Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Visting Oregon and Quilting for the Fair

Well we're finally back from our short trip. It rained the whole two weeks we were gone. I tried to get some pictures to use for my art but not many came out. We took a short trip along the Columbia gorge. I specifically wanted to get some great pictures of the landscape and falls. Not much luck. I think I only have about two pictures that inspire me to do anything.

I am now madly working to complete my art quilts that I have entered in our Sonoma County Fair.
I have one pinned ready to quilt and bind. The other is ready to quilt then bind it but I took a detour and am now trying another idea.

The quilt that is almost ready is from the one in my recent writing that I entered in the Bernina "Stitch this" challenge at Quilting Arts. I was not the winner, so I had no need to keep the quilt as it was.

I un-stitched the binding and the backing. My plan was to do some silk ribbon embroidery and then add another wider border and binding. I have finished all the embroidery. It looks fine and now I have to do the quilting. I am planning to only quilt a few places. Just enough to hold the backing and batting from shifting. Maybe only around the swan and the lilies and then stitch around the inside of the border.

July 28,2010

One thing that almost stopped my progress was something I was not aware of about fusible batting. I was having a gay old time ironing and steaming everything when suddenly I noticed that the batting was shrinking. It only did it where it wasn't stitched. It seems that the glue for fusing the batting to the project was the shrinking culprit. I would advise any one who hasn't discovered this that they don't use the fusible batting or don't use steam in the iron. Spray glue should work just as well to secure your fabric to the batting. I have found that this keeps the quilt softer too. I had to take the time to cut away the offensive batting. It soon became a sort of a trapunto look. As you can see by the pictures the swan and the lilies are puffed up and I also added extra stuffing. Everything has turned out better. All of the wrinkled fabric was in the puffed area and the wrinkles steamed out when I backed it with the extra stuffing. This was not my idea. Diane Milne (sp) of Colorado wrote into Nancy Zieman about a quilt she had done for a landscape quilt. She had done the same thing with Huntley Castle, Scotland in her quilt as I was doing with my quilt. She gave me the idea. See Nancy's episode #3 on Landscape Quilting with Natalie Sewell. (You can see Natalie's quilts at http://www.nataliesewell.com/gallery.htm and get more of her ideas on landscape quilts). As you can see from the picture on the left I finished it. I did free motion quilt the border. It needed it after all of the needlework in the primary scene.

The second quilt is one I did for a friend of her ancestral home. She had asked me if I would do a watercolor of it but I decided to do a landscape quilt of it instead. I printed the home on fabric after colorizing it and removing unwanted portions on Adobe Photoshop. My friend told me what she remembered the color to be when she visited it as a girl. I added trees and flowers from the some of the left over fabric I used for the swan. This one was simpler. I didn't want to take away from the house so I kept to the darker fabric. The picture I used is from around the 1930's and had looked pretty much the same since it was built in the 1880s. On this quilt I did all of the stitching on the stabilizer (dress pattern making fabric). I attached all of the pieces I had added and stitched around the house and car. I also added decorative stitches and free motion to the quilt.

After composing, quilting and adding borders to the scene I decided I really needed to add something else. I had pictures of the original owners (my friends great grandparents). I decided to add them. I then found their census page for when they lived there in the 1890s and also a map of the state of Missouri and the Missouri state flower. I found these on line. I printed them out on fabric the same as the house. I then used applique to put them at the lower edge of the quilt and into the border.

This house is still there and still occupied. They have since painted it all white and added a carport. It still looks just as grand.

Now for the not so good news. After all that work and trying to meet my deadline I was ready to take my things to the fair. I was double checking where I was supposed to drop off everything. I had entered some of my jewelry also. Looking at the quilt entry I noticed that they were due on July 8th, this is now July 12th. Last year I took all of my things in on the same day and unfortunately thought it was the same this year. I guess I wasn't the only one who missed. The fair people said others had missed that date too. So, the jewelry went in but the quilts did not. I guess they will have wait and be entered next year.

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