Despite my preoccupation with canals, I made a few non-related pieces in June and July. Both are improv based and on the small side.
The first is “Primary Directive,” which I showed before. It’s now quilted and faced.
The detail shot shows I quilted it mostly with straight lines, with a few zigzags thrown in.
Once I began sorting a long neglected bag of scraps culled at a workshop, I decided to go raw – raw edges that is. “Mining Copper” is the result. I layered fusible fleece onto muslin and sewed down strips and bits of fabric with machine decorative stitches. Then I sewed on some ribbons and mylar I had deformed with an iron and painted. Finally, I sewed and tied on zinc washers I had painted a while ago. The resulting color scheme led me to the name.
I’m linking up to Nina-Marie’s Off The Wall Friday.
I’ve gotten two pieces across the finish line in June and one is almost there. You’ve seen the two in various stages, but here’s the reveals.
“Sur La Table” features many bits of cloth I’ve messed around with over the years. It’s named for the two tablecloths that are the base for many of the squares. The greens are from a gradation dyeing I did, while the border is dyed linen. In fact, the only all commercial fabric in it is the Grunge I used for the flange and binding. The backing is a sheet someone gave me, with the hanging sleeve made from the hem of the sheet.
“Sunset on Main” is now mounted to a pre-stretched canvas, for better or worse. It’s ineligible for most quilt shows, but sometimes you just need to do things differently.
The third piece that sidled into being is “Primary Directive,” an improv work based on already sewn together bits. It needs a facing, which will probably wait until July. The stripey print is one of my fave fabrics – “Everglades” by Alexander Henry. A few years back you’d see this fabric used in at least one quilt at every show.
Aside from taking apart a quilt I’m not satisfied with, I now have no excuse not to work on my canal map quilt. I think I have a path forward, but I’ll see how the embroidery goes before I call it all over but the sewing.
Recuperation is great for mindless sewing tasks such as sewing on quilt bindings. I actually got two largish quilts done since my surgery – Damask and Denim and Trip Around Columbus. It helped that the bindings were already made, so I just had to machine, then hand stitch them.
I quilted most of Damask and Denim (44 by 55 inches) with a golden yellow cotton thread, though I used a pale blue in the diamond interiors. The binding is a soft gray small print.
Trip Around Columbus was made from an Art Gallery pattern, and features many fabrics I made in a painted dye workshop. I had it quilted by a longarm quilter as the size (55 inches square) was just too large for me to deal with, especially after Damask and Denim. It’s bound with what I think is home dec fabric that was given to me. I also used some of it as part of the backing.
You can see how it crinkled up after washing and drying. I used a bamboo batting.
I have heaved a sigh of relief that these large projects are done, though they are no longer my excuses for postponing a piece that will require a lot of thinking and planning. It’s to be a map quilt of the Ohio and Erie Canal near my house. I’ve found archival photos that I hope to print on fabric. Right now I’m worrying over how best to do that, and have ordered supplies for different approaches – transfer printing and direct printing on fabric. I’m even considering a new printer, though I spent yesterday agonizing over reviews of various options. Some reviewers have had horrible experiences, which I’d prefer to avoid. If you have any recommendations, let me know.
A pentimento (plural pentimenti) is an alteration in a painting, evidenced by traces of previous work, showing that the artist has changed his or her mind as to the composition during the process of painting. The word is Italian for repentance, from the verb pentirsi, meaning to repent. (Wikipedia)
I have no idea how common it is for quilters to rework their quilts, but I decided to redo one abstract landscape mixed media piece I made in 2016. It’s made partly with fabric and partly with painted tissue paper coated with gel medium. There’s no batting; it’s quilted onto rayon/wool felt.
“Golden” was the last piece I made as part of my master class with Elizabeth Barton. Her comments were: “Love the sense of light in this one too…but be careful dividing the picture plane in two….perhaps consider adding another section on the left? it feels like it “drops off” a bit there. I usually suggest cropping but this time I think a little more would be a better solution – and we’d have more! the colors of the abstracted landscape are really beautiful…and the textures..
actually when you get a little added on the left, you might consider cropping the top v.v. slightly….just so you get as much depth in the middle as possible.”
I began by attempting to create a new section for the left side, but found nothing that worked after about a week of frustration. Then, I thought I’d make the left side smaller by cutting off a chunk and adding it to the right side. I also added a strip of tissue paper fabric to give a crisp vertical line, and cut off about 3 inches from the top.
To finish it off I created a binding on three sides using Sue Bleiweiss’ almost no sew technique.
The results? I like it better than the original, but I wish I hadn’t cut off so much from the top. Oh well, too late now. That piece has become part of what I created from my unsuccessful attempts to make a new left side. It’s not quite done, but close I think.
The last of my bullseye quilts is now complete, and I like to think it’s the best of the bunch. If nothing else, it had the longest maturation time of any.
Here’s the final Bullseye Bubbles (25.5 by 33.5 inches.)
Once the green organza additions began, I felt the need for more bubbles, this time in purple, and spent much time rearranging all those shapes.
After I had them all fused down I worked on a quilting design. I printed a photo of my top in B&W and put a clear page divider over it. Then, I used a dry erase marker to try out quilting designs. Talk about high tech!
Did I make changes? You bet. I needed more bubbles, so I quilted them after I had finished the swirly bits. Are they lovely, round, even bubbles? No, not even close. But that didn’t stop me from adding more.
I’m over bullseyes for a while, but I’ve learned never to say never.
Actually, I should call them carryovers from 2017 finishes.
The second bullseye quilt is now done. “Crazy Bullseyes” (25 by 36 inches) used up some of my blue green scraps and a yard piece of fabric I bought for the heck of it.
The second finish is for a Chinese Year of the Dog art quilt group challenge. I don’t have a dog, so I looked to outer space for inspiration. In this case I traced the Canus Major constellation, which is home to Sirius, the dog star. I discussed this piece in another post, but here’s “Siriusly” again.
I began to quilt the third (and last) bullseye quilt this month, and started an improv abstract piece to avoid the boring task of sewing in hanging sleeves.
My excuse for the improv piece was I needed to test out my new (used, actually) portable Pfaff sewing machine before the 2 month warranty ran out. So far, so good. My old portable sewing machine keeps requiring repair, which sets me back at least $100 each time, and the used machine cost $300. So, I plan to donate my old Elna to the sewing machine shop for them to fix and give to a local charity.
While I was at the sewing machine shop I browsed the newest fancy machines and suffered sticker shock. The idea seems to be to remove all thinking from the sewing process, just push a button and follow the laser line. Sorry, I’m a piece of tape on the machine bed kind of sewer.
Heart In Gold