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  • Todd DuBay

BACK INTO THE WOODS

Updated: Aug 8


Jeeeeesh . . .

It's been a long time since we

last connected with each other!


Summer is here! and I've hit the ground running, and have been on the go ever since. It's not that I've been ignoring you, it's just simply that I'm in full production mode to complete this quilt, along with the accompanying quilt/lapse video, I've rarely had a free moment for anything else. And while I've put much of the rest of my life on hold to accomplish this, it hasn't allowed me to do much of anything else . . . like blog entries. On the flip side, it's one of the most productive periods of my life . . . and boy, oh boy . . . just wait till you see the results!


When we last spoke, I was just finishing up "Red, READY . . . Amber, SET . . . Green, LET'S GO!""

I've always liked this name for this quilt, based on some song lyrics from the 80's. But my Uncle provided me with a new perspective, when he said this quilt looks . . . . "Dangerous", and "Like an explosion!" I like that! I really like that!! So, it's possible I may consider a name change. I'm thinking something like, "KABOOM!" Your thoughts? Maybe something else? I've only recently started naming my quilts (within the last 4 years), and I'm totally open to someone else inspiring/suggesting a new moniker. The quilt/lapse production for this little baby has already been shot, edited and is in the can. But, if you'll remember, it's part of a much larger, 3-part production I'm collaborating on with Chip from Seattle, so I'm afraid you'll have to wait a bit to see it, after Chip's contribution comes rolling in (when he's finished on his end). Not everything that I shoot makes it into the final production (I normally use only about 10 to 20% of the MANY HOURS I record). This is one of my favorite shots I recorded that didn't make it, but still wanted to share . . . and a blog entry seems like just that perfect opportunity;


Whazzat? A new camera angle? New motion? That can only mean one thing . . . A NEW PRODUCTION TOY! (one of several new 'toys' this year to create all kinds of new motion). It's been a blast to experiment, learn and play with all these new cameras (and such). A few more reasons my time has slipped away from me in recent months. And as much fun as it all has been, it hasn't always been a bed of roses. There's been a learning curve to all this (sometime, really steep ones). And it doesn't always go off as planned the first time around. But I eventually 'get it'!

Oh, I have plenty of other tricks up my sleeve this year as well, but I need to practice some judicial restraint and not reveal all my secrets just yet. There's some REALLY FUN shots being recorded for "Into the Woods" that I'm dying to share with you . . . but since they're pivotal to telling this particular quilt/lapse story, I just can't. I can only tease. But I think you're going to have just as much fun watching the final results as much as I have had fun making them!


THIS is a location shot of where I've recorded one of these recent scenes;

While it may not look like much at the moment (as this was taken a few weeks before I actually recorded), I promise you won't forget this one! Not only is it one of my most complicated and ambitious endeavors I've ever embarked on for a production . . . it's definitely my MOST EXPENSIVE shot I've ever produced! That's no hyperbole! And I have quite a story to tell about that! But it will have to wait until after the final production is released. To spill it now would reveal some great surprises I have in store for you . . . and this production is full of 'em! I'm amassing a great deal of video that will make for a great blooper/outtake reel. Proof positive that not everything I touch turns to gold . . . or works the first time around. When the time comes . . . you''ll KNOW this shot when you see it!


I'm also working on another quilt during this time. The plan all along this year, was to attempt something I've never done before . . . working on several quilts and quilt/lapse videos at the SAME TIME. ("Red, READY . . .Amber . . ." was one of them) I've always approached my quilt making one-at-a-time. And while I've been very productive working on all of this, all at the same time, it's made me realize (and finally and reluctantly accept), that this is going to be the year that I do all the work . . . and next year will be when I finally release all the results. Heavy sigh. Not exactly what I was planning for, so that's why I'm attempting to keep people up-to-date on a few social media outlets with little snippets on how the production is progressing. Trying to stay relevant during this watershed of activity this year, ya know? So, while I have challenge #1 finished with Chip (while I wait for him to catch up) . . . . he's just winding up creating quilt and quilt/lapse Challenge #2 . . . while I catch up with him! So, we're sort of on an even playing field. Our second Challenge is called "SPECTRUM" ~ creating a quilt using the whole color spectrum (Gee, I'll give you one guess who suggested that challenge, LOL). I'm really eager to get rolling on this one! It's a technique I've never attempted before called "Raw Edge Applique'". Normally, this is a technique that I've NEVER liked. I always thought it looked sloppy and unfinished. Never had any interest in it . . . until I ran across some pictures on the internet that allowed me to see the benefit of such a technique . . . and it totally changed my mind;


(*I don't know who this quilt or these images belong to, so I can't lay claim to them.)

