Category Archives: Completed Projects

My Entry To This Year’s Blogger’s Quilt Festival

Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side is returning to basics this year with her Blogger’s Quilt Festival – no voting, with prizes awarded by random number. I love the idea of sharing quilts that might not otherwise be seen, and the excitement of seeing quilts that are new to me.

I decided to enter “A Grand Day Out,” which features my girls. I know they’re eager to explore the world, so I’ll help them begin online.

I drew the girls from a photo of a crowd of young women, and decided to have them enjoy the waves, even though they’re not dressed for swimming. Of course the flotilla of hot air balloons capped their wonderful day out.

Technical details:

-the girls were constructed like paper dolls using fusible interfacing

-the waves are hand dyed and painted cheesecloth

-the balloons are made of fused cotton and silk fabric

-the background was constructed and quilted before I added the applique

-details were highlighted with Fabrico markers

-size is 24 by 36 inches.

My favorite part: the girls’ hats.

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Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

Just Under The Wire

I managed to squeeze in one more finish in August – “Transgendered.”

Because the quilt is about 54 by 61 inches, I had it quilted by a local longarm quilter who did ruler work on it.

It’s based on a quilt called “Fire and Ice” by Fun Easy Designed. I saw the picture and thought it would be a great way to use a bag of scraps I had purchased from Sew Batik. It seems I purchase only scraps rather than yardage from that vendor, but my rationale is I’m sure to find fabrics I would never buy otherwise.The pink fabrics came from stash and include batiks, and hand dyed and painted fabrics.

You can see I kept the two color concept and the corner wonky triangles but changed the line of demarcation to a diagonal. I also changed the size of the rectangles.

The title came about as I considered the tyranny of making blue quilts for baby boys and pink ones for baby girls. See this post from the Textile Ranger about how that wasn’t always the case. My personal feeling is that gender is fluid along a continuum. We all have bits of male and female in us. Just the proportions differ. The recent skirmishes about transgendered people led me to the title.

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Filed under Completed Projects

Yet Another Finish

August has seen one finish after another, and when I say finish I mean I’ve even sewn down the facings. Here’s “Mean Streets” (33 by 22.5 inches) which I began as one of the last assignments of my Elizabeth Barton master class.

I used a grab bag of fabric – eco-dyed linen and silk organza, painted silk organza, coarse weave linen, netting, and a fabric softener sheet. There’s non-woven interfacing under the top to help stabilize the varied assortment of fabric.

The inspiration for all the shadows was a photo of a rough town on the Mexican border. A harsh light filters through a grill to cast stripes of light onto the buildings and street. Away from that light the scene dissolves into shadows.

I really did a lot of free motion quilting on this. In fact, it’s so stiff I think it can stand up on its own.

I made the graffiti with a freezer paper stencil and fabric paint.

I used black netting to give shadows to the side of the building.

Electric wires are strung haphazardly across the buildings.

This piece won’t hang in my house, if my husband has anything to do with it, though I’m proud I managed to realize my initial idea of danger and menace.

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Filed under Completed Projects

My Finishes Are Like Buses

From years of riding public transit I know that buses are happiest when traveling in packs. Often three on the same route arrive nose to tail after a long wait.  It seems my quilt finishes are the same way.

After months of not quite getting there, I have three finishes, plus one quilt that just needs a facing.

First,  A Grand Day Out (24 x 36 inches) got its hot air balloons sorted out, and minor repairs made.

The girls waited patiently for me to give them something to look at.

Winter Fields (26.5  x 47 inches), the third in a series of a Nova Scotia salt marsh, got painterly finishing touches with a paintstick and watercolor pencils. I still need to make the summer version, though so far all I have towards it is a lot of green fabrics.

The quilt for each season features a gate, which marks the entrance to the salt marsh from the Annapolis Royal gardens. If you’re ever up that way I heartily recommend them.

An array of  fabrics found their way into this one. The reddish/purple fabric is a silk scarf I painted, and the light area on the left is part of a damask tablecloth.

Lots of the hand dyed fabrics were made by Vicki Welsh.

I needed a break from landscapes, so Rick Rack (36 by 46 inches) got yanked from the back of the closet and wrestled into a quilting design inspired by Jacquie Gering’s walking foot quilting book. It began as practice for sewing half circles. Then, I joined the halves with ribbon, and added another round of fabric every so often. The colorful fabrics were done by Marcia Derse and Valori Wells.

