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Elefantino

LITTLE ELEPHANT. I saw this sculpture by Fausto Melotti on-line and decided to interpret it into a small art quilt (started in May). Someone must have bought this sculpture, made in brass wire, about 15-inches tall–I can no longer find a picture. Anyway, our Modern Quilt Guild had a speaker last year who used a lot of bias tape, so I decided to make some myself for the basic elephant shape. This is the actual color–for some reason, the color faded out as I zoomed in.

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Echo quilting:P1100476

It looks like the elephant is spraying water–a happy accident.

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Before I started quilting, I added elements similar to the original sculpture, using a shisha mirror surrounded by crochet for the eye, a yo-yo, another circle with embroidered lines and colonial knots, and finally one large circle with encrusted beading. I left the front foot loose for dimension.

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I finished the echo-quilting in October, bound the quilt, stitched two rows of big stitches inside the body, and decided to rice-stitch the remainder of the body, which was just a little puffy. We had had a big-stitch quilting workshop earlier in the year and I came home with the better part of a spool of green perle cotton thread. Of course, I ran out of thread. Months later I found some more thread, albeit just a tad lighter than the original, but it was the same weight. Hey, from 5-feet, no one will be the wiser. I finally finished the stitching yesterday. Here is the completed quilt. It maketh me happy. FINISHED ELEFANTINO (20.5 x 16.25 inches):

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Gotta go–walking with the Bella Vista Walks group at Lake Bella Vista before it gets too hot. Stay tuned for more quilting hi-jinks.

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Before it’s too late.

 

 

Whisper of Lilies

My improv piece is finished. Last chapter, I removed the sequined ball because I just didn’t like it. It will land somewhere else eventually–nothing goes to waste.

Sequined wool ball

Sequined wool ball

I found some bits of green crochet thread I had hand dyed at some point and made a small medallion and beaded it with single seed beads.

Beaded crochet medallion

Beaded crochet medallion

Next I added some encrusted beading–my standby of loading three beads at a time close together, knotting after every three groups.

Ecrusted beading

Encrusted beading

I also took the last piece of useable lily fabric and hand appliqued that in a blank space.

Appliqueing last useable piece of lily fabric

Appliqueing last useable piece of lily fabric

Now to finish the edges–I saw this no-binding binding somewhere but couldn’t find it again so did this from memory. I used a 1-inch strip of fabric the length of each side. Stitch it on with 1/4-inch seam allowance, flip it and stay stitch it in place. I meant for the back side of the fabric to show but put right sides together on the second side. Just a reminder–that you pay for two sides of fabric so you can use either side as you see fit.

Finishing side edges

Finishing side edges

Stay stitching

Stay stitching

Press under 1/4-inch and bring the entire flap to the back; blind hem stitch.

Pressing edge under

Pressing edge under

Blind hem stitching

Blind hem stitching

Finished edge

Finished edge

For the bottom edge, I added about 1/2-inch to each end so that I could fold it in and cover up the raw edges on the sides. Note that I trimmed the corner–this gets a little bulky. Blind hem as before.

Bottom edge finishing

Bottom edge finishing

I still have not decided how I will hang this piece, which is approximately 8.25×8-inches so I decided to make a casing at the top for a dowel or branch or something. I cut this strip at 1-1/2 inches and turned under the short edges so that it was slightly shorter than the top width. Blind stitch the long edge, leaving the short edges open.

Top edge casing

Top edge casing

Here is the finished piece: Whisper of Lilies.

Whispers of Lilies

Whispers of Lilies

Give improv piecing a try and then try some different embellishments. When you have a small project, you’re not investing a lot of material or time. If you ruin it, cut it up and make some art pins and abandon them on your favorite walking trail. Check out this Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ArtAbandonment/

Someone in town is painting rocks that say “Bella Vista Rocks.” I saw one at the hospital parking lot the other day and left it for someone else to find and enjoy! Why? Because I think the article about this project suggested that the rocks were meant for visitors. I belong to the above group but still haven’t decided what to make and abandon. It’s on my bucket list. My bucket overfloweth.

P.S. I tend to think in cartoons and this was going through my mind yesterday. I’m going to use it as a free-motion quilting exercise and see if it turns into something. One never knows, does one? Have a great weekend.

What if flowers were tall?

What if flowers were tall?

 

 

UFOs, WIPs, and PIGS?

Translation: UnFinished Objects, Works In Progress, and Projects in Grocery Sacks. Jodi Barrows says that PIGS=stink. Okay. We’ll start with a project I put in the FAIL pile. This was a challenge: make an 8×8 quilt using a Haiku. So I wrote a Haiku and made a quilt that was exactly 8-1/2×8-1/2. Then I couched some cool yarn over the quilting lines and hated it. So one day I removed the yarn and put it away. This week I embroidered a running stitch over the quilt lines and called it good. It is hanging in my studio and I did what is usually considered a no-no–I pinned the quilt to the wall with two sequin pins. Hey, it’s my quilt and my wall. My favorite part is the fabric button, made with silk scraps and silver thread. One of the crystals fell off but I found it months later–it had fallen inside my chair and fell out when we had to adjust a spring.

