin and fragile, and the quilting will keep it from pickering and shifting as I embellish. I had a very specific idea I wanted to try first, so I went to work with the seed beads. This is how far I've gotten with it:

I know, it's very subtle (and I'll be sure to take close-up shots when it's finished) but the art is so strong in color and line that I don't want to diminish or obscure it by over-embellishing. I probably should have trimmed squared the piece first but cutting it even with the rotary blade worried me; a soft breath makes the material move and I was worried a stutter while cutting might result in a tear. Once I'm finished the stitchwork on the Picasso I plan to sew some ribbon or fabric over the raw edges.

I'm still not entirely comfortable with the art, but I'm losing some of my hesitancy toward it. Someone I read once described Picasso's work as "full of Southern light", and working so closely with the image I can understand why -- so much boldness, no shadows; completely revealed and entirely unapologetic. I admire that kind of strength in any art.


  1. Wow - that's fantastic. I hope you take a picture of the finished artwork and put it on your photo blog where I can get a real close up view. Please keep us updated.


  2. Fran K8:05 AM

    I'm not a big fan of Picasso and that style of art, but I really like what you're doing to it. The beading softens the harshness of the picture and gives you something else to look at other than her face. I don't think I'd have the patience for it though so major kudos to you.

  3. Huh; I never thought about the lack of shadows in his work. I like what you're doing with this.

  4. Riley8:27 AM

    I've never been a fan of Picasso myself, but I respect the bold creativity. I like what you have done so far. The beading somehow makes it softer and more approachable. I can't wait to see the finished product!