It’s the middle of winter up here in Wisconsin, and cabin fever makes us do some wacky things. Waaaay back in the freezing February of 1979, the victorious Pail & Shovel party leaders fulfilled their student campaign promise to bring wackiness back to the UW-Madison campus. They built the head, crown, and torch of Lady Liberty and assembled it on top of the frozen ice on Lake Mendota. What a site! It created the illusion that the Statue of Liberty was rising out of (or sinking into) our frozen lake. It was a pretty amazing.
Since then, our Lady Liberty has suffered a fire, vandalism, and the effects of aging, only showing up (with a lot of reconstruction) a few winters over the years. So to get a glimpse of her on the frozen lake is pretty awesome. And really lifts your spirits in the dreaded cold post-holiday winter up here.
I think it was around February 2009, when the Hoofers (a UW student organization) took on the task of re-assembling it, that our Lady Liberty gloriously appeared again, not far from where I worked on the UW campus. So, during one of our lunch breaks on a beautiful cold but sunny day, , my co-worker and I just had to hike down to the lake, walk out onto the ice, and see it up close. Awesome!
Day One: When I heard this week’s Project Quilting challenge was “Hometown Proud”, I knew just what I was going to create! I brought up my Google file of photos of that day and found one to use as my inspiration!
Nothing says “Mad-Town Madison” and hometown pride better (except maybe the 1,000 pink flamingos on Bascom Hill in the springtime…LOL!)
I’ve been experimenting with a fabric mosaic technique (see my earlier blog post), so got out my stash of batiks in as many shades of blues and grays that I could find, and cut them up into 3/8th inch squares to fill in my sketch of our Lady Liberty.
To add a bit more realism to the scene, I cut silhouettes of a photographer and friend out of the darkest blue batik I could find, and decided to create the crown of the statue with fabrics cut to shape too, rather than using just squares.
Day Two: in the photos above all the bits of fabric have been fused down onto a white background (note the parchment paper to save my iron from a sticky mess). Then I added a layer of tulle over the top of all the fabric pieces to help keep them in place while machine quilting.
Next up…layering it on top of the batting & backing, and adding a border or two. I think I may get this project done in time to link it up for the contest! Yay!
Day Three: It took a lot of fabric auditioning time to find the right borders from my fabric stash, but I finally found something I liked.
Next came machine quilting. I wanted to emphasize the tiles by quilting between them, but also quilt in the sculpted face of the statue with grey thread.
In the photo above I’m going back and forth over the facial features with grey thread and free motion quilting,
Day Four: After adding the binding and hanging corners and hand sewing the binding to the back, I felt it still needed a bit more definition between the statue and the background. So I went over some of the stitches with black thread, giving it a bit more depth…
Here’s some photos of the finished fabric mosaic…
A closeup of the “ice”
And last but not least, the photo I’m going to uplink to the First Challenge of the Project Quilting Season 9…
Voting begins Sunday, January 15th after noon. I hope you’ll stop by and vote for your favorites (of course, I’m hoping one of your favorites will be mine). 🙂
Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!