12×12 blue fabric quilt challenge #5

My Art2quilt group won $50 for an admission of an interpretation of Lillie’s in the 2017 Kaleidoscope show.

They took home $50 for the prize. I wasn’t part of the group at the time.

The group then took the prize money and bought $50 of umbre blue fabric for the 12×12 quilt challenge. It’s a beautiful piece of fabric and I was excited to choose a subject for this blue fabric. It is a very beautiful piece of fabric that reminded me of the sky, so I thought I would make it part of the background as the sky. Now the challenge became what to make in the foreground.

I have wanted to make a quilt of a jack rabbit ever since I saw the biggest jack rabbit in my life while traveling in Patagonia. This jack rabbit was bigger than my dog and she weighs 33 pounds! I truly believe that it could have been a jack-a-lope. But I digress.

I found the cutest picture of a jack rabbit online (Pinterest) and based my quilt around that ⬇️

Isn’t he just adorable! So off I went making my pattern and cutting, fusing, and gluing .

I love flowers of all sorts. I have a personal library of photos I have taken of just flowers during my travels 💐 🍎🌺🌸🌹🌷🌼🌻 For this 12 x 12 “challenge I thought I would KISS (keep it simple, stupid) it.

I used a zig zag stitch for the stems and using black thread, I free-motion quilted the pattern onto the flowers. I did this part of the work before I added the layers of quilting. I don’t know why I decided to do it this way, but for some reason I didn’t want all that thread work showing on the back of the final piece. In the end, I don’t think it really matters.

I decided to keep realistic colors with the rabbit and found four shades of browns in my growing fabric stash. I spent some time with the eye trying to get it to look realistic. I’m not very good with drawing, but I try my best. I think that layering fabric is easier than drawing ✍️.

The blade of grass in his mouth isn’t sewn in yet. I’m doing that last due to the sewing I have to do underneath it.

So here is the final piece. It’s sandwiched with a thin cotton batting. Not bad, I think. You can see that the same blue ombré fabric I used for the background I used for the binding. (2″ sash for 1/4 inch binding). I love how the ombré blended all the way around this piece. I continue using the black thread for the line drawing on the rabbit. I thought it made it look more storybook this way.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this.

When my kids were little we had a black and white rabbit we kept in a cage on my clothes dryer. We would take him out and he would hop around, chew on wires, scare the dogs. On nice summer days we would take him outside. He liked to be held, but you had to hold him with a firm grip, he liked the security. We called him Bunny. So, in honor of that little rabbit, long ago past , I shall call this piece Bunny. 🐰

Stained glass: 12×12 quilt challenge #4

My next quilt challenge was inspired by Anna Faustino’s book, Simply Stunning Seamless Quilts ⬇️

In her book she describes three different methods to create your stained glass quilt. For my quilt I decided to go with the tulle method.

The first step is to come up with a pattern you want to use. The book has patterns to work with too, but they were too big for my needs.

Since it’s summer time and I have at least six hummingbird couples coming to my feeders this year I decided I wanted a hummingbird quilt. After drawing the hummingbird onto my fusible webbing I started cutting the pieces out. ⬇️ The book tells you to use an Exacto knife, which I did use initially, but I felt I had better control with the smaller pieces using my small fabric scissors ✂️

I should also mention to make sure you use a good quality fabric when cutting small pieces, otherwise you have nothing but frayed pieces. (Lesson learned 🙄)

Using tweezers to separate the small pieces from the paper fusible webbing I laid the pieces onto my background fabric. Anna Faustino uses hand dyed fabrics for this part. Since I don’t have any, I found this piece of dyed fabric at Joanne Fabric. I think for future stained glass quilts I’ll try hand dyeing my fabric.

This bird is looking pretty lonely hovering in space like this. ⬆️

Let’s give it something to fly to.

Okay, so the picture above ⬆️ is the completed quilt. As you can see I added flowers to help ground this little guy. I used a double boarder in my binding. I don’t know if you can see the black tulle I laid over the quilt before free motion quilting on top. This method allows you to use raw edge appliqué and prevents fraying without having to sew directly on top of the cut pieces.

What I liked most about this particular piece is the back side. ⬇️

The free motion sewing around the pattern made a beautiful quilt on the back.

Life’s little pleasures.

Selfie

I love selfies. I especially relish the selfies my kids take. What mother doesn’t appreciate a picture taken of their children?

Technically, my children aren’t children anymore. They’re adults aged 23 and 20. My oldest is my daughter, Alexis. She’s a graduate of the CIA in New York and has her sommelier certificate level two working towards her level three. She has been living (mostly) independently for a few years now; she just couldn’t wait to start living her dream. I’m partially to blame because I raised my kids to be independent. I’m proud of her and her accomplishments so far, but it’s a double edged sword this independence that I instilled into her and it’s this: I’m not the center of her universe, she doesn’t need me like she used to when she was little. Today, I will cook her dinner or we’ll go out to lunch a few times a week. She tells me what’s going on in her life; her goals, her dreams, and her plans to achieve both. She’s the star of her life now and I couldn’t be more proud. It’s true what they say (whoever “they” are) hold onto them while they’re young because they grow up so fast.

So, that’s why I relish the selfies she takes and posts onto her social media. It’s a little window into her world.