Art Haiku, Haiku art

Art Haiku, Haiku art

So my problem Christmas quilt is finished except for sewing on the quilt sleeve for hanging (properly). Oh, and I need to make a label but I’ve got a sheet of labels in the works so we won’t fret about that. When I finished quilting the border, I noticed that one of the tree blocks was really puffy, fluffy? A suggestion online was to steam it. Scary, but I did it and it worked. This is by far the worst quilt I have ever made. It wasn’t square, so I laid plastic on the bed, put my large cutting mat on top of the quilt, and sprayed the borders, then tugged and pulled and patted and measured. After drying for 24 hours, it is much better. When I pull it out again at Christmas, I will be joyous. I post a photo when I hang it in my dining room in a day or so.

Block before steaming

Block before steaming

Block after steaming

Block after steaming

Blocking borders

Blocking borders

I have started beading my second self-portrait. Here is day one. I’m using a seed bead mix, three beads at a time, tying a knot every three groups.

Beading, Day 1

Beading, Day 1

I am almost finished with my first self-portrait. I decided to face the edge rather than making a binding. Pretty soon I’ll have that label page filled up!

Facing a quilt

Facing a quilt

It’s hard for me to resist a challenge.

I Can't Resist a Challenge, 45x41

I Can’t Resist a Challenge, 45×41, Charlotte Noll

Our modern guild has a challenge: Too precious to cut (but we will). Here’s the fabric I’m going to cut up. Deadline is October.

Lily Fabric

Lily Fabric

In the meantime, I’m cleaning my studio. I’ve had a bin in my way for several weeks, using it as a tripod stand, trying to do a new selfie and just about did a triple gainer yesterday so it needs to go. I ended up with three selfies but I’m not thrilled with any of them. #1 is out of focus, forgot to take off my glasses for #2, and #3 is meh. Audrey Hepburn I’m not. I won’t bore you.

I’m taking a couple courses through Digital Photography School (dPS) with the goal of being able to take decent photos without using Auto Focus. We’ll see how it goes. I also joined Adobe Creative Cloud for a year to try to learn how to use Photo Shop and Lightroom. If you enjoy photography, sign up for dPS free newsletter with weekly tips and challenges. They also occasionally have specials on their courses and other offers–sorry, the summer one just ended but check them out. They’re in Australia. G-day, mates.

http://digital-photography-school.com/

 

 

 

Self-Portrait

It will be a busy start to the week (husband has cataract surgery) so here’s a quick update on  my self-portrait. All of the quilting is finished.

Quilting finished

Quilting finished

I did some close lines of stitching with Yenmet in the white areas to take up any slack for beading. This will be my usual encrusted beading. In this case, I load three beads at a time and completely fill in an area. After three sets of three beads, I tie a knot. I use a beading needle and Superior Bottom Line thread. Here’s my snow queen on my “Frozen” quilt. Bugle beads with seed beads on each end form the curved stripe down the middle. Loose bugle bead fringe forms the hair.

FrozenFin

Frozen

I have plenty of handwork for the waiting room–the binding on the Christmas quilt. Have a great week.

Self-Portrait II

Where did the week go?  I’m ready to start stitching my new self-portrait and I don’t even remember if I showed you the first one (actually I didn’t).  It is quilted and just needs a label and binding. Okay, now I’ve found my place–I have a draft of more SAQA People and Portraits, I need to show you my first self-portrait, I experimented some more with Lite Steam a Seam II (more on that tomorrow), and it’s off to the races.  I’ve been channeling Picasso and because I don’t draw or cut perfectly, I have a couple gaps in putting the pieces together.  No mistakes here–this is a design opportunity.  I started with 56 pieces but am not sure how many there are now because I changed one eye and the nose after I started cutting.  I am not using fusible this time because it would not adhere to my hand-dyed fabrics and I also want to do some beaded encrusting.  This is one of my favorite things to do–just fill in an area completely with free-form beading.  Here’s an example from my interpretation of Van Gogh’s Blue Vase:

BeadingBlueVase

Beading Blue Vase

FinalVanGogh

Final Van Gogh

I see I need to re-photograph this quilt because I added some more beading to the green leaves.

Back to my new self-portrait.  I traced all the parts onto freezer paper, ironed those onto the fabric, cut them out and glued them down with Roxanne’s Glue Baste It.

Roxanne's Glue Baste It dots

Roxanne’s Glue Baste It dots

This should hold everything in place while I stitch down each piece–no fusible this time, raw edge all the way.  I used a set of five rose parfait fat quarters plus a Moda Marble Dot that was in my stash and coordinated, and a Michael Miller black and white check. I’m doing this collage self-portrait challenge with my art quilt group ala Yvonne Porcella so I had to put in some checks in her honor.

Fabrics

Fabrics

Pieces glued down

Pieces glued down

I’ll be back tomorrow after I start stitching and have my thoughts a little more organized.  Buh-bye.