Posts Tagged ‘art quilt’

Okay, now I’m done with my quilt. Really.

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Hi Bev,

Yesterday I thought this quilt was “finished” and I posted the “final” photo. But the quilt was missing something and it bugged me all day. It needed some free-motion quilting, so I bought some invisible thread today at the fabric store and headed home to finish the job.

When I got done, the girls and I chased the setting sun to a patch of sidewalk across the street for a quick photo in fading natural light.

So, now, I think I’m finally finished. Really.

Cheers,

Jen

An August “Dream” Quilt Becomes A Reality

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Hi Bev.

Here it is side A of my August “dream” quilt. (I’ll post about side B in my next post.) It’s a tad late, but it’s finished at long last.

I think I mentioned earlier that I decided to take this quilt in a new direction after opening the parcel of supplies you sent. When I unfolded all the fabric and started moving pieces around, I saw a landscape begin to form on my dining room table. And I got to thinking about the dream I inherited from my parents. As a child I would often hear my parents talking about how great it would be to have a little place on the water. Now I catch myself saying the same thing to my husband.

I decided to make a red kite the focal point of this piece and decided as the design progressed that I wanted this piece to be interactive. It’s my intention that viewers will come up and grab that kite string and take a moment to think about what it would be like to be flying that kite on the beach. I plan to get this quilt up on my wall soon because it reminds me of a happy dream from childhood.

This quilt is a combination of hand and machine sewing. The buttons you sent worked perfectly as kit string embellishments and the green swatches were just screaming for gardens of French knots in bloom. I used rough edged applique this month to build the scene and don’t regret it. It seems appropriate that the edges are frayed on this dream because I’ve dragged in around with me for most of my life.

The cool thing about this quilt is that in making it, I now have a little place on the water. I stitched a dream and made it real.

Life and work got in my way a bit, so I had to sneak in a few stitches whenever possible. August was a tough month for quilting on deadline, but we kept at it and stitched our “dream” quilts. I’m so glad we’re doing this project and sticking to our commitment to make art.

I’m on another work deadline, so I gotta go. I’ll be back soon with Side B of this quilt.

Cheers!

Jennifer

Stitchin’ Up A Dream

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Hi Bev.

It looks like you’re making some nice progress on your quilt and even finding time for illicit stitching, too. Good for you!

I skipped my usual pre-planning and child-like sketching this time around and decided to design my quilt by moving the fabric around and let it tell me where it wanted to go. I’m finding this is actually a more freeing approach for me because I’m no longer restricted by my inability to sketch the images I see in my head. I just cut shapes and move them around until something it looks right. I know this is a pretty random method, but it seems to work for me, so I’ll likely stick with it.

My first two quilts involved appliques with finished edges. This time I decided to include some embellishments with unfinished edges to achieve a different look I’m actually considering the possibility of not binding this quilt, but even as I type this sentence, I realize I’d never be able to consider the quilt completed if it didn’t have a binding. So, this quilt will very well end up with a binding when it’s all said and done.

I’m surprised at where this quilt has led me. I originally was planning to make a quilt based on a dream, as in the that R.E.M. state people experience while sleeping. But then, when I opened the parcel of fabric you sent I decided to go in a completely new direction. And I like this direction much better. This underscores once again the challenge and benefit of creating art with supplies selected by someone else. I have incorporated bits of fabric from my stash, but I think I will use at least a bit of all the fabrics this month.

And I have to tell you that I’m having a great time working the beads into the piece. A few of the beads you sent will have a very prominent role in this months quilt. What a kick it is to spread out all the materials and see where each element fits. But it’s challenging, too, like putting together a puzzle without the picture of how it’s supposed to look.
I’ve made more progress than what I’m revealing here, but I don’t want to give it all away before the big reveal. It will come as no surprise to you that I’m also working on what I thought was going to be the back of this quilt. However, I think I might have to let it stand alone. I can’t really decide on that yet. I’m just going to keep stitching and see what happens.

I think I’ll be happy with this month’s quilt, but for now I’m just enjoying the creative journey. Thanks again for agreeing to share in this experience.

Happy stitching!

Jennifer

What the quilts reveal

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Okay, so that was a LOT of fun! Not just making the quilt, and plotting and planning and scheming and thinking (then sewing and cursing and sewing and stitching…

Bevs June Self portrait

But maybe the most fun was “The Reveal” — i.e. show time!

Here’s how it happened. I arrived in the UK in June, after a month in Europe, and we were staying with old friends, Roger and Di. Roger was my “Man in Redbourne” – my fence – my parcel-keeper and message man – i.e. he received and kept the first Posted Stitches parcel until I could pick it up, several weeks later.

- “Hello folks, lovely to see you. – Oo! It’s my parcel!”

- rrrrrrriiip! Shred, shred, shred…

-”squeak!”-

Excited, fabric in hand, the stitching and embellishment began – I’m a gal with a deadline, and there’s only two weeks of June left. There’s been thinking, but now I need to stitch.

Two weeks later, late one evening in London, cosy in the flat of best friends, an email from Jennifer: ‘are you there? Can we chat?’

Now, bear in mind that we’ve never met. We’ve chatted once on Skype, but this was even more fun – we got the video conferencing going and talked away until the wee hours (my end), late afternoon (her end). “And here’s what I put here…. and this is what I did with that fabric you sent me…” It was ace! Odd to talk to a mostly-stranger – wonderful to find someone so on the same wavelength.

And amazing to see what each other had done with our fabric packs. When you pack the parcel, you get a vague idea of what might be made with it – for example, at the last minute I threw in a scrap of brown fabric, because I knew Jennifer’s hair is brown. But she embroidered her hair: the brown became a different part of the quilt entirely.

Somehow both of you get a hand in the creation of this thing, this little piece of art that is all learning, all stitching and thinking, and a tangible part of a new and growing friendship.

Hurrah for technology, I say. Let the second challenge begin!

This Is Me… In Fabric And Thread

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Hi Bev.

Well, this is it. My first quilt is done. Can you believe we’re actually doing this?! I’m so glad you were willing to take me up on this challenge. If you had dismissed me as crazy, it’s doubtful that I would have went through with the project on my own.

My strategy for this first quilt was to do a lot of thinking. I mulled over my ideas until midway through the month. So I didn’t actually start stitching until about two weeks from our deadline. This was a little scary considering the fact that I’ve never made an art quilt before. Thankfully, once I started stitching it came together fast. It helped that I spent about two weeks leading up to that first stitch thinking about this project and what I was going to try to do. I find working this way so much better than trying to create something on the fly.

Here is the process that led me to my finished piece:

I started by taking a self-portrait using the camera on my MacBook. Then I used a light box to transfer the image to fabric.

I used a paper piecing technique to applique the hand.

Then I started stitching like mad. The hair was easy. The eyes were tough. The nose proved to be the most difficult.

I kept stitching and stitching, and when the front was done I decided to do the back, too. Here’s how that came out.

I made a paper template by tracing around my hand and used a piece of apple fabric from my stash to balance the “treat” fabric on the front of the quilt. I cut the butterfly from one of the swatches you sent.

This quilt could be interpreted a number of ways. Perhaps I’m saying “no” to sweets and “yes” to healthy eating.

I don’t know about you, Bev, but I surprised myself with this one. I wasn’t sure I’d be successful embroidering a likeness of myself and I’m delighted with the outcome. What a kick to have my first art quilt out of the way!

Cheers!

Jennifer