Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hands Free Tote

Well I’ve finally made it.  It’s done!

I started out surfing the internet hoping to find some creative ideas.  I found pictures of balance wheels from time pieces, an elephant balancing on a beach ball, a balance scale…you name it there were many.  None really “rang my bell".
While looking at my African Collage and trying to figure out how to quilt it, an idea came to me.  Have you ever attempted to carry something on your head without using hands to maintain its balance?  Women in Africa do it all the time and make it look so easy.  So there I had inspiration for this piece.

I started drawing out the image in my sketchbook.  Here is a piece of it.

The next decision was how to construct the piece.  An abstract representation or a natural one.  I chose the natural and started making templates for the various pieces that would be needed to construct the figure. 
 I was quickly running out of time.  I also needed to find an appropriate background.
Well here at last is the piece. 

It was constructed with hand applique.  I added colour to the white and black print with watercolour pencils.  I added charcoal shading to one section hoping to give the clothing some dimension.  And the basket…well that took a bit of experimenting which you can see on my blog here.  All in all I’m pleased with the piece, but I have to learn to balance my time a bit better.  Thank you Judy for a challenge that stretched my imagination and applique skills.  I also managed to use some new products, that I will use again.


  1. Brigitte, this one grabbed me as soon as I saw it. I lived for a year in Africa (what was Zaire and is now the Congo) teaching, and I saw the women do this balancing act on a daily basis. I love the fabrics you used, the detail in the basket- just everything!!

  2. Brigitte, I love this! It is so self explanatory and vivid and dimensional. The fabrics are perfect and well, It is just perfect. congratulations!

  3. You did a fabulous job with this Brigitte, right down the jewelry details! I particularly like how you created the basket - such lovely texture!

  4. I am so glad we have the ability to enlarge the works by clicking on them. The details you have included make the work so life like, almost as if it was taken from a photo. The choice of fabrics and background are just perfect for what you wanted to achieve.

  5. Wow Brigitte - this is incredible! You've definitely captured the at of balancing a basket on a head. Your techniques are wonderful, and such a variety - very well done!

    1. Brigitte, you did such a wonderful job on the balance theme. I love the idea and the execution is beautiful! Love the basket and all the detail in your applique!

  6. What a great representation. Love the piece. Mary Ann

  7. Brigette, this is wonderful! I love seeing your sketch! What a wonderful interpretation of the theme! Great fabrics too!