Thursday, January 7, 2016

Flying With Free Motion

Sometimes my best ideas come about when I'm in that lovely zone of being half asleep and half awake.  This morning I was hit with the idea of finally trying my hand at free motion quilting to embellish my lovely bird sketch from yesterday's post.

I had already purchased the darning foot needed so I found a YouTube demo video of free motion sewing for beginners.  Then I pulled out my handy dandy sewing machine manual and discovered that "Yes! My feed dogs could be lowered!"

Scraps of fabric handy, I began the process of testing my tension until I got it just about right.  After a few more rounds on the scrap fabric, I pulled out my bird and began to try my hand at free motion sewing.  It was a bit tricky at first, but as I began to feel how to smoothly move it under the needle, I relaxed.  It suddenly felt more natural.  I love the back as much as the front. This is what I came up with...

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Playing With Derwent's Inktense

Yesterday, at my Dragon Ladies Fiber Group, Lisa brought her Christmas present for us to play with.  These Derwent Inktense "pencils" are amazing.  Permanent watercolor-type pencils blend beautifully on cloth or paper but when dry, they are permanent.  The colors were remarkably strong, even when water was added.  

I tried my hand with these pencils by drawing a simple bird sketch and found them to be very easy to control, blend, and define my drawing.  I think they have many excellent qualities regardless of the medium used.  I plan to heat set my sketch on muslin to truly test for permanence.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Resist Two More!

I can't seem to resist...resist!  Here are my latest two blocks for a community quilt fundraiser.
I'm quite certain I'll soon be creating another quilt using this art medium...stay tuned!

Friday, January 1, 2016

I Want To Give You The World...

There is a reason that I haven't posted in 5 daughter's wedding quilt. Not that it took this long to create, but it was a surprise that culminated in the presentation during the reception of our Cake Eater's Show at Two Twelve Art Center in Saline, MI.  I couldn't take the chance of her happening on a post before the surprise was ready.  Thank you for your patience!

My last post chronicled my newest passion of glue resist fabric painting which I had learned only a few weeks previous.  I fell in love with this fun and free technique that gives the look of batik.  I was so inspired that I decided to create a world quilt for my world traveling daughter and her new husband.

They live in Singapore.  In fact, that is where she met Enghui.  They have been saving their pennies for the last three years so they could travel the world for a year.  Quite the honeymoon don't you think?

How was I going to create the world?  After all, I'm not God!  So I sized it down a bit.  First, I printed out a map of the world, and after deciding on the size of the quilt, I drew the map into 10 inch grid sections.

Then I pre-washed a good quality white muslin fabric and cut it into 10.5"square sections.  I then started drawing in the continents using Elmer's blue gel school glue. This was a technique I had just learned the previous month in my fiber arts guild.  These prayer flags were my first attempts...

This was used in the finished quilt as the tag.  it is a reproduction of their wedding invitation.

After letting the glue dry, the hand painting began.  

When all the continents were painted and detailed using salt to create texture, I heat set each square using my hand iron then soaked them in warm water for several hours to loosen the glue.  Finally, I tossed them into the washing machine to wash the rest out and iron dried them.

 Now I had to decide how to create the oceans that had no land touching them.  I considered solid or patterned fabrics but they just seemed too static for the free form of hand painting.  So I chose another new technique I had learned at a friend's home with another group of fiber friends called the Dragon Ladies.  This technique was called "Ice Dying".  I used Procion powder dyes sprinkled over mounds of ice piled onto pre-treated and crumpled muslin.

After heat setting these, I began piecing my world puzzle together on the top of my bed.  I began to get quite excited by the results!

I was able to stitch them together, create a backing piece, and prepare the binding in advance and have the top and backing to the long arm quilter the day before Lauren and Enghui arrived home.  Then secretly, I bound, attached the label/wedding invitation, and a hanging sleeve without their notice.  Then the hardest part began.  I had to wait for the artist reception to present this gift!

Here is a preview in the Saline Post featuring my quilt!

It was wonderful watching their reaction when they realized the quilt was for them!  Enghui was the first to notice.  "Why is our wedding invitation on this quilt" he asked.

Lauren examining the back of the quilt.