It's called "Hover Quilting". The end result is to achieve a look of fuzzy, frayed edges (after a few washings) to convey the idea that certain pieces of the design/fabric would be 'hovering' over the background. (the photos above show what it looks like before the wash) My version will be almost identical, but my colorful fabrics will all be brighter and the background will be many variations of a black & white, monochrome pallet. The beginning of this project looks something like this;

(*My Photoshop mock-up . . . an approximation of how I see the color layout )

I'll work on this project at the same time as "Into the Woods", but only on the days when the weather won't cooperate with me and I can't shoot outside (Dappled sunlight plays a HUGE part in this production while shooting in the woods, as the time lapse light and shadows create much of the motion. It's one of the main 'stars', really). This is my 'rainy day project'. And since today and tomorrow is the first time we haven't had any sun for 52 straight days (an anomaly for this part of the world . . . ), that quilt truly starts today! (right after this blog entry, of course)


And so it begins . . . .


*On a side note ~ A little silliness. While I had my initial fabric layout up on the design board, I took it as a perfect opportunity to show off the fabric that I was working with, and used it as my backdrop while I played "ZOOM BINGO" with Chip & Aaron, over at the Fiber Hustle podcast . . . during PRIDE MONTH!


And finally, back to the topic I wandered away from at the top of this page . . . . INTO THE WOODS.

As of this week, after a year and half (considering I've taken Autumn and Winter off from shooting), I've finally reached the halfway point of the production (well, a little more than half way). It's s-l-o-w going!!! But if you only understood the amount of work that goes into a time lapse production, you'd understand why this isn't something that happens overnight.

This easily is the biggest, most ambitious undertaking I've ever attempted for a single project. And every second shows! So much of the time that is spent making this particular quilt is just simply in preparing the fabric and getting it ready to piece. This part took 6 weeks last time, but this time I really put my nose to the grindstone, and was able to prepare and pump out 3,600 separate pieces in 15 days!


The 'Cast' of "Into the Woods"


(*admittedly, I did have some help during this part)


And it wasn't my first rodeo!


When the time finally arrived to piece it all together (just this week), the awaiting pile resembled a pan of brownies!


If you'll remember correctly, this is the 2nd time I'm making this very quilt. It's nearly the same copy of "Moon Prism Power Make Up" (but with a different color pallet, and slightly different fabric placement);


Honestly, MUCH of the production time during the video half of this project is spent just getting all my equipment to the location and setting up the camera rig(s).

The shoot itself is actually the shortest part of the whole process. On average, I record each shot for 1/2 hour, all the way up to a whole 60 minutes (and sometimes longer) And the end result is 15 - 30 seconds of recorded footage (which will eventually be sped up even more in post, to be even faster and shorter in the final product!) On average, I can record about 2 - 3 shots a day . . . which may help explain why this art form takes so long to produce. I would like to show you one shot I recorded a couple days ago that thrilled me to no end. It may appear, at first glance, to be pretty simple. It was supposed to be, anyway. But it was one of those very early mornings when my 'setting up' was going every which way but . . . right! It took me a good hour and a half to finally get it all together. My heart was racing, I was breaking a sweat and I was panicking to get it all set up before my window of the perfect golden light arrived to light the scene. And with only seconds to spare, the fog lifted, the heavens parted, and the angels sang! The Shooting Gods were with me once again!!


So, if all the conditions work in my favor, I should be recording the last 14 shots of this sequence in the coming week or two, and the body of the quilt will be finished!


And just wait till you see what I'm going to do with the border . . . I'm gonna have 'help'!!







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