Oh my…this is going to be fun!!

Yesterday I described my ARGHHHH day and ended the post by saying that I would try the machine quilting again….maybe…..or maybe I would start a new project. I am sure that it is no surprise that I STARTED SOMETHING NEW!!!!

When I had my “Inspiration Day” last weekend, I found one fiber art piece that looked like fun and would give me a chance to try some different surface techniques. During the week I gathered up my supplies and today I made a test piece to see how things would work and see if the paints that I owned were appropriate.

The first step was to cut little swatches of lots of the fabrics that I had pulled….

I moved to the machine and free-motion stitched them down, using the full-circle darning foot rather than the open toe. This keeps the foot from getting caught under loose edges…..

Then I mixed up a few of my Setacolor paints. Before I show the result, let me tell you about my paint collection. Many years ago (maybe 15 or more) I happened to be in a Michaels store when they were obviously dropping the line of Pebeo & Jacquard paints, and I bought them for 25 to 50 cents per bottle. Needless to say, I stocked up. This is what I still have left after all of these years…..

Most of them are in pretty bad shape, either very thick or almost empty, but I am always impressed with what a little bit of water or a mixer such as white or black can do to revitalize them. Someday I will need to replace them but today is NOT that day.

I mixed up a small pot of blue and another of green and started painting……

The middle stripes were applied with a stiff brush and I think that the paint is a little too thick. The two outside rows (green on right and blue on left) were applied with a makeup sponge and I am much happy with their appearance. I also know that using a sea sponge would change the texture.

I was pleased with the coverage that the paint brought to the 3-D “stuff”, and especially happy with the flannel, burlap and color catcher…..

I don’t see the point to using silk unless I spend some time to ravel the edges and I have just had the idea to maybe cut out some circles and ravel around them. (See…this is why I blog….I get ideas as I write)!!

As I just now looked back at the project that I am emulating, I think that the paints were too thick and I will water them down and try to make it more of a wash rather than heavy paint.

Now I patiently waited for it to dry…..NOT SO MUCH. I laid down paper towels on the paint and used a dry iron!!!

The next step was to try stitching on it and seeing if it would work over the paint and especially over the raised embroidery work. I started with some basic stitching with regular thread…..

Then I tried one of the “buttercups”, made with Tulle and thread……

Probably too much Tulle, but I can adjust that as I go. ALSO, I just realized that I was supposed to use Organza rather than Tulle so that will make a huge difference!!

Final step was to try one of the Daisies. I decided to test my machine out buy using two threads at one time…..

I also slowed Juanita down to the turtle position…..

…..and started making LONG stitches by moving the fabric quickly when the needle was up……

This is certainly not perfect but at least I have an idea that I can accomplish it!!

I enjoyed playing with some threads that I have collected from over the years but never used for quilting purposes……

Finally, I took some red paint and tried doing a little dry brushing on the raised embellishments. I think that I might use this, especially if I put a group of embroidery flowers in one area.

Bottom line….I cant wait to get started on this project!!!!

Meadow Art….collecting the supplies

On Monday morning I had planned to start with my new drawing/painting regime, but I had several errands that had to be done in the morning and simply ran out of time. Plus, I managed to lose the leaf that I had collected for my first drawing inspiration!! I did eventually find it, but decided that it was telling me that it was okay to put it off for a bit.

Since one of my errands was to a local art/craft/fabric store, I spent some time going thru the supply list for the Meadow Quilt and seeing what I actually had on hand.

I pulled out the box labeled…..

“Other” meaning non-quilting fabrics….you can see that I don’t own many!!!

I found an inspiring array of fabrics, including two pieces of “Color Catcher” that might work as well……

The printed piece on the right is probably a polyester so I will see how it accepts the dye before I use any of it.

I also found a white silk scarf that had come as a freebie when I placed a dye order many years ago…..

Then I moved to my box of laces and trims and began looking for pieces that could look like flowers or weed in the background. Remember that these will all be painted over…..

My favorite find of the day was a long piece of tatted Tricot loops that my Grandmother made……

It will be so much fun to include a small section of this in the project!!

As I head to the store today, I am going to look for “Daisy” trim that doesn’t have the green leaves in it, maybe a white burlap and some yellow tulle for the buttercups.

I did buy one thing from Amazon because I couldn’t find it anywhere around here…..horticultural fleece. If you are like me you are saying “W H A T”??? This is the lightweight fabric that you use to cover your plants during a freeze. I bought a HUGE piece of it but will only use a few inches….at least it isn’t expensive!!!

I think that this project will be a blast!!!!

Kew Quilt – Fabric Selection

Okay….pattern is made. Now comes the fun part of choosing colors. I will say again that it is so sweet to be able to see all of my fabric at one time…..

….especially those that don’t fit naturally into one color family.

When I was telling my friend Linda about my ideas for this quilt, I said that it was going to be abstract with bright colors. But, as I thought more about it, I just wasn’t sure. Here are some of the questions that went thru my mind…..

  • Make it abstract with colors?
  • Solids or prints?
  • “Crazy” print in the windows?
  • Gradation colors coming up the sides?
  • Gradations in “steps”?
  • Gradations in “windows”?

As I pondered the last two questions, I came to a decision that I really wanted to do gradations in the steps and windows. As I looked further at the design, my resolve became even firmer AND I decided that I wanted to keep the center section in blacks and greys. I can always add some color to the outside rigging, making long strings of color….but that decision can wait!!

Now I needed to put together the gradations of blacks and greys. I started with grey and made a layout of what I “thought” was a good gradation…..

Normally, I would look thru these with my value finder….

….but for some reason it has gone missing!!!

Instead, I took the above photo and edited it to black and white…..

Okay….I see a few that need to be moved.

After repeating this procedure several times, I came up with a decent gradation…..

Next, I did the same thing with the blacks…..

Since the gradation will be from light to dark with BOTH sets of fabrics, I needed to put them side by side to see how they looked…..

The final step was to use the Q-Pins (that I reviewed HERE) to mark the fabrics so that I can keep them in the correct order…..

NOW comes the REALLY fun part…..how am I going to put this top together???