Saturday, June 15, 2013

3-D Spiral with Hand Dyed Fabric

I got a wonderful book, "Exploring Dimensional Quilt Art" by C. June Barnes, all the work is 3 dimensional, shapes, vessels, wall hangings, free standing shapes and odd forms. It is very intriguing to think out side the box, and not make something flat. Several of our artists in Fyber Cafe have made 3-D pieces for some of our challenges, but this book takes it to a whole different level. My first thought is they are made with fabric that is layered with stiff interfacing and batting, then heavily machine quilted, to give a firm fabric sandwich to work with. I cut out my pattern, a variation on something in the book, from manila folder, then taped the pieces together to see how the shape would work. I found with a spiral, the smaller the center hole, the less stretch there is. I cut my hole over 1" diameter, and got a much better proportion of stretch. So I am glad I made a manila sample first.
I began with a fat quarter of hand dye painted fabric in fuchsia, turquoise and purple. I layered the top, backing, cotton batting and two layers of stiff interfacing. I free motion machine quilted in matching rayon, following some of the pattern, small stipple, and "pebbles" circles. The quilting was close together and dense to give the fabric a firm texture. I traced my pattern pieces and cut out the fabric, I thought it had plenty of firmness. I began stitching in the center of each piece with fuchsia rayon thread in a satin stitch along the edge. Then stitched all the pieces together, to make the big spiral. I satin stitched along the entire edge, over a small gauge covered wire, with the same rayon thread. The circumference was long I'm glad I had a long piece of wire! A good lesson in the effects of Pi. I added a Japanese Braided cord as a hanging line, that I already had finished, and the colors matched! I wanted to add something dangling from the bottom, to add weight and help the stretch, I used the circles I had cut from the centers, satin stitched them and strung them with glass beads.

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