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The Traveler in process

I'd like to share the stages of Traveler. Both feature a hand-dyed silk organza top layer, with loads of fibers underneath.

Below, you can see hemp fibers which I hand-dyed using Dyna-flo because it's simple, fast and easy to mix colors. This was my first time using hemp and, while not my favorite fiber, it does create it's own unique effect. It's definitely coarser than many other fibers, and therefore useful when you're looking for a bolder effect. This will definitely be seen - no subtlety to it!

This was the first thing I laid down on the quilt, and everything else had to be built up around it. This was a little unnerving because it wasn't necessarily easy to gauge the proper angle and progression from thick to thick line across the quilt. As with many quilts in this series, when elements are lying under silk organza, it's locked in and there's no possibility to return and fix your mistakes. What's done is done and you can only make peace with it.

Next I have the line of hemp fibers stitched down with additional features stitched on top, and the entire quilt has also been quilted down with the first layer of stitching. This helps keep everything in place and the density of quilting regular. What I quilt on top of this first layer generally doesn't affect the flatness of the resulting quilt.

I have also quilted the guide lines for my main feature - the 4D space figure.

While I don't have images of the process, I do remember that stitching the 4D space figure felt like a never ending burden. It was quite challenging because it involved hundreds of thinly spaced, double or triple stitched straight lines, and especially when they overlap, it became quite difficult to keep them straight. Then I finished off this figure with hand embroidery, using two different colors (red and purple) to get a color which would match the polyester thread.

The quilt is finished and now is being stretched so that it will lay flat and I can cut it into the finished rectangle instead of some strange misshapen thing. I lay my foam design board on the ground, spray the quilt with water until it is saturated, then start pinning the inside down and work my way to the edges, always pulling and stretching where needed. When it dries, usually everything remains fairly flat, especially when the quilt was quilted evenly in the first layer, before other things were added on top. After the quilt dries, I can remove the pins and trim the edges.

And here's the piece after it was cut, but before it was bound.

This piece is available for purchase. Visit Robert and Bob Rogers Gallery for more information.

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