My local quilting group often runs workshops and invites other quilters and artists to come along and teach us new techniques and ideas to broaden our skills. We have done a few on dyeing and eco-dyeing, painting fabric and using stencils and stamps to create ‘new’ fabric. We therefore end up with quite a few bits of fabric that we then have to utilise in our projects in some way.
Another challenge that I have completed this year was to use fabric from one of these workshops and produce a completed work for display in our current exhibition. After much deliberation, I picked this piece:
When I stencilled and painted it, I did so with no thought on what it could be used for- it was basically just experimenting and playing. The first thing that came to mind was to just cut it up because there wasn’t any cohesion between the different areas. But then I decided that I could make it into a sampler of sorts, a piece to incorporate little bits of stitching I had experimented with over the years. Pieces I had stitched when experimenting with stitches and threads and scraps…
I decided to add them all with large visible stitching.
Once all the scraps were on, I stitched the whole piece with parallel lines of sashiko-style stitching in different directions using all manners of thread.
…contemplating how to finish it off…
and here is the finished piece:
Well, my break from the blog turned out to be a little longer than I first thought it would be! I’ve actually been thinking hard about whether to continue with this blog as it seems that blog-reading has widely taken a downturn in favour of other forms of social media. I constantly use Instagram where I post photos of my works in progress so I found myself turning to that more and more. The number of visits to this blog are also not in great numbers- sometimes I’m not even sure there is anyone out there reading it! Let me know if you are in the comments while I make up my mind…
This quilt I’m showing today is one I have just finished, after working on it for over 12 months on and off. It is called the Shimmer quilt, pattern is by Jenny Bowker. It especially looks colourful against that great blue sky!
I love how the blocks shimmer across into each other, using the half-square triangles to blend the colours in.
The hardest part of this was working out which fabrics to use and where to place them. Fabric choice was all important, and there were a few blocks that I put up on my wall that didn’t make the final cut, and some that had to be re-made when I moved them around.
There was lots of cutting and piecing involved…
The movement of the colour across the quilt was really important to manage. Looking at the final image of it now, the yellow/orange diagonal streak across the quilt stands out even though it wasn’t planned that way.
I quilted it on my longarm with a freehand design- it is so ‘busy’ that nothing too complicated was needed.
This quilt will be in an exhibition at the Lockyer Valley Art Gallery from 23 April until 27 May. My local group, Gatton Quilters, is mounting a great display of quilts and other pieces to showcase the results of all our hard work over the past couple of years. Try and take a look if you find yourself coming past this way!
Creating a textile or mixed-media art postcard illustrating travel destinations of the world- this is the current challenge of Gatton Quilters.
The theme for October is Mexico. Continuing on with my theme of maps, I did this little map of the country. I used raw-edge applique with a machine button-hole as well as some free-motion machine stitching.
Here are a few others completed by the members of the art group:
All different styles as you can see, which is always the fun part of seeing what everyone comes up with.
And some ‘show and tell’ – Jan showed these lovely works at the meeting: I can’t resist a birdie!
That’s all I have this week!- I’m very busy with some long-arm quilting at the moment but hope to get back to my own work soon. Have a good week
We managed to find a few sewing and quilting-related shops on our recent trip to France & England. It was handy to have looked them up before we went so we had a list of possibles to try and find. While we didn’t get to all of them, we enjoyed the ones we did!
This little Mercerie in Paris, called “Ultramod” was just a beautiful little old shop- which I know doesn’t seem so from its name!
We found it in a little side road, with a relatively unassuming exterior. It was like stepping into a treasure trove. It still used original wooden fixtures and cardboard boxes. It had a huge assortment of buttons…
and laces and trims…
And on another note, Gatton Quilters’ new monthly quilt art challenge is to create a quilted or mixed-media postcard. The first month was…. Paris!
Here is my little postcard: a map quilt created with bits of fabric, some embellishment and hand stitching to top it off.
