This post has a lot of photos. Even I am still entranced with the process. And I know that in 6 months, I won’t remember how I did it. So it’s here for future reference, as well as to share it.
I started this back in January, getting photos of the hands of my mom, my daughter, and my two granddaughters. And me. (Side note:Getting a photo of a 7 month old’s hand is not a feat to be underestimated.)
I had the photos enlarged in black and white. Using my light box, I traced each hand onto a piece of clear, plastic template. (Side note #2: That light box was pricey, but I have used it dozens of time. Very worth it.)
Again using the light box and the templates, I traced the hands onto white cotton. Next comes filling the hands with small pieces of fabrics in different tones of ‘skin color’.
This is all done with glue appliqué, raw edge. My mom’s hand in the center, above, had to be totally removed and redone. The colors were a mess.
Everybody got fingernail polish. Ruby Lou had blue initially. But upon consultation, she stated, “Actually, Grammie, I don’t like blue. I like pink and purple.” So the blue came off, and the purple went on.
Once the hands were finished, I filled in the background with the red batik. It stayed at this stage for quite a while as I pondered what to do next.
I decided to add wavy pieces of turquoise with hopes to have a swirling, water effect, a sense of life flowing amongst us. (Note the purple fingernails and mom’s new hand.)
Things went pretty fast after that. I added the Tree of Life, with bright, new spring leaves. Still going with the ‘life theme’.
Next came the seed stitches. For me, they represent the idea that, like seeds, we are just blowing and flowing through this space. Here for a minute, but for a lifetime.
And lastly, using my longarm, I stitched some floral designs in the corners. Just because they’re pretty. And filled with life. And pink for Ruby. I was very heavy handed on the layers of stitching so they’d stand out. I knew I would be covering this piece with black tulle, and they had to come through that.
Now I was on the home stretch. I covered it with the tulle, and quilted the fire out of it. All those raw edges had to be secured down.
The back is pretty cool, too!
It’s about 28″ x 20″
Thanks for checking in!
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