Thursday, 30 August 2012

Fabric Collage

So easy it's childsplay - literally! I have been wanting to try this technique for a while and have dabbled round the edges of it a little, with my "Flying High" quilt for example ( But having seen Kate Dowty's gorgeous work at the Festival of Quilts, and having a chat with her when she generously answered all my questions about her take on this technique, I thought I'd have a play with it with my two children, Joey aged 10 and Lily aged 8-next-week, scaling down and adapting it to make it child-friendly.

We worked on small pieces - Joey's 12" square, Lily's 12" x 15" and mine about the same. We cut pieces of wadding to the desired size ( I like Quilter's Dream Blend which is low loft and very stable, available from Cottonpatch). Then we spray basted with 501 and started to build up our pictures using scraps of fabric cut with scissors, making sure we overlapped the edges slightly so no wadding showed through. For Joey's quilt - "The Earth is NOT a Scrapyard" (his title), we drew round a plate first to mark the circle on the wadding, then I rotary cut a circle out of a square of black fabric to make the frame which we applied after he'd stuck all his scraps in place. For the mountains on "Lily's Landscape", we ironed some fusible to the piece of fabric and she drew the mountain shape on the paper side and cut it out, then we simply pressed it in place. Then we stitched over the pieces. Joey did a freemotion meander over his in a variegated blue/green thread except for Antarctica at the bottom where he used white. He then hand stitched white and silver beads onto the black frame to represent the sky. Lily did some freemotion wiggly lines in her foreground then softened the base of the mountains with some threadpainted grasses. She stitched wavy lines across the sky using a walking foot then hand stitched some yellow and pink beads in a circle on the sky for the sun.

Joey with "The Earth is NOT a Scrapyard!" and Lily with "Lily's Landscape"

My quilt is "Light Through Leaves" - I freemotioned wavy lines though the central diagonal light section then stipple meandered the darker corners for contrast. To finish the edges, we just trimmed them square then went round with a zig zag, adding corner pockets to the back for a hanging rod.

"Light Through Leaves"
To make a larger piece, this spray baste method probably wouldn't work. As you manipulated the piece thought the machine, the scraps would fall off. For a larger piece you would have to work in sections, stitching the scraps down as you went - but the spray baste holds well enough for small quilts like these. It was fun and as you see perfectly achievable for the children - all I did for them was the rotary cutting and ironing.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

New look website

Just spent the best part of the weekend redesigning and updating my website. Technology is not my favourite thing but with masses of help from Hans, we got there in the end without too much bad language! Have a look  Happy Bank Holiday!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Festival of Quilts

I went on Saturday with my boyfriend Hans and my friend Marilyn and what a fabulous show. My personal favourite was the Snake Goddess quilt by last year's best in show winner, Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga. This didn't win anything this year (shame!) though she did win the Pictorial category with another stunning African-inspired scene. The winner's list will be posted on the Twisted Thread website in due course.

I was absolutely delighted to get a Highly Commended for my own Pictorial Entry 'Genoeg Ganzen' - Dutch for 'Enough Geese'. The background for the piece is a silk/hemp blend I bought at a Farmer's market when I lived in France. The geese are made from a piece of Den Haan and Wagenmaakers' Dutch chintz fabric (google them, fabulous fabric, quite dear but worth it!) with the one seam method, meaning the edges are on the bias so can be curled over and stitched down cathedral windows style. They are also 3D and are padded with wadding to give them further dimension. The silk/hemp background was shaded with markal sticks before being freehand machine quilted.

The name was provided by my Dutch boyfriend - I like the alliteration as well as the sound of it with the gutteral Dutch 'g'. The inspiration came from driving home to the West Country in winter and the sun setting behind the bare trees. Ooooh! Still thrilled to bits about my 'Highly Commended'!!! :-D

Felted piece "The Westering Sun"

Finished! I was going to embellish it further but then decided that the little skein of geese in the sky was enough.
I've done a second workshop with the lovely Tracey and that piece - based on a night sky - is now awaiting stitching treatment. If you're interested in doing a felting workshop in Somerset, just send me an email and I'll pass on Tracey's details.