Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Morning star

It's been a while. It's been such a while that it's actually time to give back the trophy I wrote about two posts ago...
Our little lady has finished her wonderful Daisy Chain quilt and is starting a new one, called Morning Star.

It measures about 8'' and is all machine pieced and quilted (in fact, I think I quilted it too much for the size, I like the effect, but it's now very stiff). The main thing here was playing with colour to make it shine.

So, it's all ready to go to this year's winner and I really hope they like it.

This is the nice thing about IPS James Lawlor Trophy - although the figurine moves on, every winner gets to keep the previous winner's mini quilt forever and ever. Just to remind, this is the beautiful Daisy Chain by Linda Cowley that I get to keep, it's also about 8'' and it has hand appliqué and embroidery as well as mind-bogglingly precise crosshatch quilting.

And this is the bronze quilter when she is not working on a quilt (but planning the next one, apparently):

Linking up to the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie

Monday, 14 January 2019

Studies in Transparency

I've been very busy during my college break and managed to finish a lot of quilting projects, but this one was the most pressing - and very interesting, too!

It was my Dance of the Goddess quilt that attracted attention at the Hands across the Border exhibition and I was asked to teach a workshop on the technique.

It is essentially free motion quilting with tulle (netting) appliquéd to create a semi-transparent, ghostly image. The challenge was, so, to think of simple small images that would work well with this kind of transparency and can be done in a day. I came up with a list of ideas that could be rendered in tulle and managed to put together five little samples.

The key to working with netting is the interaction of colour between the background fabric and the netting itself, it has to be contrasting to the background to be seen at all, but then it should kind of blend with it as well. This sunset scene is the simplest, but a great opportunity to play with colour. The layering and folding creates interesting transitions.

The quilting plays a very important role, as the thread is oftentimes more visible than the netting itself.

This aurora landscape is, obviously, a simplified version of the original. You can see that the darker colours of netting are almost invisible in one layer and barely seen when folded in several layers, but the thread helps to bring them out.

Another favourite motif  of mine - light shining through young leaves in spring or early summer. The effect is not quite achieved here, but I like the fresh and delicate feel of this one.

It is the only one where the background is not cotton, but some kind of synthetic with a hint of "chameleon effect", and I like how the echo quilting works with it.

Since we have transparent leaves, we can't do without transparent flowers, right? And what better than some poppies?

I was more adventurous in the choice of background fabric here, and it almost steals the show - but it's quite hard to steal the show from these guys.

I couldn't resist adding little 3D details , though if it wasn't a sample but a quilt in its own right, I would add some 3D petals, too - can even envision a whole field of poppies in various shades of red, with rich texture coming out of the flat surface. Maybe I'll do it some day.

The last piece is probably the least successful, but I see ways of improving it.

It would, too, benefit from the addition of 3D flowers.

And the cherry trees are probably too abstract-looking. But mostly, it's the composition that is not doing justice to the subject.

It was an interesting exercise for me, trying to find the different ways to showcase the material, and I still have several ideas I haven't tried out. Hopefully, workshop participants will have some fresh ideas as well, really looking forward to it.

Linking up to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Off the World Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie

Friday, 19 October 2018

Star of the Sea

This post is well overdue, and the emotion has already subsided, but let's say we all gathered here to celebrate the winning of a pretty little award almost two weeks ago!

This is the happy winner:

Actually, this is the happy winner:

And together:

And now the full story. Each year, the participants of the Irish Patchwork Society AGM are invited to take part in in a challenge, where they usually are asked to bring a mini quilt on a particular theme. I took part last year, and the year before. The winner (determined by popular vote) receives the James Lawlor perpetual trophy - a clever and beautiful thing, which is a miniature statue of a quilting lady (bronze, I think) working away on a miniature quilt made by the previous year's winner, this one was made by Linda Cowley:

This year's theme was "Star" and I decided to make a star fish as I was working on my 3D samples and had just made another, little star fish. This one, though is THE star, very bright and unmissable attention-grabber...

... relaxing in the gently lapping waves of a warm sea...

Linking up to:
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Freemotion Mavericks at Lizzy Leonard Vintage Sewing
Finished or not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Show off Saturday at Sew Can She

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Sentimental Sampler

This is another workshop sampler for 3D appliqué techniques in quilts. It's 9'' by 12'' and it's supposed to be a classic still-life come alive.

If you read my blog before, you might recognise the rose, which is basically the same as in the Dancing in the Wind quilt, only a more dramatic colour. this time I used two different shades of red - a darker one for the outside of the petals and a lighter one for the inside which is seen in the curled bits.

The rose has leaves made with a single layer of fabric:

Then there is the green apple - yummy!

And the pink flowers (I think they look like apple blossoms, but they don't really have any branch to keep them in the vase)

You can have a look at my other 3D samplers here and here, they feature all the same techniques assembled into little scenes.

Linking up to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina Marie

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Seafloor Sampler

Following the Succulent Sampler, which received very nice feedback, I'll continue posting my 3D samplers.

This one also uses several different techniques for creating 3D elements to show a little underwater scene. To be honest, I don't quite like how the layout turned out, and I might still change it somewhat, but as a technique demonstration, I think it works fine.

It started with a quilted background 12'' square - quilted, logically, with pebbles - in a sandy kind of colour, with a couple of raw edge appliqué pebbles thrown in.

As seafloor generally is, this bit is densely populated. The star of the show is the star fish:

Then there's the seashell in lovely yellow Stonehenge fabric:

A coral (I think it's what's called a "brain coral"):

A couple of different kinds of seaweed:

And - I bet you didn't notice it in the first picture - a little jelly fish:

Well, maybe you still can't see it, but that's often the case with jelly fish. This particular one is made with white organza and netting - very see-through altogether.

I really love playing with these samples, trying out different shapes and variants.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social at Sew fresh Quilts

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Dancing in the Wind

Sorry to those who already saw this quilt (very recently), but it is my favourite project of the year and so I just have to enter it into Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.

It's very simple piecing with some blocks featuring a bit of hand embroidery and 3D appliqué - my latest craze.

Here are all the little ballerinas who are dancing in the wind:

The triangles are made of blender fabrics with subtle floral/botanical prints and quilted with wonky triangle spirals, which creates a nice texture. And it's all as bright as it can be - just the way I love it.

I recently encountered a quote by J.W. Goethe, which goes: "...savage nations, uneducated people and children have a great predilection for vivid colours". I'm still wondering which of these categories I belong to...

Thanks for visiting and do check out all the quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival - some fabulous stuff there!

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Succulent Sampler

I'm trying to finish my workshop samples before my college year starts, and I have to tell you, it's a lot of fun. So when I saw that Blogger's Quilt Festival is on, I thought I'd share the fun with everybody!

This is one of the samplers for a workshop on 3D appliqué, and it features several different techniques for creating 3D shapes, all crammed together into a mini quilt 12'' by 9''.

I love succulents and they seem to be trending now (or is it just my Pinterest feed?), so it was fun to try and recreate some of the shapes in fabric. There was a lot of behind-the scenes experimentation, I went through four different versions of the cactus, before I arrived at a variant which is both fast to make and pretty.

Here are the close ups:

The 3D elements are hand-appliqued on top of a completed quilt sandwich with binding. I chose a simple, but bright background and kept it all in an analogous colour scheme.

I think they turned out nice, with all the different shades of green and the little brown pots, and they are easy to make, too.

Do visit the Blogger's Quilt Festival, there are already a lot interesting entries and more are added, as it s open till September 24th.
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