And some other works that were shown at the meeting:
And on another another Note!: I will be taking a break from my long-arm quilting business. I have a number of clients’s quilts to finish off by the end of the year, but won’t be taking in any new business after that. I hope to spend more time to do some of my own sewing and quilting, and creating some new things. But you never know what the future holds- I may change my mind and come back to it at some stage! I’ll keep you updated
Have a lovely week quilting!
Well, I’ve been away from this blog for about a month now while on holiday. I’ve been over to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK, as well as lots of other sights in England and France. If I can get back into a routine and a bit organised, I might show you some photos on here over the next few weeks!
The Festival was fantastic; lots to see of course but I also enjoyed seeing quite a few of the quilt artists themselves demonstrating in their booths and giving us an insight into how they work. There were a lot of quilts on display but unfortunately I only got to see a fraction of them. The quilts I’m showing here today are ones that caught my eye and that I especially loved. Some were just included in one of the many exhibitions, some were entered in competition.
I have this desire to re-create a textile version of a close-up picture of a flower. I’ve tried a few times with varying levels of success. I love to take macro photos of flowers, to show the detail of those beautiful petals and the way they fold and layer in and around each other. So for this month’s sinchies challenge with my quilt group, and the last in this series, I had another try using just two colours of red and purple.
This was the photo I used as my inspiration:
My version is made with just two layers of fabric, the purple on top of the red. I first traced around the purple petals onto paper and lay that drawing on top of the 2 pieces. I stitched around the outlines of the purple parts and then cut away where I wanted the red to show through. I then started to draw with some Inktense water colour pencils:
I kept the picture near me to use for reference.
It took a lot of shading with the pencils to be able to get that illusion of the petals. I did a few layers, dampening the fabric first then colouring with the pencils.
The last step was then to do lots of top-stitching with purple thread- free-motion stitching to embellish just the purple petals.
When I look at the final picture up close I’m not convinced that it’s turned out as good as I would like, but to look at photos of it, the shading with the pencils does seem to give a realistic interpretation.
The rest of the quilt group also had their sinchie challenge pieces to show at our recent meeting day- we could use any two colours this month:
Row 1: me (Karen), Trish, Jan K, Helen S
Row 2: Meryl, Marilyn, Lyn, Shirley
Isn’t that little bird by Trish so cute- she has been learning to make hand-made lace:
Also at the meeting we saw this marvellous quilt by Kaye:
and some sashiko stitching by Marilyn:
I hope you are all happily quilting!
This month at Gatton Quilters’ monthly get together, there was a lot on show. Those of us in the Art Quilt group had our 6″ square in the colours of red and blue to show and tell. I decided to do a little bird, and picked a Crimson Rosella to portray.
I firstly found a photo of the bird that I liked and traced it and then enlarged it, doing it the old-fashioned way using a grid and free-hand drawing it square by square.
I traced each of the pieces off to make little paper pattern pieces, and placed them on the red and blue wool felt to cut each of them out.
By using the felt, I didn’t have to worry about seam allowances, except those sections which overlapped, and also didn’t have to turn edges under. I stitched each of the pieces in to place on the background fabric. I used a small overcast stitch in matching thread.I then just had to do some further embellishment- I added some red braid and stitching down his chest, straight stitch on his wings and a little cross -stitch near his head. His legs are done with long bullion stitches in charcoal wool. I then sandwiched the piece with some backing and did some free-motion ‘scribbling’ to quilt it together.
He was initially too big to fit on the sinchie so I had intended trimming off his tail once I had him in place, but then didn’t have the heart to! so I left that to hang out over the side.
Here are a few of the sinchies completed by other members of the group:
And some other work by the whole group:
A few updates on what I’ve been sewing lately. This month’s colour sinchie challenge(Gatton Quilters Art Group) was to use the two colours orange and red. This is what I decided to do.
