Finding Janis (Acceptance!)

Happy dancin over here to find out that my #FindingJanis art quilt is going to Houston Quilt Festival!  The Power of Women Special Exhibit was curated by Jamie Fingal & Leslie Tucker Jennison. Once again ladies, you have opened the floodgates of inspiration!

Size is 24" x 70"  (2ft by 6ft)

Lots of process shots below but here is the final full and detail;  and my artist statement:

"Janis Joplin was my inspiration for this work in tribute to her contribution to Rhythm and Blues and for women in the entertainment industry. She was unique and accepted in all her every day glory and encouraged women singers to breakout of the corporate mold and be more authentic."

Techniques used: Hand-Appliqued, Hand-Quilted, Hand-Embroidered, Hand-Embellished, Machine-Pieced, Machine-Appliqued, Machine-Quilted, Machine-Embellished, Painted

The yellow butterfly was found a few years ago at a store selling 'naughty lady' stuff.  I couldn't resist.  I had it in two other colors & have used them both in art quilts.  No telling where you will find the best trim! stuff.*blush* 

The hand embroidery parts were my favorite. I found these two motifs on a world embroidery site. I modified them a bit and voila!

 I added a pearl on her choker as Janis' nickname was Pearl.

I used Metallic Gold pens to add the wording of one of her trademark songs 'Take Another Little Piece of my Heart' (that was actually written by Dusty Springfield)

I did have a pink feather boa but in the end skipped it.  Not only did I not want pink feathers shedding all over the dang place I wanted to keep this piece as 'clean' looking as possible.  Too much embellishment would have detracted and looked more of a mess to me. 

Her top is made of various size hourglass blocks ranging from 1/2" - 2" and represent the limited number of hours she share her genius with the world. It was fun creating them out of the vintage red/white/blue fabric.  In fact, I wanted to call her 'American Woman' but in the end went with my heart.
Here is the first tentative sketch and painting. Getting the proportions close to correct was VERY daunting for someone who never had a life drawing class.  I tried to use my own measurements for arm length, waist to neck (NOT girth thank gods!) and round about where her breasts should be.

it was amazing how instantly adding the 'choker' gave me such a better perspective of where to arrange everything. It also let me know I was on the right track.  

red crushed velvet pants!  Now THAT was interesting to work with!  

I machine quilted her in halves before finally adding the lower layer to the top at the waistline.  This wasn't intentional; I just didn't have a long enough piece that I had for the top.  

The only thing I would change is quilting her flesh.  I really cried after doing her face & was just sure I'd ruined it.  I even texted my daughter at work that if she needed me I'd be in the bathroom guzzling beer and sobbing.   

After some deep breaths I realized it would be ok.  BUT, I still could have left it unstitched and would have preferred it. Given that it's an art quilt and not a bed quilt I think it's acceptable to leave parts unquilted; the only reason to quilt is that when it travels if there is no one to iron it down the painted areas can look crinkly. 

A lot of fun was had going thru an entire tub of trims to find just the right things for her bracelets.  They are stitched down but also right at the wrist lines on each side small dabs of glue for added security.   


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