The Invitation

I’m organizing our December show at The Ice House. Usually I do a winter theme but this year I’m changing it to a miniature show. There’s no theme so everyone is free to do whatever they like! The only requirement is that all the work is 6” x 6” in size. 

My immediate reaction was to reply “Thanks for thinking of me, but I don’t work with anything that small…” however as I considered Brandt’s invitation I thought “that’s an interesting challenge” so I began playing with an idea.

6″ x 6″ – #2

I cut out a 10.5″ x 10.5″ square of white fabric, then went to the box of scraps with fusible web already applied, pulled out the bag with red/orange/golden bits and cut out “bean” like shapes. I drew a centre 6″ x 6″ block, then filled the space.

6″ x 6″ – #1

This is actually the first block I tried – after fusing the beans in place I edge stitched each, changing thread colour as I went along. The stitching took time, but it went reasonably quickly – fast enough that it was worth trying more (hence the second incomplete panel above).

Each piece needs to be signed. I sign my work with a machine embroidered signature. On a piece as small as this, the signature needs to be small! I spent several hours trying various fonts in my embroidery software but none is set up to create a stitched signature small enough. I wrote out my signature, tried using it as background to create an embroidery – those didn’t stitch out well either. I went back the lettering function on my machine – I got closer but size is still a problem.

After stitching a dozen or so variations of a signature (Newman 2022) I settled on one which I tested a couple of times.

Embroidery for Signature

Although I had tested the embroidery, when I finally added it to the completed panel it didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped. You can barely discern what’s there. So it’s back to the drawing board to see if I can work out something better.

The second challenge is how to finish each 6″ x 6″ piece – Brandt suggested I try mounting them over a 6″ x 6″ canvas – so I’ve ordered a dozen in that size to see whether that can work.

In the meantime, I have a bunch of ideas – appliqué flowers in this small format based on those I’ve done before, crazy-quilt blocks, tiny quilt blocks using a variety of piecings,… there are lots of possibilities. In the end Brandt wants up to 10 pieces of art – I’ll likely end up making quite a few more than that as I experiment with the size.

I had been wondering what to work on next!

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