With the quilt handed over, I can do the big 'reveal' and show you it finished. I have to admit, when I first had this commission mentioned to me, I immediately thought, what's a Lancaster plane look like?? Well, after a bit of searching on the Internet, I not only found out what they looked like, but also specifically what they were used for. The history of the Lancaster is quite interesting. If you've heard the expression, 'The Dam Busters', you've already ventured into the Lancaster fly zone!
The design brief for this quilt was, 'Can you do a Lancaster plane quilt? 'Can you also include an Oxford and a Tiger Moth?' The rest was left up to me. So with minimal details, in my head I set about designing this quilt, that would eventually end up on an ex Lancaster pilots bed.
With the Lancaster to go as the central plane on the front and the other two to be incorporated as a small design on the back, I had to find a secondary picture that would become the background imagery behind the Lancaster.
I decided it would be appropriate to depict a dam, as the Lancaster was used specifically for bombing dams. Without wanting that part of the picture to overshadow the plane, I thread painted the dam onto the quilt. I think I have found a new love with thread painting. But boy, do you go through the thread at a rapid pace with this technique!!
Some other details I added to personalise it, were the gentleman's name, rank and serial number.
From the start of the making of this quilt, I had decided that I would 'grubby' up the background. I did have someone express their concerns about this phase of the quilt making, but when I actually mentioned it to the man that commissioned it he said, 'Do whatever you need to. I know you know what your doing'. With that assurance of confidence in my idea, I got right into turning that stark background into something a bit more real with colour. The Inktense pencils, were the easiest way for me to do it, as I'm no painter naturally. I really like the affect it has given the dam wall. Makes it more 3D like.
It's a bit hard to see, but all that quilting did make a picture on the back. When I handed over the quilt, the gentleman that had ordered it said, 'Wow, look, there's even a picture on the back!' And then he noticed the flying planes and clouds at the top. The cream square you see is the label where the details of the gift were written by the family that commissioned this quilt. The RAAF, while easily seen from the back, is only hinted at on the front.
I have to admit, this quilt stretched my idea base, as I had not previously done before such a specific masculine quilt. And the reward was, the day after this quilt was handed over, I received a lovely text message from the gentleman that commissioned it expressing his appreciation for the work done. (which is always a relief, when you know they actually did like it and weren't just saying it)
That's it for now, onto the next project.-Julie.