I used a piece of hand-dyed orange cotton I did in a workshop quite a few years ago -which I still have lots of and comes in handy quite often!- as the backing. I hand-sewed a cat to put on top- an orange and red striped tabby. I only used variations of orange and red in the block, but quite a few different values of those colours. It’s great fun to see what effect you can have but still only keep the limit to 2 colours.
I added a piece of silk sari ribbon scrap on the side and added more hand-sewn embellishment plus some hand-stitching to the right side. It was then finished off by just backing with some thin batting and zig-zagging around the edge. hence, Marmalade the cat!
I also had a lovely weekend staying at the Bunya Mountains with a group of sewing & crafting ladies. It is a beautiful place up there in the Bunyas and we had an excellent house for the stay. Lots of wallabies visited us, including this youngster who, despite Mum’s encouragement, didn’t want to leave home!
I took along the makings of a baby quilt. I had found a lovely animal panel which i cut up into the individual blocks and my plan is to sew those into a quilt surroundered by coloured pices and strips. The colourful fabric I used was from the ‘Story Collection’ by Carrie Bllomston, which I had admired for some time and was happy to have something to use it for!
I made some flying geese blocks and some quarter-square triangle blocks and cut strips and set about to put them altogether in a random fashion.
That quilt top is about half-made now, so hopefully I can get stuck into it and finish it off in the next few weeks.
And one last thing- this is the block for May for the do.Good.Stitches quilt that I am taking part in. This block was made by sewing together randomly-sized wedges of fabric to make a sort-of starburst block. Our instructions were to use bright colours which I think I did!
Have a great week!
A little quilted 6inch square, in colours of orange and green and depicting something from the theme of flora and fauna. This is my contribution to that challenge.
I really enjoy stitching more and more these days, so I look for the opportunity to incorporate it where I can. I also wanted to utilise fabrics that I coloured myself in hand-dye classes, so these factors were the starting points in creating this piece.
I arranged pieces of hand-dyed fabric on a backing piece of scrap cotton. When they seemed to be in just the right position, I used a drop of glue to keep them in place before taking the piece to the machine and sewing them down.
I just used a normal straight stitch with some clear thread. Because there was effectively a couple of layers of fabric there, I didn’t have to use any stabiliser so could start straight in with the hand-stitching.
I used 2 strands of green cotton thread and mainly running or back stitch and some knots. I stitched these free-hand, without drawing any outlines first. I try to avoid marking where ever possible, mainly because I worry about getting rid of the lines afterwards, especially if I don’t sew exactly on top of any marks. I also prefer a slightly rugged or naive look to stitching
These are various weeds and grasses, sewn against the landscape-y backdrop. To finish it off, I added another piece of fabric as a backing, then hand-stitched around the edge in a big running stitch using a couple of different threads. I knotted them on the top side and also left the raw edges.
Hope you are having a good week.:)
I first ‘created’ this fabric in a workshop on printing, painting, enhancing and embellishing fabric. We used leaves and sticks and various surfaces for mono-prints and transferring images and rubbings. This fabric had various green paints and leaf shapes, so I decided to use it for this month’s green and white Sinchie challenge with Gatton Quilters.
I added further rubbing using a crayon to transfer extra leaf outlines and fill in some spaces.
After cutting out a smaller-sized piece, I started hand-stitching large running stitches across its surface. I used 3 strands of DMC cotton, starting with 3 dark green colour on one side and gradually introducing varying shades of green, changing to a light green by the time I got to the other side.
I also cut out some little pieces of lace from a discarded remnant and incorporated them on the surface with the stitching.
I then added some iron-on pellon to the back, cut out a piece of another fabric and sewed them, right-sides together to make a little quilt.
We often produce lots of pieces of fabric in workshops and classes which can sit in our cupboards for ages before being put to good use. I’m working on trying to incorporate my various bits and pieces in art quilt projects- after all, we can always make more! This is a look at some of the other pieces created by members in our group:
A quilted runner made by Marilyn:
… and a quilt I recently quilted on the long-arm for a special niece’s birthday!
Until next week…