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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Newborn Portraits

In between my art quilt projects, I've been trying to keep up with my newborn portraits. We've had 3 births since December in our family and it kind of stresses me out when they come so close together. So, needless to say, it takes me a little longer to complete them. I've got two completed and delivered and 1 left to do.



Friday, 20 March 2015

New Art Quilt Project

Back in February, I blogged about being accepted to create a panel for a quilt that will travel across Canada with the Relay for Hope. Since I have finished my Leaf Art Quilt, I have now begun on my panel for the Relay for Hope quilt. As I told you, all the Provinces and Territories will be represented on this quilt. My panel is the one for the Yukon Territory.

I showed you my design in February which had a snow-covered background with mountains and a dog sled in the foreground. There is also a raven flying in a sky bright with northern lights. I have been thinking quite a bit on how I will produce this panel and while I was searching for fabric, I remembered that when I was in the Yukon in January, I bought a stack of fabric from their local quilt shop called Bear's Paw Quilts. Without knowing about this project at the time, I had picked up several different whites and blues with the thought of using them for a winter scene. These fabrics will be perfect for this panel.

I've decided to build the background sky, mountains and snow first by stitching all the various fabrics together to make a 28"X 28" square. Then I'll use the appropriate colours of fabric for the Aurora Borealis, the dog sled and the raven and applique them on top.

The Aurora could be tricky. I have some bright green ribbon that I picked up one time at Value Village which is just the right colour for the green Aurora so I auditioned them on different fabrics to see what would work best.

The ribbon is organza so it is very transparent. Above is a single layer of ribbon on white fabric.

 Here I have layered several pieces of ribbon to give it depth and more intense colour. I would like to give the Aurora a look of fading in certain areas and also have some very vibrant areas and I think this layering will give me the desired affect.

I also auditioned the ribbon on top of darker fabric to see if it would still be as vibrant and I think it looks better here than on the white fabric. This tells me that I can make the whole sky dark and the Aurora will still be visible.

I also found this piece of fabric that I hand dyed myself and I think I will also use this piece in a few areas of the sky.

Once I had my fabrics figured out, I started work on patterning the background fabric, which I do on freezer paper laid over my initial sketch which was enlarged to the finished size of the panel.

As you can see I didn't include the Aurora, raven or the dog sled which will be put on after the background fabric has been sewn together. I decided to make the main seams radiate out from the center of the panel to give it interest. There is a small square area on the lower right corner which is just a reminder to me that the letters for the Yukon Territory (YT) will be placed there so none of the images on the quilt should be placed in that area.
The piece of cardboard on the right of the pattern has small swatches of the fabric I will be using with code letters beneath them which correspond with the codes placed all over the pattern so I know which fabrics go where.

Once this background piece is done, I will work out patterns for the appliques. I'm really excited to get started with the sewing.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Leaf Art Quilt Finished

Today, I finally finished the art quilt of the leaves. The background quilting took quite a while but I think it looks great and was just what the piece needed. After every stage, I hang my pieces up on my design wall to look at from a distance and determine what it still needs. When I hung it up after quilting the background, I found some of the materials in the leaves were too boring and caught my attention too much especially the plain fabrics.

So I did some thread painting on them to show a little shadow where the leaves curled or where they were behind another part of the leaf. This I do with a darning foot on my machine and the feed dogs down.

I stretched the quilt on a 26"x26" wooden stretcher frame that artist's usually use to stretch canvas on to paint. I will be sending this quilt to my framer to be framed. I have a few of my smaller art quilts framed and I really like the look. It gives the piece a fine art look as opposed to a quilt look. Once it is back from the framers, I'll post a photo of the whole finished piece.