Okoye: Wakanda Warrior

This quilt is called Okoye: Wakanda Warrior and I made it for the2019  International Quilt Festival’s quilt contest called Quilted Comics & Sci Fi. Comic books, Comic Con, Star Wars, Star Trek and Games of Thrones are many of the possible options. When I watched the 2018 movie Black Panther I was in love with the female actresses and the powerful roles they played, their fantastic costumes and that bald head and beautiful face of Okoye the General of the Dora Milaje who project the Black Panther. I loved how women ran the military army and could still be beautiful! I also loved that Okoye carried a spear! When I learned of this quilt contest I knew this was the subject matter.   Black Panther began as a comic book so I felt I was safe choosing her.   I researched images from Pinterest and found an image I liked. I did not cheat and print the design from the internet. I drew the design  beginning on Sunday January 27, 2019 at a quilt retreat and realized the costume was very complicated. It was difficult to draw but it was so awesome I needed to continue and not wimp out on the detail.

This quilt is called Okoye: Wakanda Warrior and I made it for the2019 International Quilt Festival’s quilt contest called Quilted Comics & Sci Fi. Comic books, Comic Con, Star Wars, Star Trek and Games of Thrones are many of the possible options. When I watched the 2018 movie Black Panther I was in love with the female actresses and the powerful roles they played, their fantastic costumes and that bald head and beautiful face of Okoye the General of the Dora Milaje who project the Black Panther. I loved how women ran the military army and could still be beautiful! I also loved that Okoye carried a spear! When I learned of this quilt contest I knew this was the subject matter.

Black Panther began as a comic book so I felt I was safe choosing her.

I researched images from Pinterest and found an image I liked. I did not cheat and print the design from the internet. I drew the design beginning on Sunday January 27, 2019 at a quilt retreat and realized the costume was very complicated. It was difficult to draw but it was so awesome I needed to continue and not wimp out on the detail.

This is the drawing with a photo bomb from Callie! When I begin a quilt I have to choose what will be done in fused applique, thread painting, embellishments and fabric painting. While I was beginning this quilt the Upper Michigan weather has been full of snowstorms, icy drizzle and the return of the polar vortex. I had extra free time due to snow days at my salon job. Also the announcement of the Academy Award categories were happening as I was cutting out the applique pieces. I was very excited Black Panther had secured so many nominations. When the costumes from Black Panther were included in the Costume Design category I learned who the designer was-Ruth E. Carter. I have now began to follow all of her social media pages and realize she has been doing movie costume design for ever and I pray this talented woman wins in her category tonight at the Oscars!

This is the drawing with a photo bomb from Callie! When I begin a quilt I have to choose what will be done in fused applique, thread painting, embellishments and fabric painting. While I was beginning this quilt the Upper Michigan weather has been full of snowstorms, icy drizzle and the return of the polar vortex. I had extra free time due to snow days at my salon job. Also the announcement of the Academy Award categories were happening as I was cutting out the applique pieces. I was very excited Black Panther had secured so many nominations. When the costumes from Black Panther were included in the Costume Design category I learned who the designer was-Ruth E. Carter. I have now began to follow all of her social media pages and realize she has been doing movie costume design for ever and I pray this talented woman wins in her category tonight at the Oscars!

This is a close up of the face. I used Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics because of the fantastic gradation of browns for the skin tones on the face and hand. The hand is very detailed and I must be crazy to be so anal over it!. The necklace posed a design challenge for me. I thought gold lame fabric was too flimsy so I managed to purchase a faux leather tassel for a purse on a whim to the Dollar Tree. I opened it up flat, stitched in under the lame ring necklace, painted the white backside metallic gold and found gold round yet flat disc beads to simulate the round baubles of Okoye’s necklace. I redrew the shape to Okoye’s head about 5 times to get it the correct shape. I thought this needed to be very accurate since it was a strong aspect of her persona. As a hairdresser the etched clipper design on her head was interesting to me and very similar in design to the bodice stitching. I used faux leather in the garment as needed and I’m sure the real costumes used the real deal! The faux leather was not happy with my iron and I melted some of it in the process!

This is a close up of the face. I used Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics because of the fantastic gradation of browns for the skin tones on the face and hand. The hand is very detailed and I must be crazy to be so anal over it!. The necklace posed a design challenge for me. I thought gold lame fabric was too flimsy so I managed to purchase a faux leather tassel for a purse on a whim to the Dollar Tree. I opened it up flat, stitched in under the lame ring necklace, painted the white backside metallic gold and found gold round yet flat disc beads to simulate the round baubles of Okoye’s necklace. I redrew the shape to Okoye’s head about 5 times to get it the correct shape. I thought this needed to be very accurate since it was a strong aspect of her persona. As a hairdresser the etched clipper design on her head was interesting to me and very similar in design to the bodice stitching. I used faux leather in the garment as needed and I’m sure the real costumes used the real deal! The faux leather was not happy with my iron and I melted some of it in the process!

The garment required plenty of handstitched bead application, use of my fancy sewing machine stiches, embellishments from embroidery floss, jump rings, repurposed pieces from jewelry and the “belt buckle” was a large bracelet piece from a friend who gifted me her “junk” jewelry!! I usually devote lots of time to the make up and have to add bling. This warrior woman didn’t need this but I added a tiny bit on the center piece of the garment to “Laurie-ize it!”

The garment required plenty of handstitched bead application, use of my fancy sewing machine stiches, embellishments from embroidery floss, jump rings, repurposed pieces from jewelry and the “belt buckle” was a large bracelet piece from a friend who gifted me her “junk” jewelry!! I usually devote lots of time to the make up and have to add bling. This warrior woman didn’t need this but I added a tiny bit on the center piece of the garment to “Laurie-ize it!”

The garment stitching was in an unusual pattern on the bodice and sleeves-lots of metallic gold thread.

The garment stitching was in an unusual pattern on the bodice and sleeves-lots of metallic gold thread.

Dollar Tree tassels for necklace.

Dollar Tree tassels for necklace.

My stash of junk jewelry I have collected or been gifted-I used some of it and still needed to purchase the jump rings and smaller brown seed beads.

My stash of junk jewelry I have collected or been gifted-I used some of it and still needed to purchase the jump rings and smaller brown seed beads.

While watching the movie intro and credits I noticed a particular font for the lettering which fascinated me.. I was able to find it and print it. I hand drew the letters O-K-O-Y-E and added this in a subtle color to the left side background.   This quilt was one that I have spent many hours on and so much hand beading my fingers are sore from sewing them on but I loved the whole process. The contest in due March 15th and March 29th I will find out if it makes the cut. Now to watch the Oscars to see if Black Panther takes lots of awards and Miss Ruth E, Carter scores!  I also was aware at the I was creating this quilt in February it is Black History Month. Black Panther, Okoye and Ruth. Full circle!

While watching the movie intro and credits I noticed a particular font for the lettering which fascinated me.. I was able to find it and print it. I hand drew the letters O-K-O-Y-E and added this in a subtle color to the left side background.

This quilt was one that I have spent many hours on and so much hand beading my fingers are sore from sewing them on but I loved the whole process. The contest in due March 15th and March 29th I will find out if it makes the cut. Now to watch the Oscars to see if Black Panther takes lots of awards and Miss Ruth E, Carter scores!

I also was aware at the I was creating this quilt in February it is Black History Month. Black Panther, Okoye and Ruth. Full circle!