Showing posts with label Art quilt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art quilt. Show all posts

Monday, March 28, 2022

Island Batik Ambassador challenge 3-22 - Italian Color Builder

 This month's challenge from Island Batik was super fun!  We were asked to make a small quilt (less than 20 x 20) inspired by the Aurifil Color Builder collection we were sent.  I got Como Blue!  The products used to make this quilt were supplied for me to use in my role as and Island Batik Ambassador - thanks, Island Batik!

Lake Como sounds like a wonderful place to visit!  Mountains, a beautiful blue lake, private villas...makes me want to take a vacation!  I started out by looking for an inspriation photo and found this one:

I thought the shading of the mountains in the background would be perfect for highlighting the beautiful shades of blue in this collection of thread.  I found out that this Bellagio - inspiration for the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas.  I didn't realize this until after I finished my piece, but I can totally see it now!

Love these blues!  I almost exclusively use Aurifil thread in the 50 weight (orange spools)  It's perfect for most of my piecing and quilting needs.  I use the plastic cases that hold 12 spools, and have 1 for each color (red, yellow, blue, green, neutrals and other weights)  I need to buy one more for my purples!

I started out by pulling fabric - I had several pieces that arrived in the January Ambassador box, and I found many more in my stash from previous years.  I was really happy to find that piece with the oranges and purples for the city!  I spent quite a bit of time picking and choosing, trying to find the right shading that would make my landscape work.

Finally I settled on a group of fabrics, then spent an equally long amount of time trying to decide on how to actually put this together.  I drew out a rough pattern on freezer paper, but didn't really want to try to quilt through a bunch of layers of fusible web, and figure out reversing templates, and well it just seemed like too much work, if you know what I mean.  I just wanted to get the fabrics laid down and start sewing!

Then I remembered the Fusible Batting that was included in my Ambassador box!  Hobbs included this in our batting selection, so I thought why not give it a try and see how it works out for this type of project!  I got out my large wool pressing mat, cut a piece of batting to fit the background fabric I picked out and started cutting and layering pieces of fabric to create my landscape!

I was so involved in my process that I forgot to take pictures until I had all the pieces cut out and pressed.  It worked pretty well, I cut out from behind each piece so that everything was at least partially on the batting so when I pressed it it was pretty well stabalized!  I flipped it over and pressed the back as well to make sure it was all firmly in place as well and was ready to start the quilting!

I began with the darker thread and stitched the darkest two fabrics in place.  Looking good so far!  The edges of my fabrics weren't as stable as they would have been had I used fusible web, but it was also kind of nice to be able to fold the uppermost layer on top and stitch behind it a bit!

For the next step I used orange thread to quilt boxy shapes in the buildings, then add some reflections in the lake.  I was very happy with how it came out and was excited to finish stitching the blue sections now!

This part was were I ran into the issue of my edges wanting to travel a little and buckle up.  I persevered, though and got them stitched down into place!  I filled each section in with stitching, just easy wavy lines to give some texture.

After that was done, the sky and water were ready for stitching.  I tried to make watery looking squiggles in the lake and bigger cloudy squiggles for the sky!  (Technical quilting terms...haha!)  I used the darker blue for the binding - I used 2 inch strips, stitched 1/4 inch from the edge on the back, flipped to the top and topstitched for a quick finish.  If I had more of the city fabric, I might have done a faux flange binding, but as I only had half of a 2 1/2 inch strip it wasn't enough for that.  

I'm very happy with my finish!  It makes me want to try my hand at more of these.  It finished at 12 x 16 1/2 inches.  The beautiful blue threads from Aurifil were perfect for the intense stitching on this piece, and I really like that pop of orange!  My favorite part of this was the boxy quilting in the city - it just worked perfectly! I love that you can do a lot of stitching with the 50 weight thread without getting too much thread build up.  My piece is perfectly flat even though there are some variations in the density of my quilting, so that's a big win! 

I used a Chrome Quilting needle from Schmetz 75/11 - no shredding or skipping so I was delighted.  These were provided in my January Ambassador box as well.  I noticed a feature on the Schmetz website if you are not sure what needle you need - you can search by machine type as well as other variables.  I enjoyed looking through the options for what would work for my particular project and was glad to see that I had the exact needle recommended for what I was working on!  I am really happy with how the professional Chrome needles perform, and highly recommend them.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my Italy Inspired project!  Make sure you check out the rest of the Island Batik Ambassadors and see what they created for their project - sure makes you want to book a vacation to Italy!  If I ever go, I will for sure go check out Lake Como, looks like a beautiful place!

