Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Curves continued

I have finished quilting my curvy project. I sketched out several quilting ideas on paper before I started, and I am glad I did. I ended up doing something completely different than what I had in my head to start with. I used rayon thread in the top and a variegated cotton thread in the bobbin. This caused lots of tension problems, because the cotton was so heavy and the rayon so slippery. I matched the rayon thread color to the fabric, so there were a lot of thread changes. First I sewed all the raw edges to the background, I use a back and forth stitch pattern, so each edge has three rows of stitching securing it. Then I went back and pebble quilted the fabric circles, and used a matching thread to do the other circles.
The background areas, I wanted to recede, so I did a small stipple in those areas. I was worried that it would hide/blend the hand dyed variations, but the color and texture came out well. Looking at it as a whole, I probably should have done a photo so I could see the value changes better. I put it together very randomly, trying to separate hot and cool colors in a balance. But I did not double check on the values, one end is definitely darker than the other. I'm not sure the photos really did the colors justice, I tried to adjust the color a little bit in Photoshop, I'm not sure it made it any better.
To finish off the quilting I used a walking foot to add a 1/4" echo quilted line on the curvi-licious sections, changing thread colors again with each fabric. Good thing my machine has an easy thread feature. I think it adds definition to the shapes and keeps them from being too puffy.
For the backing fabric I pieced the remainder of the large piece of muslin we drip dyed this summer. That is why I used the variegated thread. If I have enough fabric left, I'll use it for the binding too. It is quiet long, almost 6 feet, I hung it on the curtain rod of the doorway curtain to take the picture. Maybe my sewing room door will be it's permanent home. I'll put a sleeve on it so it can be hung either vertical or horizontal. Now, to come up with a name for it. The shape brings to mind handrail spindles or balustrades. Any ideas?

I'll be linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge in the right hand column to see what other talented textile artists have done this week.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Since returning from NY and seeing the AQS Syracuse show, I have been wanting to play with my new "Gadget," a "Curvelicious" ruler. Well I guess it is not a ruler as it has no measurements on it, so let's call it an acrylic template. It is 24" long and barely fit diagonally in my suitcase, I was worried it would get snapped in half by the airlines. My main intention is to use it with my hand dyed fabrics. My hand dyed collection has been growing, and I am always looking for a new project to use them in. I like to have a project going with my vintage fabric collection too.
My hand dyed fabrics have outgrown the 3 boxes I had them in, so I took them all out and refolded and fondled them. Unfortunately most were fat quarters, and not long enough for the 24" template. My last batch however was long 1/3 yard strips, and worked just perfect, but I did not have the color assortment I wanted. I began by cutting 4" strips, since I could not find the instructions, didn't even bother looking. Well, really they should be the width of the template plus half the width on either side, with seam allowance I should have cut 7 1/2" strips. But the pattern looked good anyway, just that they were butted up next to each other, instead of having the negative space be the same as the template.
When it was demonstrated for me, she had fused the whole strip, but I did not want that much fusible, so I cut 1" strips and fused them to the spindle shapes. I use Pellon 805 "Wonder Under" for a fusible, but I went and got a new batch and it is DIFFERENT and not in a good way. Way too plasticy, it did not iron on as easily, and did not stick very well either. I am not a happy camper. But I've got 6 yards to use up, thankfully it was on sale.
Another thing with the template, is that you need the smallest rotary cutter, to cut the concave curves, even with that it was still snagging on the plastic, and being difficult to use, she had even cut the small decorative circles with the small cutter. But I used a plastic template, drew around the circle and cut them by hand.
My OCD had me cutting until I ran out of fabric, it made quiet a long set of strips. I had planned on doing 24" blocks and put them together in alternating directions, but it did not come out square, so I made it one long set of strips. It is too wide for a table runner, so I think it will go on the back of a door. I plan on working in a series with this template, so in my mind I have solved the problem of the alternating blocks. I also want to play with shadows, I have scraps that have a curvy side and a straight side, and lots more circles, and lots of other ways to use this template. Now to start quilting.
See you next Friday, on Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge in the right hand column to see what other very talented textile artists have been doing this week.