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. 🐰

Mother Nature

This quilt required a lot of different techniques that I have learned along the way. I still have a lot more to learn but I will take you step by step on this process.

Above ⬆️ you can see that I started out by tracing out an image of a face onto muslin. Then I cut out small pieces of fabric flowers and leaves to start shading in the face. This is a technique I learned from famed quilter, Susan Carlson, via her book, Serendipity.

My working piece is laid on top of foam core so I can push the pins into place as I continue to shade and collage the face in with my many cut fabric flowers and butterflies. I’m constantly changing and rearranging the flowers around until I think I have it right.

When I feel the piece is complete I start to glue the flowers down onto the muslin. I also use a product called Fray Block by Tailor to keep the fabric from fraying as this is a raw edge technique. This portrait is not glued down to the edge. This was done purposely so I can cut it out from the muslin and lay it onto my quilted background once that is completed.

The background to my Mother Nature quilt, of course, will be trees. The tree branches is a gold and white fabric that I bought from Joann Fabric because I thought it resembled the bark of a birch tree. For the leaves, I decided to do a confetti technique. It’s a pretty easy technique that I learned from watching a few YouTube videos. I laid my darker colors down first then added my lighter colors. I used a purple tulle to lay over the confetti leaves to stabilize it before quilting it down. I didn’t use all my confetti pieces so I bagged them individually to use for a later project. (⬆️ See the muffin tin I used to keep the confetti pieces separate.

Next came the hair. I know, it’s a shockingly a lot of dark color. I was hesitant at first about it, but I proceeded forward. I quilted a free motion feather technique that I also learned from watching YouTube videos (what can’t you learn from watching YouTube videos). The outside edge of the hair I sewed on purple emery floss to give it a pop of color. The thread I used for the feather quilting was also purple, however I didn’t like the purple color veining down the center of the feathers so I used my black inktense colored pencil to darken it in.

I cut out more of the butterflies and added them into her hair. I thought that this added more flow and depth to her hair. I added a white tulle to only her face to soften it a bit before I began the final quilting process.

⬆️ Here is a closer look at the free motion quilting I did on her face. As you can see, I free motion quilted in the natural contours of her face. In this photo you can also see a close up of the branches. I used a gold thread and a squiggly line to appliqué the branches. It was a bit frustrating as the gold thread isn’t strong and tended to break easily if I went too fast.

I decided on a 1/4 inch boarder of a matching colored fabric as the background. It measures 18×41 inches. Mother Nature now belongs to my daughter. She tells me that she loves it and has it hanging in her foyer and that makes me smile.