Friday, July 18, 2014

Beauty to be found

The last few weeks have been a challenge both artistically and personally.. one affected by the other.  Hubby hit be a car in Kenya and now back safe in US with good medical care . .. wheelchair bound to allow multiple breaks  to heel. Kenya you say? Wasn't there a travel warning?  YES... mine came  even before the U S State Dept issued one.  Boys!
I began a new piece for myself.. but have put on hold til my own spirits raise. A few years back... I created a mountain lion piece called Winter Hunt. I loved that piece now owned by another.  I have long wanted to create a Summer Hunt and have begun.  It is in infancy here and will not likely get a lot of coverage here but I am liking what I see so far.
 In the meantime, My grandkids are visiting and I was taken by these bird beauties. Dear Kaley is 15.. both a scholar and athlete, budding artist, and a mighty pretty young lady.
Max is 6, athletic and interested in everything new.  Pretty handsome boy too. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Less is More Quilting

This is a small piece thats all about honoring this deceased young man. Even at 24... one can pass of a heart attack. Jason loved to drum.. so he is seated at his drums here... but whatever I do in the quilt plan... it is NOT to draw attention to the drums..
I layered 2 battings for this... wool/poly blend on the front, cotton/poly behind.  I wanted the surface loft of wool and the weight of cotton so this would hang a bit more solid.

I secured Jason and other parts with a very fine monofilament. I don't want to see any thread work on Jason.  I need to keep it simple so the soft monochromatic image can speak for itself.   I did however want to fill the grey background and chose a triangular scroll in thread to match the background... 1) the triangle scroll suggests rapid movement which seemingly aligns with what a drummer does 2) the matching grey thread doesn't demand alot of attention.
The outer chevron fabric is only there to support the central image. Sometimes, the fabric gives guidance on would-be quilting.  I followed every other chevron zig zag to guide stitching.. again in very fine monofilament. No real attention is demanded by this method.

After quilting... I square up my quilt by marking and stitching on the marked line.  This minimizes thread pop ups after trimming.

I then trimmed appx 1/8" outside the marked/stitched line.
I usually face my art quilts but this one will be best supported with traditional binding... albeit it a 1/4" finished binding that can be rolled to the back and monofilament stitched in the ditch.  

 All done... sleeve added and delivered to the owner.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Insetting a large image

It's been quiet on this blog... I'm fine... it's my off the wall hubby who has had me distracted.  He's been on a walkabout in Kenya ( he marches to his own drum) and was injured... (hit by a vehicle so I've been a nervous wreck). He finally got the medical care he needed and is on his way back to the U.S.... complete with cast.  I'm already feeling bad for the airline stewards who are dealing with him on  4 different long flights.
So back to business...
What to do when you want to inset a larger that normal image using reverse appliqué.   First..  Here's where we went with this... then how we got there.
I had painted a requested monochromatic commission piece of a young man with a tragic life ending( heart attack at 24) .  The original ink'd image is 15 1/2 " around which I have ink'd about a 1/3 inch  circular fillet of black. Then, the circular image ( now appx 16 1/3 " diameter) is to be reverse appliqued beneath a charcoal /light grey chevron fabric.   So, how to get it inset with  the precision 1/4 inch black fillet??!!
I first ironed/ starched the painted fabric and the chevron fabric. 
Looking from the back side of the painted image here... 
The chevron fabric with a precut small slit in the very center is secured to the painted image ( right side of painted image to wrong side of chevron fabric). 
From the wrong side of the painted image, I used my 1/4" foot to guide me in stitching a 1/4 inch running stitch  precisely1/4 inch from the original painted image.  This stitching in white will later be removed as I work from the front doing a reverse circular appliqué.  This step is what allows real precision in this appliqué effort. 
The rest is slow but important to this piece. .. After I removed a circular piece of the chevron fabric where I left enough chevron fabric to turn under for hand appliqué, I began 
 the slow process of  pulling out a few stitches of the white thread seen previous and carefully appliquéing.
The process in a nutshell... 
TRIM, REMOVE 4 or 5 white stitches,  STITCH, REPEAT.. til the circle is complete.
This was a slow step but more than worth it in my view. Not yet 100% complete in this pic but more than half .  Once the inset was 100% complete... I trimmed excess white fabric from the back and the new top became ready to quilt.