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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Pen Pal Painting Challenge

Do you remember this past summer, I told you I had signed up for a painting project which was called the Pen Pal Painting Challenge? Well, we had until August to finish it and mail it in. The Art House Coop would go through them and then mail them to another participant along with a card that told a little about yourself and some contact information in case you wanted to contact the artist of the work you receive back.

Well, I received my pen pal's project this past week! How exciting it was. There are participants from all over the world so I was quite surprised that my pal is from Saskatchewan. Below is the project I did and also the project I got back.

My Metamorphosis Project

My Pen Pal's project

I will sit down and write my pen pal to try to get to know this artist in Saskatchewan. Cool!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

New Technique for Fabric Cards

Although I have recalled the Fabric Cards I've made, I am still making them and sending them out to people. In my experimentation, I came across another technique.

In this technique, I layer fabrics one on top of another and cut away layers to reveal the patterns underneath. First of all I collect a few fabrics that co-ordinate and come up with a plan for them depending on their colours.

One layer is the back of the card, the next is the quilt batting, and then I have 2 or three layers of co-ordinating fabric on top of that again. I then zigzag the edges of the sandwich together.

This is the back of the card, the quilt batting and the third layer of the top fabric.
Here I lay the second layer of fabric on top
This is the first layer of fabric which I hand dyed a pale blue colour.
The sandwich is zigzagged together and then I stitched on top.
I cut away the first pale blue layer from inside the stitched area
to reveal the second layer of fabric underneath. I then stitched
a design on another section of the card.
On the flower design, I cut away the first and second layers of
fabric to reveal the third layer of fabric.
I will then embellish the card with buttons, beads, or found items to add interest to it.

Here are a few others I've made with the same technique.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Changes to a Completed Quilt

Each season I hang a new landscape quilt in my dining room and it came time to switch up the Spring one with the Fall one. (Note: I am currently working on the Summer one). But the whole time the Spring Quilt was hanging something bothered me about it.

I decided it was that the section of yellow in the middle didn't have enough value variation in it. So, using "Heat n Bond" I found some of the other dark fabrics that I had already used elsewhere in the quilt and placed pieces here and there over other fabric on the yellow bush.

I think the change breaks up the yellow mass pretty nicely and I like it better. I may still add a bit more of the darker values because it still seems to split the quilt in half instead of unifying it. You see sometimes when you think you're finished, you're not. Once I've added all the darker pieces, I'll have to machine quilt overtop of them again to secure them.

Summer Landscape Quilt - Quilt top completed

I've been working feverishly on the Summer Landscape Quilt and have finished piecing the top. Now  to shop for borders, quilt batting and a backing fabric. When I was fabric shopping I found this wonderful material that looked like water. I wished I had bought it before I started the quilt because it was perfect for the water parts. I decided to use it as a thin border around the quilt and then using "Heat n Bond" I ironed a few pieces to the quilt top to enhance the water. I also purchased a green fabric for the outside border and the back of the quilt.

A lot of quilters dye their own fabric to use in their projects and while that interests me, I find it very time consuming and messy. I took a course once with the Ontario College of Art on dying fabric with natural ingredients and I really enjoyed it. In that course I also dyed some silks and I have used these in the sky section of the quilt. As much as I enjoy dying fabric, I find that there are a lot of fantastic commercial fabrics on the market today and I prefer at this moment to use those. That may change if someone comes up with a really easy dying method.

My next stage in completing the quilt will be to sandwich the quilt with batting and the backing fabric and machine quilt it adding details to enhance the subject. This will take some thinking and planning because once I start to sew, it is really hard to remove something that doesn't work.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Summer Landscape Quilt Continued

Most of the main aspects of the quilt are completed and I have mostly background and water to finish. As you can see the canoe on the right has a refection in the water and it took me some time to figure out how I would depict that. I decided that I would use the same fabric as I used in the canoes but overlay each piece with a piece of dark blue organza. Organza is transparent so you can still see the original fabric through it but the dark blue colour gives it a distinction between the actual canoe and it's reflection. It seems to be working, but I won't know for sure until the whole quilt is done and I hang it on my design wall. That will be the point where I will notice what is not working and have to determine how I will fix it. So far, though, I am pleased with how it is developing.

When I begin each section, I take a picture of the pattern with my I-pad, because I have to cut the pattern apart in order to cut the fabric pieces. Then if I have a copy on my I-pad, I can see how it is supposed to go together. Well, in my excitement to start the next section, I forgot to photograph it before I started cutting it up and it was quite a challenge to put it back together again. I had several pieces in the wrong spots and had to take it apart again and start over.  I hate when things like that happen!