About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?
Showing posts with label free motion applique. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free motion applique. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Posy in Spring

It was a stormy spring, that spring of 2010.  And that rainy season became my personal inspiration for many things that year.   To begin, I wanted to make a  drawing that would be suitable to turn into a pattern and become 'the big picture' so to speak! To see if it would 'bloom' ... into a quilt.

That spring I was also home, recuperating from my first-ever surgery that June.  And I was limited in mobility, so sketching was a good thing... as it rained and poured... and poured and rained! 
"Peachy Posy"
Much later that summer, I was able to use the fabric that is the blue background --- one of my first-ever hand painted fabrics, using Jacquard's Dye-na-flow paint-dyes.  I was quite pleased with the deep, multi-layered colors of periwinkle, royal and lavender-oriented blues that glow in this fabric, setting a definite tone of the stormy skies I was constantly seeing.  

I applied bobbin play, from the backside of the quilt, but not until I had outlined the flower first, (see my explanation below).  I used Razzle Dazzle (Superior Threads); in a wonderfully thick and glitzy navy metallic thread, and once those 'jagged' sharp pointed lines (the pounding rain) were quilted, I turned it over, and finished the quilting from the front side of the quilt with variegated thread - two colors only; again in purples and moody blues. 

I kept the quilting lines deliberately sharp and pointy, to heighten the stormy feeling, and to emulate the pounding rain. I alternated the quilting within these two sections from straight and narrow points, to soft and undulating lines.  Driving rain... and soft, misty rain.
The pink and mango-colored flower (also hand painted fabrics of mine) were fused to the blue fabric, first, after tracing from my sketch (and reversing!)

It's portrayal is very much symbolic of my recovery period, of 'standing tall' - in a 'survivor mode' if you will... despite the gloomy spring weather, posing in a bed of spring flowers in the pounding, cool weather. Persevering, being content, despite the storms.
I hand-cut a bunch of wool circles, fusing them on, and added little yellow circles, and then a french knot in a black thread.  Beads were sewn on by hand, but not before the black lines of the stamens were quilted first.
And, as some of you know... one of my favorite things to do is free motion couching to frame the edges of the petals.  I used several different techniques, free motion and traditional.  First, the yarn was laid down around the perimeter of the flower petals, with the Bernina #43 free motion couching foot.  

Once that was accomplished, I added an additional visual element of with silver  Razzle Dazzle, just inside that yarn border, using my Bernina #39 clear embroidery foot, which is a traditional couching foot and allows for exact placement.  I added free motion applique stitching from the petals, going in soft curley-q's from the petal's edges, and also in and among the center of the flower's small woolen circles, in a soft, swirly line as the stamens of the flower. Love the black drama and visual interest this brings to the center of the flower.  I see it as beckoning, as if to say "come - take a closer look!"
The pink beads were hand sewn on this time.  Love the pinky-purple tone with the peachy-pink of the flower!
The beads lend themselves, ever so slightly, to a rain-shiny look.  I also free motion stitched, using my favorite #29 clear foot, around the little woolen circles, to help them 'pop up' just a bit, using an orangey-yellow color of thread so it would not show too much.
The picture below, reminds me of how excited I was to add the angelina - both fibers and textiva film.  This was the perfect touch in my eyes, to emulate the rainy puddles that seemed to fill up my garden flower beds... and I was delighted with this look.  It's so easy (and really fun) to do - I pulled angelina fibers out of the package, chopped up some angelina/textiva film, and then fused them using my teflon sheets.  I laid them on to of the fused grass blades, and then added free motion couching with more yarn to add texture for the green lawn, and the blades look (to me anyway) like they are really wet.
Little white flowers in a satin fabric, cut into heart shapes were added after the angelina, and the flowers have yellow wool centers with black stamens free motion quilted.
Smaller red flowers and their petals have a gathered and 'puffed' look, using a product from Superior Threads called "Texture Magic."  I free motioned willy-nilly (an official term you know) all over the fabric, with the Texture Magic product on the backside, and then steamed it with my iron until it wrinkled and puckered, til it was done doing 'it's thing.'  I then added fusible web, and lightly steamed them onto the quilt, too, adding couching in a red yarn... some silver thread play.  Done!
And if you look closely at the binding in photo (Picture #3), you can see that the binding features a lovely hand-dyed yarn which was couched, again, using my #43 free motion couching foot, right into the 'ditch' of the binding.  This, in my humble opinion, creates a professional and ‘framed’ finish for this contemporary art piece.

Just goes to show what the 'storms of life' can produce in us!  

Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Necessary Notion --- Tear Away Stabilizer

This is about a stabilizer that I think is a great plus in anyone's sewing notion resources.  And I've played with more leaves!  More paintstiks.  A new colorway. 
Instead of a trapunto technique, I've used a tear-a-way stabilizer under each leaf motif, and then free motioned the quilting on top.
Careful!  Even tho this product is easy to tear away, you don't want to rip or weaken your stitches.  After stitching, gently tear, or cut the excess stabilizer away.  I cut it away from the leaf edge, because I don't want the stiffness of the stabilizer anywhere but under the leaf.  It really makes free motion quilting much easier, and way more fun, than without it!
And I'm stitching with Superior's "Rainbows" --- again.  My favorites:  Tri-lobal polyesters.

As I've mentioned in prior posts... the leaves were stenciled first; allowed to dry; heat set.  I then fused the fabric to a fusible web and cut on the leaves.  This time I'm trying Wonder Under, a Pellon product.  Next time, I'm going to try Misty Fuse. In the past, I've used alot of Steam-A-Seam 2 or Lite.  The fusible web will be washable, as will this quilted piece, and by adding both fusible web and stitching, the fabric is not going to fray.  Each leaf was then placed on the quilt top, fused down with a hot iron, and then I added a lighweight stabilizer underneath the leaf. 
I love to do free motion 'applique' style!  You can create your own 'buttonhole' or 'blanket' stype stitch.  I love the creative freedom this allows me!
Here's the OESD product I'm using: Lightweight Tear Away
I'm quite partial to using Superior's Masterpiece cotton (50 wt) in my bobbin.  It's a great success story with a tri-lobal poly on the top. Below, it is shown in lime green.
Tear or Cut!  Gently tho!
You can see that I had a bit of a top tension issue without the stabilizer, in the picture below.  Stabilizer --- whether it be batting, or the type of tear-away I used, makes alot of difference in how your stitches form on the top and bottom. 
Yup.  Save the leftover pieces!
I will be teaching a paintstiks class at Bernina Silver Thimble on Saturday at 11:00 am.  

I've already started the final quilting phase, and will share with you some color and design decisions I made for this piece next week.  So that's on my  'fun-to-do list' this weekend!  What's on yours?  

Whatever it may be, I hope you will EnJOY!
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