Monday, July 05, 2010
Oh dear! I just looked at my last post... June 20th. Good grief! What have I been doing? Visitor from Europe for a week (including 4-day motorcycle ride... wheee... fun... above picture is my Suzuki at the summit west of Lillooet, BC) and quilting. So guess I'll post about the quilt I'm making...
It's a large double-bed quilt, a graduation present for my niece, Margaret, who is just getting her MA from the U of Minnesota. I suggested we feature pictures of her on the quilt and she asked for soft green as one of the colors.
It started with various pictures I collected from my own albums and from Margaret. Below are three of them.
Obviously, they needed some work. Here they are again, worked in Photoshop. I took out a lot of the color on all of the pictures and then added a sepia photo filter to even them all out. I gave each a border in a color similar to the fabrics I had collected for the quilt.
Besides the bunny costume picture above, the one below is my other favorite picture of Margaret. She's looking at a tattoo she had just gotten on her shoulder.
I printed the pictures on poplin fabric using my ink jet printer. The fabric sheets came from Jo-Ann's Fabric. It's easy. Print the pictures, peel off the backing, hand wash to remove the sizing (stiffener), dry and iron. Permanent color and ready to use fabric! (I don't see the product I used by Crafter's Images on Jo-Ann's website anymore, but this product looks similar.)
Then I cut piles and piles of strips of fabrics in various widths... 1 to 3.5 inches wide.
Randomly selecting strips, I sewed them around the pictures to create blocks. Below is a picture of the top 12 blocks (I did 20 in all) on my design wall. The 4 top left blocks and the 4 top right blocks are already sewn together to form two large blocks.
Because of the random widths of the strips and different sizes of pictures, the blocks are all different sizes. No problem. Just takes a lot of time and fussing to figure out what to put around and between the blocks to make it all come out the right. I used strips, piano keys and 9-patches to fill in the spaces.
Below are the finished blocks, sewn together and bordered with soft green. Notice the strips of fabric sewn together (piano keys) draped over the chair? I sewed them around the outside edge. They will drape down over the edge of the bed and make the quilt large enough.
The next step is to piece the back of the quilt and get it to a professional quilter. I thought about doing the quilting myself, but don't think I could roll it up tightly enough to fit under the small arm of my 1972 machine and I definitely don't have time to hand-quilt this one.
This has taken me many, many more hours than I expected. It turned out to be quite fussy getting the blocks to fit together pleasantly. Plus I ran out of many of the fabrics and had to labor quite a bit to get the piano key border to look good. No pictures of the finished top yet... maybe after it gets quilted.
Quilting is challenging for me. I'll be happy to get back to work on my June piece for the Bead Journal Project. I'm making progress, but haven't taken pictures yet.
My main word for July's BJP is FOCUS! I'm looking forward to starting that one soon... What a great word, eh?!