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Rock On! Art Quilt Update and a Holiday Freebie!

1 Dec 2008

For all of us who survived Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, I hereby offer you Totally Free Tuesday! Well, at least a free offer from me in the form of a Christmas tree skirt article. Click on the image below to download a piece I wrote for Quilting Arts GIFTS.


Are you crafting holiday gifts for loved ones this year? I am, but since a number of family members allegedly read this blog, I can’t share with you what I’m slaving on after hours (and into the wee hours of the morning), otherwise I’d ruin the surprise. 

I can tell you while partaking in a Thanksgiving Day repast and scheming holiday gifts this past weekend, I was also able to carve out a couple hours Sunday afternoon to work on my very own Rock On! Art Quilt. Since I am technically ineligible to participate in this Quilting Arts Reader Challenge, I am taking this blog opportunity to share what I would do if I could play along.

My Rock On! Inspiration

While many of my adolescent comrades in the early ‘80s were listening to U2, Def Leppard, The Scorpions, Howard Jones (and yes, I did, too), my band of choice was most definitely Dire Straits. Like many, Mark Knopfler is a favorite musical artists/guitarist of mine and “Telegraph Road” is––in my humble opinion––pure genius (and a bit apropos given the current economic climate). 

My stitched tribute doesn't quite feel compelling enough to me, but as I enjoy watching the creative thought process of others, I’d like to share mine as well, and get your feedback for when I embark on an improved version (feel free to leave a comment in the comments area).

First, I wanted something with a dramatic sky so I digitally altered a photograph I had taken of a sunset and printed it on muslin. I then printed the body of a Fender Stratocaster on a chiffon fabric to place on top. 

Problem was, the end result was a little too dark for my taste:

Step 1

So I tried a lighter version, using a pink organza for the guitar, then also transferred a royalty-free image of a telephone pole to ExtravOrganza to fuse on top.
Step 2

I thread-sketched the birds, wires, and pole with black thread:
Step 3
And decided to add some birds flying away in the distance, so I created some freezer paper stencils that I would later thread-sketch:
Step 4
I auditioned a few of the song lyrics, but decided against it:

Step 5
So I opted to simply free-motion quilt the guitar...
Step 6
And when finished, I added some beading for detail.

Step 7
 I think I have a decent prototype for a better, more dramatic version where I'll put something a bit more graphically compelling in the background. (In the meantime, I'll put this in my sketchbook for safe keeping.)

I should mention to personalize the backing fabric, I screened some guitars, of course:

Backing fabric

I hope to make a few of these small Rock On! art quilts to complement Robbi Joy Eklow's "Groovy Guitars" quilt that adorns our den:

More Rock On! Art Quilts are arriving daily and I think this will be one of our strongest challenges to date. I hope you'll participate.

An author/artist interview plus more freebies will be given away a bit later, so stay tuned!

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Carol Sloan wrote
on 2 Dec 2008 3:08 AM
gotta love those Dire Straits...
Carol Wiebe wrote
on 2 Dec 2008 6:57 AM
Very nice. You have integrated the guitar into the telegraph poles quite effectively!
Cay Denise wrote
on 2 Dec 2008 9:40 AM
Good morning Pokey, That is a terrific-looking challenge piece! I've been working on mine and am nearly finished. But when I read the phrase "more graphically compelling" in your blog post, I started wondering whether my piece meets that criterion. So, I'm going to sit with it for a while. The question is certainly one I'll start asking about my work in the future. It is thought-provoking. Thanks!
Pokey wrote
on 2 Dec 2008 9:54 AM
Cay, I'm *certain* yours is tres cool. I am my own worst critic (aren't we all)! I think I need to add just a little more zip to this version. Can't wait to see what you send in! Warmly, Pokey
Lisa wrote
on 2 Dec 2008 10:13 AM
This is beautiful! I love the color palette you settled on. And you were right; the lyrics just didn't belong - though I would have tried them, too! It's a better piece for being more symbolic than literal. Great job! The quilting really adds a great touch.
Bethel of Bethania wrote
on 2 Dec 2008 8:42 PM
G'mornin' Miss Pokey, I just love it & I can't get over how electrified that hot pink guitar makes it all look ... fabulous ... I've not tried that ExtraOrganza - sure looks like it could be fun to play with ... OOroo ... Bethel
jessica wrote
on 2 Dec 2008 8:43 PM
I love the colors!
Ronnie Haley wrote
on 14 Dec 2008 8:41 PM
I love it!
sonja wrote
on 15 Dec 2008 3:27 PM
rock and roll will never...i forget! ... the lyrics often become a quilt title, a quilt yet to be born of art and fabric and many lines and licks and what about Neal Young? that music recalls a time when youth and smooth skin a memory. rock on Pokey! sonja
Sharon Eisen wrote
on 19 Dec 2008 12:24 AM
I thought you might like to check out this web site for designs: The downloads can be printed on Printed Treasures inkjet printable fabric.
andrea gilsdorf wrote
on 23 Dec 2008 3:17 PM
Thanks so much for sharing these ideas. A light bulb came on here! Thanks and Merry Christmas! Andrea.
Sharon Eisen wrote
on 2 Jan 2009 5:10 PM
I never can figure out how to respond to your requests, but maybe this will work. My cliche new year's resolution is not to buy a single scrap of fabric until every single piece in my stash is used up! If you believe that, you will believe anything.