Sunday, March 27, 2011

Remember Paper Dolls?

I‘ve been so hung up on fiber, I’ve almost forgotten to talk about the quilting. Among my many guild memberships now that I’m in Virginia, I am a member of the Cutting Edge Quilt Guild. The guild focuses on art quilts and the members are an amazingly talented group of women. Each year the group does a group quilt and the quilt for 2009 - 2010 was a paper doll challenge. The product of that challenge is the huge work of art you see before you - Madeleine.

Madeleine is a “paper” doll in the true sense. The clothes you see are attached to the background quilt with velcro dots. They can be removed from the quilt and attached to Madeleine with the same dots. How did this unbelievable quilt come about? Let’s take a look at the work in progress . . .

All of the guild members interested in working on the quilt were divided into four groups of 4-5 quilters. Each group was responsible for the design and construction of a different outfit - leisure outfit, sportswear, casual outfit, formal wear. There was also a group responsible for the construction of the background quilt and Madeleine. In our group we met, decided on the pieces of the outfit and each member chose they element on which they wished to work. The following pictures were taken during a “fitting” before the quilt was completed.

Leisure wear:

Madeleine relaxes in luxurious, silky, oriental lounge pajamas while reading a book. She clutches the mask she’ll use to cover her eyes for her afternoon nap. This group also chose to created new hair and created a hand to allow it to show in front of the pajamas with the book.

Casual wear:

This was my group. For a casual afternoon shopping, Madeleine wears a denim skirt, turtleneck sweater, needle punch vest and boots. The sweater and vest can be switched out for the leather jacket and shirt you see attached to the side. My part was knitting the sweater. Since Madeleine is posed and not symmetric, it was really free-form knitting I’d knit a few rows then fit it to the form to see where I needed to increase or decrease stitches to get the shape right. I won’t bore you with the details of getting the arm right where her elbow is bent but it took a bit of thought.

Sports wear:

Here Madeleine is ready for a trip to a dude ranch complete with fringed western jacket and cowboy boots. She’s even taken time to visit with a calf which was made using needle felting.

Formal wear:

Madeleine is dressed for a Masqued Ball in an elegant strapless dress with matching mask. On the completed quilt you will see that a scarf and red feathers for her hair were added.

Tabs on the clothes are actually part of the background quilt so they remain when the clothes are moved to dress the doll. The quilt was submitted for the Houston quilt show but, alas, was not accepted. It was, however, exhibited at the MidAtlantic Quilt Festival and will be traveling for exhibition to a show in Vermont. The unfortunate part of seeing the quilt exhibited is that the viewer does get the full benefit of interacting with it. Don’t ask us where it will ultimately end up. We don’t know yet but I’m extremely proud of the work the guild did.

No comments: