creating a character through fabric collage
Creative Chrysalis

124 – She’s A Character!

July 11, 2021 By

I do love when my fabric characters come to life! This sassy lady is someone I could easily envision on the Seaside Heights boardwalk of New Jersey, the home state of my youth. I spent many summers at the beautiful beaches and lively boardwalks there. Perhaps that is a reason this quilt has an amusement park theme!

The outline I’ve drawn gives me a starting place to make templates for cutting, but picking out the fabrics is what really shapes the character. It is one of the parts I enjoy most about fabric collage. I look for shading to emphasize contours and prints that might be the correct scale and level of detail that I’d be seeing from a distance. A print would have different appearances as it drapes across a surface, sometimes being “readable” as a print and sometimes only a blur of color. I think about the lighting that is hitting the surface of the character and consider what colors will be interacting with it, like the background or figures nearby. I often cut several freezer paper templates for an area that I suspect will be difficult to get right.

Why does this lady appear in a quilt about fear? There is something under the surface that I can’t quite put into words – I’ve tried, but nothing sounds quite right. Inappropriate clothing? Outright sexuality? Body awareness? Blatant call for attention?