Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Peek at my November Challenge

I figured I needed to get started on my Fiberactions challenge quilt due  November15th, so I've been working on that the last couple days.  The challenge is to use only neutrals, with neutral defined as black, white, gray, brown and beige.   Mine again, will be a painted wholecloth.

So here a couple snippets of the piece in progress...with my able assistant Bouree :)

Before background painting...masks in place

After background painting

Masks removed

Bouree helping

He says it looks okay so far

Miss Chloe spent the afternoon sleeping...she says she doesn't work!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Construction Challenges

Piecing all those diamonds around the solid pieces of gradient fabric that have the moon and  High Priestess appliqued to them proved to be a little challenging.  Rather than piece the areas behind the applique and then cut them away, I decided to piece the background with the "holes" in it.  It turned out to be a bit tougher than I had anticipated. In the end, I divided the background into 7 sections of pieced diamonds and then pieced the sections together leaving the "holes" for the moon and High Priestess.   Getting the sections with the holes to line up and lay flat gave me some frustrating moments, but in the end it all worked out great.  That said...I won't be doing things that way again!

Some photos of the process... Section 1 & 2

After sewing

Section 3

3 sewn

Section 4

4 sewn

Section 5

5 sewn

Section 6

6 sewn

Section 7

7 sewn

I'm amazed that it lined up as well, and actually is pretty flat!

Then the prepped hole # 1 for the moon and pinned in place for reverse applique...with Bouree toes :)

Then prepped hole #2 for the High Priestess and pinned her in place

I did the reverse applique by hand and the reverse appliqued sections blend beautifully with the pieced background diamonds!  Now I'm adding the trees, sphere for the wand and Luna moths (by machine applique).  Photos of all that another time.

There sure is a lot of hand work in this quilt...wonder what got into me. lol !




Monday, October 15, 2012

Working a Little Slower

The last six weeks I was slow getting things done. I'm dealing with a frozen shoulder and all that goes along with that. Physical therapy takes a chunk out of my day and when I do work, it is only in small bits of time.

Since I'm not able to use the longarm comfortably or safely right now, I'm doing other things like dyeing, painting, piecing and appliqué. That has lead to a lot of changes in the High Priestess.

I'm using Vicki's "twilight" gradient for the background.  Part pieced, part not.... Presents interesting construction dilemmas.  I think I have them worked out now; we'll see in the next few days as I combine all the elements.  In the end, the judges will decide if it is successful next year when this quilt starts the show circuit.

My goal, is to show that you can combine old techniques with new ones;  contemporary fabrics with traditional ones;  sewing techniques with art techniques.... And each hold their own, yet add to the composition as a whole. All the while still feeling  fresh and new.

So, I've appliqued the painted High Priestess and the hand pieced silk hexagon moon to non-pieced portions of the gradient.  I did not want seams distorting those elements. You might wonder why I just don't cut away the background behind the applique...I like the extra stability .

The high priestess... You can also see a few of the pieces of her skirt overlay that I'll  add after quilting.

And the moon...both machine appliqued with a close zigzag ( not  satin stitch)  in rayon thread.  Another reason to leave the background behind is to add shadows to the moon from the dark fabric behind.

Next, I cut with my Accuquilt "GO" cutter, well over three hundred 60 degree diamonds for the other background areas. Again from Vicki's "Twilight"...this is what 6 yards looks like after cutting and being pieced into 2 and 4 unit segments

I got all the segments joined for the tree and Luna moth sections...tomorrow I'll start appliqueing those to the pieced background sections.

In other work news, I had promised Jamie Fingal a house quilt, for her House Quilt project. Poor thing, she probably thinks I forgot.  I did not...It is painted and ready to quilt as soon as my shoulder will allow.

I've never done a quilt so tiny was a challenge to work so small for one who usually works so large! So small, I used a scrap of PFD fabric left from the "Queen".  But I like it so far...the quilting will really bring it to life. So soon, Jamie...  And I still owe you another's nearly finished the painting stage.

So with  those things... and I  dyed 8 more silk scarves...I'll show those another day.  For now, I'm's kitty snuggle time.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Some Silk Dyeing

Yesterday, I took the day to dye some silk scarves.  One can never have enough of them :)

Today I did the washout and was thrilled with the depth of color.  Instead of using acid dyes like I normally do for silk and wool, I just used the fiber reactive dyes that I use for cottons. Did everything the same as for cotton,  and it worked steaming!

These photos are all of Silk Devore...all different patterns




And Curls

Pretty, aren't they!  There are more, but I'll save them for another day.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tales of the Backside

Gammill Quilting is hosting a "Show off your Backside Party" on their Facebook page this week .  So we're all posting photos of the backs of some of our quilts. Most of us work alone in our studios, so it's always fun to see the beautiful work that  others do.

I thought I'd do another little run down memory lane  of a small sampling of the quilts I've done. Some were client quilts from the years that I quilted for others and some are mine. No descriptions, just the photos...backs only.

So grab your favorite cuppa and here we go!

Don't you just love plain  fabrics that let you see the quilting designs on the backside? I do!

Be sure to head over to the Gammill Fan Page on Facebook to see all the wonderful backsides over there!