Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quilt Whimsy designs 1st abstract quilt. . .

Here it is, an abstract quilt design that I was actually able to draft.  I have been having a difficult time with the abstract concept.  I love abstract art but seem to be unable to see it for my own designs.  But as you can see, here it is.  Now, let's look at how it all started.
This is a photo I took close to home of deer bones.  Living where I do amongst the nature I love, death is an understood part of life.  When I spotted this grouping I immediately felt that I wanted to pay tribute to the life and death of this buck through a quilt.  I knew that I could somehow create an abstract design to do just that.
I began with my photo, turning it over and placing it on a piece of glass.  Holding it in front of a light, I was able to make a quick lightbox and was able to trace the bones (in reverse, of course, which doesn't matter in the larger picture).
Once traced, this is where the piece stood.  I began to draw curved lines continuing from the curves of the bones to create segments.  From there, I added curved lines in the open spaces to create additional segments.  Large segments were then broken up with additional lines.
Once satisfied, I then enlarged the drawing by 200%.  The original needed to be moved and copied five times to get the full drawing which was then taped together.
Once taped together, I then redrew the design on freezer paper.
This larger bone piece will be appliqued on after the segments have all been put together.
Again, here is my final draft.  There are some elements on the original drawing that have not been transferred to my working freezer paper copy to allow me freedom to adjust these applique pieces.
My color palette are these neutrals with a splash of red.
I am excited to get started to see what the final product will look like.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Quilt Whimsy takes a hike. . .

Today as I took my daily hike I decided to bring my camera along.  Boy, am I glad I did.  I literally ran into these little turkey chicks, frightening them, their mother, and myself!
This is why I love living in Montana!
I also took this photo which I am pretty sure I am going to use for my next Quilted Symphony project to start next week.
Still working on my Quilted Symphony 2 project.  Will blog about it this weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Receipe cards for quilt notetaking. . .

A dear quilting friend of mine suggested that I use index cards to make notes about techniques used when making my quilts, i.e. stitches, interfacings used, etc.  Great suggestion since it's amazing how much I can't remember when I go to do something again.
Of course, index cards are not colorful enough. :)  So when I ran into this recipe book I jumped on it and decided to improvise it to use for note taking.  Above is the holder of two small booklets that hold the recipe cards.  Here is one of the booklets
Below is the recipe card as I have used it.
In a perfect world, I would take a photo of each of the quilts I make and jot down notes in a journal.  But since my world is not perfect, this is a creative solution that will work for me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Appliqueing with invisible thread. . .

Now that my leaf sections are embellished it is time to put it all together.  This technique calls for joining the pieces together by appliqueing them.  I divided the quilt background into sections and determined which pieces sit on top and which sit underneath another.
The piece to sit on top of another is pressed under beyond the stay stitching previously done and pinned in place.  Once all pieces in this section are positioned and pinned, the quilt is then stitched using clear invisible thread and a blanket stitch.  
I used Bottom Line thread in the bobbin with a 75/11 Quilting needle.
The quilt was put together section by section.
Once the background is together, the leaves needed to be prepared.  All leaves are going to sit on top of the background so all edges need to be turned under.  I began by turning under the leaf points.
Turn the tip under and press.
Now turn one side across to the other leaf edge so the fabric overlaps, trim the excess fabric, and press.
Turn the opposite edge across the edge just pressed until you have the point you want.  Trim and press.
Turn the remaining edges of the leave under and press.
Turn over and press once again.  Leaf is now ready to applique to background.
The thread for the leaves was changed to smoke invisible thread to match the black leaf background.
Once the quilt is together, I squared it up and added borders.
I'm pleased with the results to date.  Keep watching as there is more to come.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Free motion zigzag -- my favorite. . .

My Quilted Symphony 2 project is coming along.  You may notice that my fabric choices have changed a bit.  I decided to replace the original red with green to make my leaves blend with the butterfly applique I will add.
Now the fun begins with adding applique and thread embellishment.  I began with the two leaves that have appliqued stems.  To trace the shapes, I first had to reverse them from the original pattern.  I then traced them onto fusible web, rough cut the fusible web, pressed it to the fabric of choice, and cut the shape out on the line.
The stem was pressed onto the leaf.  I choose to embellish the stem with yellow thread using the free motion zigzag stitch, my new personal favorite.  I like the rhythm I can get into when sewing this stitch.  Free motion zigzag stitch is done by dropping the feed dogs and selecting the zigzag stitch on the sewing machine.  I chose my stitch width for the stems to be 2.0.
I then needed to add the mosaic tiles to the larger leaves.  Again the pattern needed to be reversed to trace to fusible web.  The rough cut traced fusible web was pressed to the tile fabric.
The tile pieces were not labeled so as I cut them out I left the stem section intact.  Although not using it on the final product, I was able to use it for the layout of the tiles.
I again chose the free motion zigzag stitch at a 2.5 width with yellow thread.
With the embellishment done it is now time to put the pieces together.
Until next time,

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Quilt Studio for Quilt Whimsy. . .

I have sooo much new information I want to share, including the continuing work on my Quilted Symphony 2 project.  However, I am sooo excited about my new studio that I will share that today (and my project tomorrow :>).
Here are several photos from different angles of my studio before I begin work.  The large table in the center was already here and will stay.  What a great cutting table!
Here is the bathroom.  It is large enough that I plan to add a commercial sink so I can dye fabric.
Here is the inspiration for my studio.  I have selected my paint and begin painting tomorrow.  I will keep you up-to-date on my decorating progress.