… ugly fabric won’t look so ugly. At least that’s what Bonnie Hunter told us at a long ago workshop. She was dealing with millenium fabric, which was truly godawful. I tried to find an example to show you, but it seems to have been banned from the internet.
Because I had less than wonderful results in some pieces from my Sue Benner paint/print dye workshop. I wanted to cut those up. I thought a pattern called Flux, designed for Art Gallery Fabrics, would work to punch up my fabrics with bold solids and impose a grid order on them. While I used the same dye colors in my fabrics, the patterns were all over the place.
My plan worked, kind of. The pattern calls for increasing the size of the center blocks with each row from the center. It turned out more of each fabric was needed than I had. I decided to use the same fabric on the diagonals rather than in rows to eke out my supplies. I still didn’t have enough fabric, so I threw in a commercial fabric from Joann’s clearance bin.
Here’s my original sketch. Nothing like good old graph paper. The interior squares are crooked because I cut them out, colored them separately to give myself more flexibility and set them down on my foundation grid. At this point I still hadn’t decided on the center of the design. I ended up trying at least two different schemes for that area.
In fabric that translated to this.
I’ve called it “Trip Around Columbus” as a tribute to the trip around the world effect. Because it’s 56 inches square, I may have it quilted on a longarm.
I remade some of the squares because the first fabrics I chose just didn’t work. Those rejects gave me enough material to make a go-with wall hanging, called “Fractured Trip Around Columbus.”
I bet you thought I never used patterns. If someone else has done the work, why should I reinvent the wheel.
I had set the end of April as my deadline for Torii Traces, and I hustled to make it. I forgot that April is a 30 day month, though why I thought I could conjure miracles in 24 extra hours is beyond me.
No matter, this piece is complete except for sewing on the hanging sleeve, and that is ready to install.
Closeups of hand stitching.
I also worked on Tidal Marsh in Spring, and got that pieced, pressed and trimmed. I even cut backing and facing fabric. I’ll be quilting with my walking foot in hopes of sparing my arms.
It finished at about 16 by 32 inches. I may tweak it a bit with fabric pencils/paints. Once I make the summer version of this scene I’ll have shown it in all four seasons.
For over a year I’ve been adding hand stitches to a 17 by 21 inch bit of cloth I had dyed and then stamped with leaves. This piece began with sprayed on “failed” dyes that were too pale for my taste. A play session with fabric paint resulted in the leaf impressions.
It’s taken so long because I worked on this project only when I had time to kill on a volunteer job. Two weeks ago I chain stitched a line on a leaf and decided the piece was done.
I’ve added a few machine stitching lines to hold the batting and top together. Next I plan to wrap this around a stretcher frame and staple it on.
The blog And Then We Set It On Fire has been featuring hand stitching lately, and the examples that show the expressiveness of the humble running stitch have been real eye openers for me.
My previous post about big stitches focused on big stitch quilting. Now I’m considering how the softer lines of hand stitching can add subtlety and depth to a design. Yes, I hear laughter in some quarters as subtlety and I are barely acquainted.
I think I’ve finally made a subtle quilt with nuanced colors. I’ve mentioned Subtle Points before when it was still under construction. I just finished sewing on the hanging sleeve and placing it above my bed so now I’m ready to see if it passes the subtle test in the opinion of others.
The brightest part of this quilt is the kind-of aqua triangles. Those started out as a peachy colored silk crepe (from my grandmother’s legacy) that I dyed with yellows, blues and purples. The combination really muted all the colors involved.
The pinks and purple fabrics are hand dyed old table linens and a gray bed sheet left over from a shower curtain project (from about 2001.) The grays are hand dyes by Vicki Welsh, while the outer print is a batik that’s been languishing in my stash because no one could play with it. The bronze solid is a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton. The blobby print that started this whole project is by McKenna Ryan.
On the back I used up that McKenna Ryan print and cleaned out some other oldies from my stash. Those drawers are getting emptier.
The quilting is basic, just large diamonds. The label is a leftover block. You can see the tuck for ease in the hanging sleeve as I hadn’t yet pulled out the basting when I took the photo.
Just to show you how hard it is for me to restrain my use of bright color, here’s an early example of my color sense.
I must have been five when I did this. It was in some old family photos and records I’ve been scanning, and I just had to scan it, too.