Stabilize me!!

A month or so ago, I posted about finishing up a Thread-painting that one of my friends had started…..

It was stabilized with a super-heavy backing which made the stitching easy to do.

Unfortunately, it meant that the piece could not be quilted so I ended up just turning it into a piece of wall art.

NOW I am planning to make a similar one for myself……

….but I can’t figure out what type of stabilizer to use.

I visited my local JoAnn’s and found tons of different types of interfacing!! Completely overwhelmed, I picked four types to bring home and try.

I planned my test pieces so that one section was sewn straight on the backing fabric and one section was on a piece of fabric that was fused down.

Here are my results……

The first was Pellon 931 which is called a” Fusible Midweight”.

Stitching on the fused fabrics worked okay, but there is definite puckering on the other side….

Next was Pellon 987 which is a “White Fusible Fleece”….

. I had great hopes for this version as it would give the piece a bit of texture. Alas, there was TOO much texture……

….but not TOO bad.

Next was Pellon 808…. “Craft-Fuse”…..

This one was the worst for distortion……

Finally, I tried Pellon 80 (Heavyweight Stabilizer). This one is different because you SEW it in rather than fuse it on…….

This provided the least amount of distortion…..

All of these stabilizers worked well on the areas where another fabric had been fused to the backing but this one was the only one that worked equally well with just one layer of fabric.

I think the fact that it isn’t physically attached (fused) gives it room to shift a bit.

The thing that I don’t like about this stabilizer is that it is thick and will definitely turn the piece into an art piece rather than a quilt.

So, that is where I stand right now and I could really use your help…..

What stabilizers do you use??

The “Botero Flower Field” is FINISHED!!

Yesterday, I talked about quilting the background of the Flower Field quilt, leaving it at this stage…..

Now I needed to figure out how to finish the edges of the quilt. I debated about adding a border to the final quilt but quickly decided that it didn’t need it.

It was time to square up the quilt and I used my laser Square…..

I was surprised about how much the fabric had shifted and skewed during the surface design process.

After it was squared up….

….I had to decide how to finish the quilt edges.

I would have preferred to simply face the quilt but I was afraid that having all of the dimensional stuff along the edges would mean that a facing wouldn’t have turned well.

In the end, I added binding but matched two separate binding fabrics to the top and bottom so that it wasn’t as noticeable. This was a great compromise to facing the quilt.

At long last, the experiment was finished!!…….

It was such a fun process and I look forward to trying something like this again really soon!!!

Now I just have to find a name for the quilt……


A free creative morning….

Yesterday morning I set 3 hours aside for creative ventures and I was scared stiff!!

WHY is that such a scary proposition??

I knew the project that I wanted to play with, but it is something that I have never tried before and that scares me to death!!!

It shouldn’t but it sure does!!

OKAY….here is the project!!

During COVID days, one of our guild members (Sharon) took an online course from Michelle Mischkulnig of Chelle Textiles. In that class, she created this amazing threadwork scarf…..

I fell in love with it and immediately got onto the website and started reading about her process. She uses a water-soluble Vilene as the base for all of the stitching. The Vilene is sticky on one side, so the idea is to place lots of threads, yarns, and embellishments on the sticky side of the Vilene and then place another piece over the top, sticking the two stabilizers together with all of the bits in the middle. Then you quilt like mad to connect all of the bits and pieces. When the stabilizer is washed out, it leaves a lovely lacy scarf.

Now, I didn’t really want to make a scarf but I loved the idea of using this technique.

THE INSPIRATION…….Back in April, I posted this photo of a Botero painting and said that I found it inspiring…..

…but could I use this new technique to make some similar??

My first decision was to not work directly on the Vilene but to use a piece of dyed cheesecloth as my base. I was originally thinking about a green background for the bottom but found a piece that was already dyed brown and decided to just use it…..

I adhered the stabilizer to one side of the cheesecloth…..

My first plan was to cover this piece of cheesecloth with lots of threads and other bits…..

…but I quickly realized that I wanted to STITCH these on and not just lay them down. So I sat down to stitch.

But then I got worried and decided that I needed to make a test piece first. So I prepared a smaller piece and started stitching…..

….only to find out that the fabric bunched up a lot with the stitching.

I added a 2nd piece of stabilizer to the back and that made all the difference….

With the big piece double stabilized, it was time to start some stitching, and MAN was it fun…..

I started with a variegated green thread and put the pedal down and FLEW across the piece. It was so freeing to stitch with such abandon!!

I did have to stop once when my needle got gunked up with the adhesive, but a quick clean with an alcohol wipe solved that problem….

At the end of my scary creative time, I had this to show……

Where am I going next with this?

THAT question makes my head hurt!!

Come back for more and, if you have suggestions, PLEASE pass them on!!

Meadow Play

Don’t you just love it when you finish a project, and especially when you feel like you did a good job!!!

This past weekend I spent several hours doing the last of the hand embroidery and yesterday I called the Meadow Art piece complete!!!

The final thing to do was to put it in a frame. I had bought a reclaimed wood frame from Amazon a few days back and was so excited to see it ready to hang……

This has been a fun project and one that has opened my eyes to ways of adding texture and depth. There is another design in this book that uses architectural designs and I can see lots of possibilities in it as well.

So what’s next??? Today I start quilting on the Brown Stripe quilt and then I need to look back on my “Inspiration Day” to see where I want to head next!!

Practice makes… crazy!!!

The last step on my Meadow Art project is to add the daisies. In my last blog installment about this project, I showed some of my attempts and concluded that the best way to do them was to do the initial work on the machine and then use embroidery floss to finish the petals (#4).

THEN, I started thinking about using Perle cotton in the bobbin and working the flowers from the back. The first few attempts were not successful as I didn’t have the tension set correctly……

I kept changing settings until it looked like this…..

Those are better and would work for another type of flower, but not for these daisies!!

I made several other tries using a smaller Perle cotton (size 5) in the needle but it just didn’t look right.

In the end, I moved back to my plan of machine work under and hand-work over.

I decided to color in the centers to give me an idea of exactly where I wanted the flowers to fall…..

….. and then stitched the first five flowers on the machine The two on the left have been finished completely with hand stitching and centers stitched……..

They are not nearly as good as the ones on the sample, but they do look good on the piece. I also noticed that the ones on the sample have some shading on certain sides of the petals so I am going to explore that further before I finish the artwork.

The important thing is that I am still enjoying this process and am already starting to think of other ideas that I want to do in this same format!!