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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?

 

 

The Grandmother’s Flower Garden Project

My miniature Grandmother’s Flower Garden is half appliqued down to the background.  I have been stewing about how to quilt this for years.  The other day my husband came in and said, quilt around each flower, drawing his finger in a circle.  I thought this was a grand idea but after a couple of days ruminating on this, I decided that I will stitch around the green hexagons.  This will hold all three (four?) layers of the quilt together without making it stiff.  Actually that really doesn’t matter as this will not be washed or used for bedding, but it also will not distort the quilt much.  It will be nice to finally finish this project and move on.

Hand applique halfway done

Hand applique halfway done

And what is the marker for?  I noticed that a stitch was showing in the notch so I used the marker to color the thread–now it does not show on the green background.  This is a neat trick when a light-colored thread shows up on a dark-colored background.  I do recommend using a permanent marker made for fabrics.  I know some people use Sharpies but I worry about that running on fabric.  Test on a scrap first!  To prevent my stitches from showing in the notch, I take the needle all the way straight to the back and come up straight to the front again, instead of going from front to back in one motion.

Hand Applique

Hand Applique

This is a scrap from a vintage quilt that was in my husband’s family.  I am guessing that feedsacks were used as they were very deteriorated when I rescued the quilt.  The quilt was given to his uncle (a priest in Duluth) but the fam had used it as a paint drop cloth, while working under cars, and for padding furniture during moving.  I decided to wash it one day and just keep the useable portions and will make some brooches and stuffies with the remains.

Bloodstain

Bloodstain

I went to put my needle in the pincushion the other day but it was pointy-end up so I really jabbed my finger.  I decided I would try to remove the stain with my saliva.  Just take a wad of thread and put it in your mouth or spit on it and rub the stain away.  Only one thing wrong–this was a large stain instead of a pinprick and I think I just didn’t have enough saliva to really do the job.  This only works with your own saliva.  Otherwise, remember rule #1–don’t bleed on your quilt.  Soapy water removed the rest of the stain.

Bloodstain

Bloodstain

My next post will be about another UFO that I am working on at night in my chair (embroidered tablecloth).  Right now I’m going to work on the mini-quilt, which I have to do flat on my work table to prevent distortion.  It hasn’t been too bad but I only do this for about 20 minutes at a time.  Speaking of spit, this can just gave me the raspberries as I was opening it.  Backatcha.

Can Humour

Can Humour

Coming Soon: The 8-1/2×11 Challenge (finished), Surface Embellishing with Embroidery, Thread and Needle Tips, FMQ Tips, and The Grandmother’s Flower Garden Project (continuing)

Cotton+Steel+Poly?

Friday, my art quilt group met and we worked on our group project.  I am tediously tweaking my small groups of leaves and glue-basting them down in prep for zigzagging the edges with monopoly clear thread.  So, over the weekend I took a little break and dove into our modern quilt guild’s latest challenge.  We each have a baggie of scraps from Cotton+Steel.  Now, I usually only use white fabric for red-white-blue Quilts of Valor but this challenge had a stipulation of adding only more Cotton+Steel fabrics and/or solids.  Not wanting to buy any additional fabric, I pulled out the two solids I had that would work.  Polyester.  Agghh.  But, it worked.  Here are my trial layouts.  I pretty much used the fabric scraps as is, squaring up the edges.  This included one wof strip that I was able to get a 3/4-inch width of, just enough for a small flap.

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There was also a good selvedge with the logo that happened to fit within some of the piecing–sometimes happy little accidents happen.

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In my previous posts about turning under leaf edges, I think I failed to mention the method I finally ending up using.  In this instance, I cut out a freezer paper circle, ironed it to the right side of the fabric, and turned the edges under, following the template.  Clip as necessary.  Here is my little iron with the stand I made for it–the flimsy plastic clover stand never stayed put, so I used some little wood pieces to enclose it.  This little circle was in my bag of scraps.

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I also cut out some small motifs from another scrap, ironed them to a backing using Ultra-Hold Heat-n-Bond.  The edges will not ravel but you don’t want to sew through it–it will gum up your machine.  I will attach these, probably with beads, after the quilting is finished.

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Here is the final layout–just needs quilting and binding.

Cotton_SteelTableRunner

So that’s it for today.  Oh, I found these socks at Belk and couldn’t resist.  I do hope you will only feel like screaming for joy today.  Till next time, do something, even if it’s wrong.

ScreamSocks