Posts Tagged ‘machine quilting’

Introducing…”Sonoran Dreams”

Well, nearly a month has gone by since I tried to start this blog post. I did finish two art pieces in January, which was my goal. I also learned quite a bit about my organizing system – good and bad.

First, I got a HUGE amount completed in January – all kinds of loose ends, but not as much art as I was anticipating. Yes, I met my goal, but barely. I was so focused on completing stuff on my weeks’ lists, which felt really good, but then in February I kind of slowed down and took time for me…which we all need to do, and I must stop feeling guilty about it. What I realized is that I have to revise my “self-care” list to include a minimum of two hours on art-making each day – tat’s what is truly important for me this year. Art during the day, writing at night.

This piece at the left is the companion to the bigger piece – my ever-present “pot quilt,” started some 15 years ago. I really like how this piece came out. Simple yet elegant, just like southwestern pottery. This is “Sonoran Dreams 2.” I also have a lot of the “pot” fabric left, as well as come of the original fabrics when I started this, so I see a small series coming along this year.

The pot quilt started initially because of the marbled fabric. As soon as it was out of the marbling tray, I knew I would make some southwestern pots. I started some (what has now become) improvisational piecing – just making it up as I went along. I had two panels done and together, and the pot in the above piece appliqued. I really liked how it looked all these years later. I was on to something at the time and didn’t realize it. Finishing it just fell together – all my sewing/quilting skills had really improved, and it was easy to pull it all together. In progress –

This is the very beginning from 15 years ago, just beginning the piecing, and at the time absolutely no idea how to quilt it beyond stippling.

It’s missing the bottom row, as originally it was going to have several more panels. I’ve moved away from wall hangings that just “hang” from a rod and have moved to mounting them on canvas. I saw no need to make this larger, and the extra pot would become its own piece.

The other side – oh, how I would do the lizard differently (and I will in some other wall hangings), but I do love the “rawness” of this one.

First I started with some straight-line quilting to make the triangles “pop.” I really like that effect, so I decided to do the top and bottom borders that way.

The pot with only outline quilting.

From here I did the gridlines in two places, as it reminded me of the stucco you see throughout the Southwest.

Originally I was going to quilt the lines in the pots but decided that would detract from the overall design, so I outlined the pots and stippled the background. A shiny rust thread used in the stucco, and invisible smoke thread in the stippling – I just wanted texture there.

Now there was the other side…couldn’t think exactly what I wanted to do for the longest time. Using invisible thread again, I outlined the lizard to make him stand out – did it twice (next time I’ll try a double needle – should be much smoother).

I outlined the pot and did the stippling in the background again. That just left edges – did a triangle motif in the medium brown and then attached some agates for emphasis. I LOVE my stash from the Tucson Gem Show – every year I would go with some specific types of stones in mind – mostly earth and water tones for future wall hangings.

You can see the agates on the right side, and there are bear fetishes across the top green strip.

Starting the grid lines on the companion piece.

And….ta-da…..”Sonoran Dreams”

Photoography by Melanie Bishop

FOR SALE $375.00

36 x 24 inches, mounted on canvas, ready to hang.

 

Baby Quilt Commission

It is SO GOOD to be back at the sewing machine! In order to get the groove back, I have been working on this really adorable baby quilt that my friend always coordinates for pregnant teachers at her former middle school. In this one, people completed blocks to represent a piece of children’s literature, and then for the baby shower, the folks bring the actual books to start the child’s library. Great idea!!

Here’s some pics of the finished quilt……learned a lot, as I always seem to do. Next time I am doing squares, I will back them with a stabilizer. The last quilt I did like this I was able to quilt in each of the squares to get them to lay flatter. Next time….but look at the textures in these squares!

KathyQuilt1

KathyQuilt2

KathyQuilt3

KathyQuilt4

KathyQuilt5

KathyQuilt6

KathyQuilt7

KathyQuilt8

KathyQuilt9

KathyQuilt10

KathyQuilt11

KathyQuilt12

 

Work in Progress – Creating Rhythm

I’ve been practicing a lot of techniques with free motion quilting. With marbled fabrics, it’s almost like your pattern is decided for you – and I love being able to work with that. I discovered a few new things with this piece of green silk. I knew I wanted to see if I could accent the movement that already existed with the marbled pattern, and I wanted to accent the water effect in the piece.

Here’s the piece without anything done to it. I decided to flip the design, so the wave effect would be more prominent. Then it was a case of deciding threads. There are some very light areas in the pattern that I wanted to emphasize, so I figured a lighter thread. I pulled four threads (Superior, of course) and started with the lightest one – and I thought it was jarring – too bright.

I ended up going with a Rainbow multi-colored green thread that I think worked very well. I used that in the very light areas, and then I turned to a dark green silk for the background. The thought here was to heavily quilt the darker background to make the lighter areas come forward even more. So here’s the piece…

I do think the wave motion is more prominent. This was also a departure for me, in that normally I have quilted this pattern a great deal, but this time I didn’t do every single swirl. I think you get more drawn into the pattern that way.

I am contemplating some beads, but that’s just in the thinking stage at this point. I am open to suggestions, so please leave me a comment with what else I could do with the piece. The biggest success in this piece is a definite improvement in the machine quilting – the stitches are far more consistent, so that’s a great goal for me.

Leave me some comments – what would you do with this piece if it were yours……

Sunday Stories – Black and White with a Hint

Yesterday I wrote about what’s happening with the bamboo piece. Here’s a sneak piece of it in VERY rough form:

Now to today’s story – my piece for “My World in Black and White,” a show curated by Anne Copeland, like around 2003. This was a challenge issued on the QuiltArt list, and I decided to try something. Here’s the piece:

This was the first show where I realized I had to pay more attention to the theme. Mine was a more abstract look at black and white. We marbled a three-quarter-yard piece of unpolished white satin in blacks and whites. There was still a little orange left in the tray from a previous piece, so the name became “Black and White with a Hint.” I cut five strips and quilted them, following the marbled patterns. You can see the hints of orange.

At this point, I really didn’t know what form this was going to take. I decided to stagger each of the strips, but it was pretty boring with just the strips. That’s when the “hidden” architect in me took over. I marbled some ribbon, serged the edges of the ribbon to carry the serging motif through, and attached it to some strips of gray cotton. I did eight strips all together, some of them plain with just a meandering quilting line, and some with the ribbon, and then I wove them through the other strips.

I liked how it was shaping up, and now I had to deal with a hanging system, as well as finishing the bottom. I figured I wanted some beads to hang at the bottom. I went to the local bead store and found these teardrops – have NEVER seen anything like them since then.

If you look closely, you can see how each strip gets hand-stitched to the ones around and underneath it. I figured I would use a plexiglass rod for the hanging system. I marbled some thinner ribbon, and with careful measurements attached the various lengths at the top, with a bead embellishment.

I learned a lot, as I seem to do on every piece, and this is still one of my favorites – my first piece to travel (to Ontario, CA as well as the online exhibit), my first piece that was professionally appraised, my first piece that “hung” in a very different style, and my first ribbon (for entering, but none-the-less still special!).

I am really enjoying revisiting these pieces and their stories. I hope you enjoy as well.

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