Thursday, July 1, 2010

A New Passion--Fabric/Quilted Postcards!

My friend Linda has inspired and motivated me...again!  Linda has been an accomplished artist for years.  Her paintings employ a variety of media and are symbolic, allusional, and totally unique.  Every time you see one of her paintings, you see something new and breath-taking.  I started quilting years before she did, but since the quilting bug bit this artist friend, she has now inspired me to try both journal quilts and now, fabric/quilted postcards!

The ones here are for my little great nieces, Katie and Alice.  Readers of this blog may recall that I made both girls little "quilties"--miniature versions of the quilts I made when they were very little--to take with them on trips.  Both girls are now at a camp in Wisconsin.  I had promised them I'd write, so I thought it would be fun would be to send each niece one of my fabric cards.  I found the cute girly fabric at Hobby Lobby.  I used friend Lin's method of adhering the binding strips to the four sides of the cards with adhesive, using Steam a Seam.   To personalize Katie's and Alice's cards, I bound each with fabric that was used in both their original quilts and their little quilties.  I found another super fabric at Hobby Lobby that was printed with the 50 states. So I used the Steam a Seam to adhere cut-outs of both Texas (where the girls live) and Wisconsin (where the camp is located).

For the backs of the postcards, I used fabrics to coordinate with the bindings--yellow for Katie and pink for Alice. Before binding, I fused both front and back to a product I've never used before, a very stiff double-sided fusible interfacing called InnerFuse.  I've added some swatches of the fabrics used for the fronts here to better show their character.

For the very first postcard I made I used another technique:  using fusible fleece for the batting. This postcard is lightly quilted, whereas the other two above are not.   The fleece was fused to front and back and then the two fused layers were sandwiched and then bound with narrow strips of fabric.  This is an early birthday card for Linda, who's been mentioned often in this post today!


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Aqua in Abstract: Finished At Last!

The quilt I began at Quilting Adventures in March, 2009, is finally done! I picked it up from my wonderful machine quilter and friend, Judy Steward, yesterday.  All it lacked was for the binding to be hand-sewn to the back, and this morning I have done that. 

I've discussed this quilt before, but to review briefly:  We began by doing "blind contour" drawings of a still life.  My still life consisted of a slender vase containing a few branches with leaves, a more rounded vase beside the slender one, both of these backed by a plate standing on its rim.  These items were arranged in front of some draped fabric.  Finding anything recognizable in the abstract design that resulted is difficult, except for some leaf shapes, some rounded ones that must be the plate, and who knows where everything else is! 

The resulting blind contour drawing, though, seemed an interesting design to me, and teacher Katie Pasquini-Masopust encouraged me to choose this to become an eventual quilt, over all the other drawings, water colors, and designs we had done in class.  I had brought a collection of batiks in my favorites shades of aqua, turquoise, teal, and dark blue to the workshop, so I cut the shapes from these.  Teacher Katie suggested to me that I add  some satin stitching, especially between some of the like-valued appliques, for added contrast.

After I had appliqued all of the shapes to a foundation, I did a bit the satin stitch embellishing, before handing the quilt over to Judy to be machine quilted.  Here are some close-ups of her superb quilting:

Here I've turned up a corner of the quilt so that you can see the lovely batik that I chose for the backing.
  I am indebted to my talented, creative teacher "Katie PM" for teaching me and helping me to work toward my dreams of becoming a true "art quilter" and to my good friend Judy for her constant encouragement and her exquisite machine quilting!