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Saturday, October 27, 2012

the bluest eye - a painted quilt

I love the banned book challenge so much I made another one. There are an amazing amount of books on the list to choose and I love a creative prompt on which to point me in my arty quilty direction.
Go here to check out the banned book project - the deadline is november 1st for the challenge but you can always just pick a book to give you inspiration just for fun.
I picked The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and went out of my comfort zone of applique on this one and painted it, then quilted it. I will take you along the process.

First I found a photo of Toni  Morrison (might as well use the author's eyes, plus she is such a natural beauty)
after cropping down to just the eye area - print it out and go over the stand out parts with black sharpie.

then when you place the white cotton fabric over it, you can see thru - pencil trace those important parts

I used good quality acrylics and this aloe after sun gel above for a medium while painting so it doesn't dry to fast and helps with blending. You can spend a lot for an acrylic medium but this works just fine

I also like to put the photo on my iPad home screen to look at while painting.

my fancy palette - yes, it's a meat tray and yes it's washed :-)

I taped the fabric to a board so it won't move around and just played doing the skin first, looking at the photo for the shaded areas ect.

doing the eyes last, see the difference between above and below

it's that little light or highlight that makes an eye look like an eye

now to add some eyelashes with a pencil - they are thread painted on later

Square up, add a border and then quilt

the eyelashes are  the last to go on

I'm not a great artist but if I can manage to pull this off then you can too - try some painting
and just let go and have fun with it ;-)
(by the way, the photos of the work in progress were taken with just a lightbulb inside and the end result ones (first and last photos were outside with better light so they are more true to actual)


  1. Love! Enjoyed seeing the in-process pictures but the finished product is fantastic. Great piece!

  2. The bluest eye is a banned book????? I loved it!

    Your piece is great. I admire your ability to paint. I am a lost cause when it comes to painting.

    Good work!


  3. Hey...I use the same fancy palettes for great!!!! eco- friendly and more money for art supplies.
    Great tutorial!