I finished working on "Icarus" in plenty of time for the deadline. I free motion quilted the feathers, that I had stenciled, I went slow and easy to get as much control and detail as I could. I used a gray rayon thread, it was rather dark, but worked out ok. I had planned on a lighter gray more silvery color, but I did not think there was enough thread on the spool. I did not follow the style feather in Quilting Arts magazine, as I had the stencils to guide me. It went quickly, even though I was stitching slow, all the feathers were done in an hour and the background a half hour.
The background quilting is not as dense as the feathers. Wavy lines and spirals gave a very free airy movement feel to it. The background puffs out a bit and the feathers recede and look flat, a very different look.
Since the long strip was just a leftover, probably the end of the bolt that was too narrow for me to use as a nine inch strip, it was very raggedy. It was difficult to trim square, I kept cutting a little more, and a little more, it finally finished at 7.5" wide and the whole 42" long. I had a similar ice dyed fat quarter that I cut for the binding.
A yellow hand dyed fabric with a little rust color was used for the 8" diameter base of the sun, and all the 3-D embellishments are from a very pale smooth yellow. I began with small prairie points, just a bit difficult to make turn a circle, then covered the edges with ruching. The hand dyed fabric was a very high quality, that we used a bolt of for several dye sessions. However it was such a tight weave it was hard to hand stitch through. It took me several sessions of stitching, as I had to take breaks for my hands to uncramp. I had cut a slash in the center to turn the sun/batting and backing right side out, so I covered it with a large yoyo and a bright yellow center button.
I hand beaded the strands of beads to attach the sun to the feathers. Glass, crystals, squares, and free form yellow beads made a nice heavy strands, no seed beads or bugle beads, I wanted something more substantial. The middle of the center strand has a hand made lampwork bead, that my friend Meredith made for me one Christmas. I treasure the little bag of beads she gave me. I was going to use a blue one at the bottom, but I stitched too fast and forgot it. Getting it to hang even, with even strands on each side was a bit tricky.
I had thought about adding feather clusters hanging from the bottom, but then decided not too. That did NOT stop me from going to Joann's and Michaels's and purchasing extra blue beads. I wanted to match the types of beads I used at the top. I figured I spent $20 even at half off, to make 8" of beaded strands. oh well, more beads for the stash. I also wanted to match the stenciled feathers and got a $2 bag of white feathers, probably chicken. As you can see from the photo I did add the feathers to the bottom. Where I had an existing white plastic hook on the wall, it now puts the feathers into kittie range, I am waiting for her to discover them.
As you can see, it is VERY long, probably 60 inches. They always ask for rules when we make a challenge. Our guide lines for the challenge are about 20" on a side. But I tell every one, we are artists, we break the rules, so what ever works for you. I have the perfect little piece of wall to display it, but I am not using the white plastic hooks, they stick out too far from the wall and it does not hang smoothly. See the previous post to see the stencil work on the hand dyed fabric. The Umpqua Valley Quilters' Guild show is the following weekend at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, on Interstate 5. I finished with a week to spare! Our Fyber Café art group, will have our own display area. We will display the round robin tote bags, the "Flights of Fancy" challenge art, and extra pieces of art the members have made. If you are in Southern Oregon from Ashland to Corvalis, and over on the coast, please come and see our show, they registered over 300 quilts for display. This does not count special exhibits or vendors displays. I will link this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click here to see what other talented textile artists are doing this week.