Thanks to Aurifil Thread, Island Batik, Schmetz Needles and Hobbs batting for providing the supplies used in this project!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Larger Than Life

I was recently asked to make a project of mine in a much larger size than the original. In more than one way, this project is larger than life....because it is actually a self portrait and the finished quilt is definitely larger than real life! I thought I had already blogged about the progression of this project, but since I can't find the post, I must not have. So I must start at the beginning!

This project had it's beginning in February of 2006 - I was exploring the idea of making journal pages. Unfortunately this was the only one I did that year, but I was really happy with it and always intented to come back and do more. This quilt was a self portrait - me standing in a cold windy Oregon rain. I purposely used a blue fabric for my skin because that's what I remember about that winter was it was cold, wet and windy. I put a New York Beauty block on the back of it, then embelished this side with some sparkly fiber. I quilted it with a lot of McTavishing and echoing. I brought it in to the quilt shop and it ended up hanging with a group of other self-portraits - and is still there!

Fast forward a few years, I was out walking on one of those perfect, beautiful fall days and looking up at a clear blue sky through brilliant colored leaves I had the idea to make another quilt using the same basic layout as the first one. After my walk I found the templates I had used for the first piece (after a bit of searching, of course!) and pulled fabric from my stash that reflected the lovely colors of the day. This quilt was more simply finished, just basic outline quilting and no embellishment. I enjoyed it for a while, then decided to add it to my Etsy shop for sale.

One more skip forward and we come to the present, and the larger project! I had a request on Etsy to make a larger version of this to cover a futon. Not being one to back down from a challenge, I readily agreed to make it, thinking that with the help of EQ7 it wouldn't be too hard to import my first quilt and creat templates for the pieces. In reality it was more challenging than I thought it would be, but totally worth it!

The image was very easy to import into the program. Tracing the pieces was a bit tedious, but not overly difficult. What was hard was making the proportions work. Luckily my daughter was able to assist me so that my face doesn't look like I could have beat Quasimodo out for the crown of King of Fools!

This picture is my quilt at the end of the fusing process, before quilting. Another thing I didn't realize when I started it was the challenge that merely handling these large pieces would end up being! Luckily I have a pressing mat for my large cutting table, so that helped immensely, but in order to make my templates for the pieces I had to tape quite a few pieces of paper together, then trace them onto fusible web, then iron the pieces to fabric, cut them out and put it all together.

It took me longer than I thought to get it all together, but I am really pleased with the end product! This will definitely be a statement in my customer's room and I am so pleased that my larger Than life Autumn Winds quilt will be enjoyed and appreciated. Does this mean that I might really be able to call myself a "Quilt Artist" after all? Frankly it doesn't matter what I call myself, as long as I enjoy the process I will continue to challenge myself and enjoy what I do - whether it means making traditional blocks, or creating unique works of quilted art!

In Stitches,


Monday, February 06, 2006

Productive Weekend!

I feel like I had a very busy and productive week-end. I finished quilting the Ruby Tulips quilt for the shop, and it came out beautifully. It's a very striking quilt - I may have to keep this one when it's done being on display. I did not really like the pattern because the instructions weren't particularly helpful, especially the ones for cutting the scalloped border. Mine ended up being different from the pattern because I got tired of trying to figure out the instructions and "winged" it, then realized that I spaced them wrong after doing the cutting. But the end result was very nice and I like it.

I also finished this small portrait piece. It is something I've had on the back burner for a while. It was fun to get it done. I did not like the way the fusible quilted, my machine did not like it much at all, I broke my thread several times. Next time I'll try a different needle and see if that helps. I actually liked the back better that the front, but then again, I am a piecer at heart. I do want to try new things, though, so I will keep experimenting! This one is before adding the decorative thread to the front. I'm not so sure I like it, but it does look rather rainy which was the whole point of it.

The quilting started out at the top with some swirls to represent the wind, but then I ended up doing more of a McTavishing towards the bottom, which I really liked a lot better. Anyway, done is a good thing, so now I don't have to feel guilty about another project that I've started and not finished! I'm all about finishing projects this month - enough tops already, I need to finish some quilts.

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