Inspired by Picasso

I don’t write much about my personal life in this blog, mostly because my life is really pretty boring and I actually hope that people will want to read this blog for reasons other than to cure insomnia. Things have been a little more interesting than usual here for the last several months, though, because we’ve been having some major renovation work done. It’s been a pretty good process overall, but it hasn’t been very conducive to things like quilting, or blogging. It’s also been hard to manage the fatigue from my fibromyalgia, which has been getting in the way of doing these things, too.

I have a backlog of things to write about, so I’ll see if I can catch up over the next few weeks.

This little quilt was the result of a class assignment to copy the work of a famous artist in quilt form. I picked Picasso as the artist I wanted to copy. I might have made a more literal copy of a Picasso work, but I have to confess that when I packed for the class that night I forgot to take a book of his art with me for reference. I hadn’t even looked through it to refresh my memory. So, instead of making a direct copy I went with more of a Picasso-inspired piece.

Based on a quick sketch in my sketchbook, I cut out and fused the hair, face, hand, eyes and nose onto a background fabric. While she isn’t exactly cubist in design, the simplicity of the shapes was inspired by the way that Picasso deconstructs the human form in many of his paintings.

fused quilt top

For the quilting, I decided to add some more graphic elements to the piece. I experimented with different ideas by taking a photo of the quilt top and printing it up in draft mode on plain paper, and drawing quilting lines over the photos.

auditioning quilting designs

Here’s what I ended up using. The shadow side of the face is quilted in a darker thread in a grid pattern. The light side of the face has swirls. For the hair, I followed the lines on the fabric, so the quilting would add texture without adding extra interest. And for the background I used a simple free-motion arcing design, to add movement and provide a contrast with the linear quilting on the face. All of the fused pieces were also stitched down around the edges.

quilting finished

Here’s a close-up of the quilting:

close-up of quilting

To finish off the quilt, I trimmed it down to size and stitched around the edges using a hem stitch from my machine, and couching a coordinating yarn in the stitches. I’m still working in the small scale, so this has a finished size of 8” by 8”.

Picasso inspired quilt - finished

I used a wonderful resource when trying out different quilting designs. It’s the Free Motion Quilting Project by Leah Day. I highly recommend it. I found all kinds of inspiration there, both for this quilt and for future ones.


4 thoughts on “Inspired by Picasso

  1. Thank-you, Ali. I’ve been having fun experimenting with these elements. By the way, I’m way behind on blog reading (see above, re: renovating), and must catch up with yours soon.

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