I thought my to be quilted list would have dwindled, but I’m back at five as of last week. I don’t even want to think about the number of hanging sleeves I need to make.

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Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

Closing In On Finished Work

This spring I seem to find it difficult to “close” some quilts. I’m trying to be disciplined and finish WIPs before I plunge into new endeavors, but it’s hard to return to pieces that have lost momentum.

My “Mean Streets” is almost completely free motion quilted, but I’m hemming and hawing about final touches.

My girls have received some stitching attention, and are now attached to the already quilted top, along with some waves. I need to settle on a hot air balloon arrangement and sew them down.

“Stripes 3” has tied me up in knots about how to treat the edges. I finally added some squares (after trying many arrangements) and called it done, more out of exhaustion than artistic clarity. I did incorporate suggestions made by my readers. It’s tucked away in a closet awaiting its turn to be quilted. The tag at the top is to remind me of the piece’s dimensions.

I actually completed one quilt this spring, “Repurposed/Resurfaced,” which uses many fabrics I printed and painted, plus one commercial aboriginal print.

I was pleased when a member of one of my art quilt groups said this quilt made her happy. Recently Elizabeth Barton wrote about why people buy the art they do. Her perspective is it’s a work’s content, rather than the technical skills it displays, that attracts a buyer. Technical skills aside, I know “Mean Streets’ will not be at the top of most people’s must have list – too dark.

I can see that my closet is filling up with work to be quilted, a sure sign I need to switch gears. Of course, I still need to decide if all the tops are worth quilting. Some were made to use up partial blocks and fabric experiments. What leads you to just let a top go and not quilt it?

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Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects, In Process

Running Out Of Strips

I’m winding down my work on all the strip improv pieces I’ve shown you before. Most are in a drawer awaiting future inspiration. One is kind of done, though it needs more…something.

Only one has made it to the finish line. I call it Stripe 3. I’m still fiddling with the width of the vertical outer yellow stripes. The crookedness on the left side is caused by the felt strips I use to try out different widths.

It was inspired by this $5000 dress advertised in a glossy magazine. How can anyone look so bored while wearing such a pricey outfit?

I tried some variations, such as four circles, but decided that overwhelmed the rest.

The circles are left over from a failed drunkards path quilt from about four years ago. Since I refuse to throw out bits I’ve spent some time making, they were waiting for me in my parts department.

As you can see, I got tired of all solids and added prints to the mix, partly because I had run out of solids that played well with the colors I had already used. As I look at it now, I wonder if I should either make this even larger, or reduce the size by eliminating all of part the top and bottom print strips. Your thoughts?

 

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Filed under Completed Projects, In Process, Modern Quilting

UFOs Seeking Forever Homes

Sometimes it’s easier to figure how to finish someone else’s abandoned project than your own. That is the theory behind a UFO swap going on in one of my quilt groups. Each participant was to bring a UFO she would never, ever finish to trade for another’s UFO. The projects were drawn blindly. We get to keep the UFO we finish.

This month we’ll reveal our transformations. I drew a bag of surface design experiments, including some stenciled urns, discharged and overdyed black fabric, and some of the same fabric stitched up with metallic thread.

At first I planned to use the discharged fabric for a space galaxy themed idea, but then I began to work with the urns. The faded edges of the stencils made me think of how we lose our memories over time, if we’re unlucky. I put together a trio of memory jars and laid them on a field that starts out crisp, bright and ordered, and gets progressively more chaotic and torn.

Almost all the background fabrics are repurposed gifts. The lavender tinted silver lame was a gift from someone who used to sew country-western costumes. The silk crepe was from a bolt my grandmother had (I ice dyed it.) The damask was from my MIL’s old tablecloth (again dyed by me,) and the velveteen came from a church janitor.

I did hand stitching with metallic thread and added a few hot fix crystals to stand for escaped memories. I also used fabric paint to give a glow to some areas. All the reflective surfaces make this piece very difficult to photograph. It looks different under different lighting.

I’m ambivalent about this piece. My feelings vary depending on the light in which I view it. It may be that I seldom make a “message” piece, and find it difficult to separate the message from the design.

 

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Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects