Posted in colorwork, hand embroidery, quilting

Oakleaf Hydrangea – The First Leaf

Yesterday and today I resumed work on the oakleaf hydrangea fabric paintings. Above you see the reference photo for the first leaf I am painting. I chose to do two experiments. Here are the two paintings after the first round of painting. The color wash – resist steps were complete and the paintings left to dry. In these photos, the water resist medium has not been washed out yet.

And here are the two paintings, washed, dried and with final details added, using Jacquard Textile paint inTurquoise and Goldenrod, so palette was quite limited.

It was a learning experience, trying to paint on dry fabric with thicker paints. I discovered how to add depth to the background by dry brushing. And I learned that my skill in painting delicate lines needs work. After the pieces dried, I pressed them and continued on to the stitching phase. I chose to work with the purple piece first, hand quilting with embroidery floss. Instead of backing with regular batting, I used cotton flannel, since it would be easier to push the needle through.

I carefully stitched over the major leaf veins, and then made two borders around the leaf margin. After finishing the leaf, I just improvised the background, using two shades of purple and two stitches – feather and chain.

So far, undecided about how to stitch down the edges. The choices are blind stitch or use a decorative blanket stitch. Does anyone have a recommendation?

Posted in quilting

Jubilee Quilters Show

Yesterday I attended a show hosted by our local quilt group. To say it was inspirational is an understatement. Who knew that in our little county of 50,000 residents there were so many superb fiber artists? Because the organizers permitted photography, I took a number of images. It was hard to narrow it down to favorites, but I am pleased to share the following:

This is called a Bargello pattern.
Technically superb. How did the maker create all those perfectly round circles?
Created using a jellyroll group of fabrics. Name of quilt is “Ocean Deep.”
My favorite wall hanging quilt. The giraffe is created with dozens of flower shapes sewn atop one another. The birds and vines are fussy cut applique.
My favorite large quilt. It is a log cabin style, using batik fabrics.
I chose this one because the maker used hand-dyed fabrics for her squares.

I admired the quilt below for its irregular and artfully placed strips, as well as for the cute applique ladybugs. The maker created it while recovering from a lung transplant. She finished the squares before passing away in 2008. Her grandmother sewed the top together.

I hope you enjoyed these quilts, and found them as inspiring as I did.

Posted in hand embroidery, quilting, sewing

Fiber Arts Class String Quilt Sampler

Dear Fiber Friends,

After five days of baby care and two days of travel, I have insufficient creative energy to start something new. So it’s a good time to finish up the works in progress. Primarily on my mind is the string quilts that my students are working on. It is my practice to have a good example of a finished work for my students, both to inspire and instruct. As I previously posted, I had finished the top. Today I completed the backing, quilting and binding of this sample. Here is the piece squared-off with the backing fitted and pressed. This piece will be self-bound by folding over the backing.

Wonky perspective is due to my odd camera angle.

I decided to use as many different (beginner) quilting techniques as possible, so that the students could see the possibilities. The image below shows the piece after quilting is done. I used hand quilting and some machine quilting.

Quilting techniques include knot-quilting, buttons, running stitch, and contour quilting by hand; and stitch-in-the-ditch and parallel lines by machine. And here is the finished sampler with binding blind-stitched. I used folded corners, since I consider mitered corners to be a more advanced technique.