⬇️ This is a selfie Alexis took a couple of years ago. When I saw it I knew immediately I was going to turn it into a portrait quilt.

I copied the picture from her Facebook wall onto my iPhone then went to FedEx/Kinkos. I sent to picture via email to the store, they accessed their email and printed the photo to my specifications. This takes a few minutes and costs less than $5. I suggest making a color copy and a posterized black and white for the color values.

I then trace the values of the black and white copy for my fabric piecing. I used the freezer paper method for this piece, and by tracing the copy it makes it easier to see when tracing the pattern onto freezer paper using a light box.

I started with the lips. When making teeth don’t use white only fabric, teeth aren’t naturally white white. Teeth have undertone colors of blue, grey, and or yellow. For her teeth I used a light grey, white and a very pale yellow for the dimensional effect. For the gloss on her lips I used a sheer fabric. For piecing this together I use fabric glue. “A little dab will do ya.” 😊

When cutting out the fabric from your freezer paper cut the pieces about 1/4 inch larger than the pattern so when piecing it together they slightly overlap.

You can see I did not use traditional skin tone colors. I felt for my daughter “skin tone” would not truly represent her. Alexis is an artist and she played with colors her entire life so I felt that should be reflected in this portrait.

When gluing down your piece onto the muslin do not glue to the edge. It will make cutting out your portrait from the muslin easier.

I found the perfect background color and now for the hair. It’s hard not to make the hair look like a helmet. I tried layering a few colors of fabric, but always hated the result. I then decided to hand embroider her hair. This is the only way I know how to texturize her hair without the occlusivness you get with layers of fabric.

⬆️ The hand embroidery stitching I used was straight stitch, split stitch, stem stitch, and chain stitch. The colors I used in her hair is blue, purple, magenta, pink, green, and lilac. I’m pretty sure her hair was every one of these colors at one time 😃.

The quilting is free motion. I quilt in the contours of her face and arm and for the background I patterned out a design using fabric pencil. The final piece measures 20″x24″. Alexis loves this portrait 💗💗

Another selfie, this time it’s a mother/daughter selfie 💗💗💗.

Mariano’s Gold Fish

My husband has a fascination with nature. He especially loves fish and birds. So, I made this quilt for my husband to match his enthusiasm for fish to hang next to his aquarium in his office. The inspiration for the style of quilting I use was from Susan Carlson’s book, Serendipity quilts: Cutting loose fabric collage. I bought my book on Amazon, but she also has videos on YouTube that I watched several times.

Fabric Collage is a lot of fun. I love picking, cutting and piecing the fabrics to create a beautiful image. I glued the pieces down with just a dot of fabric glue. Not too much glue because I don’t want the glue to get messy, just enough to stabilize the pieces so I can sew them down later. The lines are faint in this piece but I drew the fish first onto the muslin then started piecing on top. I don’t glue to the edge because I plan to cut the fish out and place it on the actual quilt.

Here’s fish number one ⬆️. I do use tulle over some areas of the fish to sort of blend the colors together.

My second fish is coming along nicely. This one has more emotion. I think he’s saying, “hi there!” I keep all my scraps, no matter how small, because you just don’t know when you’re going to need them.

I like the idea of creating a long and narrow quilt. I think it gives it more of a dimension of layers in the deep blue sea.

The first fish ⬆️ ended up with a beading the dorsal fin because I felt the original fin just wasn’t connecting well. The completed beading added the extra pizazz this fish needed.

Close up ⬆️. You can see how I free motion quilted the scales on this guy and sewed the gills on the side. The extra detail on the eye is perfect.

Not to be out done, I added a smitch more beading on the second fish’s head. The scales are the same as the first fish; free motioned.

I added more beads to create the water effect. When I bead, I generally work four beads at a time back stitching one bead for stability. I love the effect.

Here is the completed quilt. I know it doesn’t really show, but I used matching thread to the beads as I went up on the quilt so you can’t see that the bottom quilting is dark blue, then to green, then to teal, then a light green. I used different brands of thread, but the thread that was most easy to work with was definitely Aurafil and Gutterman. The worst thread was Coates and Clark.

My husband absolutely loves this quilt. 💕💗.

Designer Owl Pillows 🦉

This will be a simple short blog for a simple short project.

These two owl pillows were made with a simple design of raw edge appliqué. I drew out the pattern onto freezer paper and ironed the freezer paper onto my upholstery fabric. I cut the pattern out using my pinking sheers. I then removed the freezer paper and ironed the cut out fabric unto a fusible webbing. Once the design was ironed and fused together I sewed the edges about 1/4 inch using just a straight stitch. All the fabric is upholstery and since it is raw edge it will fray a bit. The fraying causes more of a distressed unfinished look which for this particular design I wanted. Both pillows were made of the same fabric, just in reverse for the eyes and body. The added trim, the applied buttons and embroidery give both pillows a unique look.

In the top design the eyes were made with two buttons on top of each other. All the buttons were purchased at JoAnn fabric using a coupon (of course). The beak on the top pillow was found in a package of buttons in the “steam punk” section. Gotta love steam punk. The bottom pictured pillow I tried my hand at embroidery. Both pillows are 8″x8″ and stuffed with Poly-fil. You can make this design any size you want. I kept it small because I used fabric I had on hand. This is an easy weekend project for a couple of cute designer pillows to make your home all that more personal and beautiful.