Friday, October 1, 2010

Ebullient: Last Day of Summer for the Barnes Boys

This piece is taken from a photograph that my friend, Lisa Barnes, took of her her three boys jumping in the lake at her parent's home in Northern Minnesota in 2005 (see Photo below). She showed me the picture that Christmas and I told her that I was going to make it into a quilt one day. Seeing as I had only been quilting for about 18 months at that point, it was rather ambitious, but I knew I would figure out a way to make that quilt eventually.

After thinking about the word "ebullient" and not knowing what to do, I was looking through my digital pictures and came across this one again and knew it was the right picture at the right time. Again, like Isabella's Sanctuary, I hope to make this a large scale quilt one day.

Materials include: commercial and hand dyed cotton fabrics, cotton and polyester threads, glue, fusible webbing, heavy weight stabilizer, 80 cotton/20 polyester batting, acrylic paint, swarovski crystals.

Techniques include: fusible applique, glue applique, thread sketching, fabric painting, machine quilting, and embellishing with crystals. Finished with a whole cloth facing.

The first thing that I did was enlarge the picture to the required size and make it black and white. I layed it out on the table and pulled out appropriate fabrics. I was lucky to have a commercial sunset gradient from an old McKenna Ryan fabric collection which worked perfectly for the piecing required! Most of the water was put together with glue and some fusible. The boys were fused on after the background was done. I painted the sun rays and used a syringe to put a thin line of white for the light on the edge of the boys. Then I put a non fusible stabilizer on the back for the thread painting in the water and on the rays. After that it was sandwiched, quilted, faced and then embellished. After I found the picture and got going on it (I must admit it, I was afraid to start and have it not work out) it was one of the faster quilts to get done. It just flowed together. I thought about putting beads on it as well, but after letting it sit for a couple of days, the simplicity of the quilt really drew me in and I knew that my beloved beads would be overkill.

I have to admit that I loved doing the free motion quilting for this piece. I recently splurged and purchased a sit down HQ Sweet 16 machine and I can't believe how much better it is for quilting! There is so much more room. I really felt "free" in my free motion quilting. I don't think that I would have been brave enough to try all those swirls on my domestic machine.

I can't wait to get the next word and see everyone's quilts. I have to admit, this has been one of the best projects in which I have been involved. It has made me stretch my creativity time and time again. Thank you all!

Lisa L. Kay


  1. Lisa.........outstanding. I can feel the joy. Can't wait to hear what your friend says as what a special memory of her boys. The quilting is perfect for the work and never would I have thought of a syringe for that skinny line. Talk about creative.Great.

  2. A mid-air scene... yes, ebullient leaping! What a surprise your friend will have when she sees this.. it is so well done! I love the flash of sunlight! The quilting is superb...and thank you for sharing your techniques. Clever you, thinking to use a syringe. This piece also has that ' Chiaroscuro ' the Fast Friday Challenge group is doing...
    very well done!

  3. Lisa, the moment I saw your piece it brought back the "joyful" feelings of summer days growing of all places northern Minnesota. I love the highlighting, the painted sun "spot/flash" and the colors in general. Glad to hear someone else say they can see themselves make the piece larger. You go girl!

  4. Lisa, your piece is such and expression of pure joy and so beautifully captured. I would love to see it in person and yes, it would make an incredible larger piece. Thanks for sharing the details of your process. Absolutely wonderful.