Tag Archives: raw edge applique

Not What I Had Expected

Sometimes a project starts with one plan and ends up in a very different place. I’m there throughout the creation process, but the results really can be baffling. Case in point, my latest finish.

I take casual photos of scenes, objects, etc., that catch my eye. Occasionally, I decide to base a quilt on a photo. When I saw the setup below on the props table backstage at the theater I was intrigued. I had no idea why the lighting was red and blue, but I loved the hanging row of canteens.

I knew I couldn’t capture the reflections of light off the metal to my satisfaction, but I had hopes of the lighting and the twisted straps. I actually worked up a drawing.

A trawl through my fabric hoard made me realize that the original background color scheme would have to be changed. No problem, I had an intriguing yard of gradient I bought from Vicki Welsh that I wanted to use.

To go with the change in background color I chose various complementary solid color fabrics for the straps and an old (2012) piece of hand dyed fabric I thought looked like a plaid for the canteens. The other bits of fabric were various hand dyed or printed scraps.

I cut off the blackest edge of my background fabric and inserted it in horizontal strips along with another hand dye. I added the straps and bits of “paper” and then quilted all that before I sewed on the canteens. To prevent the background quilting from showing through I backed the canteens with flannel and quilted them individually before I sewed them to the main piece.

“Camp Memories” 24.5 by 35 inches

The result doesn’t look at all like what I had envisioned. I had hoped for a mysterious effect, but ended up with more of a mildewed canvas tent effect. So, I rolled with it and called it “Camp Memories,” in honor of those nasty childhood treks into the woods with canvas equipment that left my belongings smelling sour for a long time.

One irritating technical aspect of this project was how much some of the solid fabrics in the straps raveled. I used fused raw edge applique and finished the edges with a zigzag, but that didn’t stop the problem. I recall those fabrics were the Craftsy (now Bluprint) house brand, so maybe there was a reason they cost less than name brands. They’re fine for piecing, just not so much for raw edge work. I guess the rough edges contribute to the overall shabby effect. I’m linking to Off the Wall Fridays.

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Filed under Art quilts, Completed Projects

Getting My Curve On

So far this year my work has been squared off and rectilinear. I’m breaking with that in my latest WIP, which is all about curves.

I was inspired by a sketch left over from my 2016 master class and my hoard of silk fabrics.

I had developed several sketches using cut shapes of tissue paper.

Someday had arrived for the dupioni, sari and kimono silks, the broadcloths, and the silk-cotton combo fabrics I’ve collected. Because the silks were different weights, I stabilized them with either fusible nylon knit tricot or WonderUnder. The differing material characteristics (some were closely woven, some ravelled or shredded, etc.) led me to use raw edge applique instead of piecing. I used MistyFuse for any pieces not backed with WonderUnder.

There were translation issues between my sketch and the work. The sketch was designed for transparent fabrics, and was another take on overlapped pieces of silk organza, a technique I used in Unfolding.

Unfolding 25″ sq.

I didn’t have the color changes created by the fabric overlaps, so I had to come up with an opaque approach. Here’s my first version.

The “hat” had to go. It looked lovely with transparent layers, but not as a solid piece. I ended up with huge blooms that would fit into a jungle. All the sinuous curves give it an Art Nouveau feel, like the embroidered fabric below.

After I ironed down the pieces I straight stitched around all the edges. I tried out a buttonhole and a zigzag stitch, but found they frayed the edges and caused raveling. There is still a bit of fraying, but I’ll have to live with it.

I plan to have Rococo (tentative title) quilted by a local long arm quilter who is very good with curved designs. For once, I think it’s the right approach to accentuate the curves. It should finish about 36 by 30 inches.

 

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Filed under In Process