A couple of days ago I started pulling together subsets of blue fabric scraps and piling the pieces into groupings for the flowers. Next I pressed fusible web (glue) to the back of each fabric piece, then cut out “flower” elements.
Circles? Almost Circles? Irregular circular shapes? In the end I opted for more or less circular shapes in graduated sizes, laid them on top of one another, offset somewhat. I removed the paper backing and pressed the layers for each flower together then played with placement on the background. I finished by pressing the flowers in place.
Before I start thread painting the flowers, I need to use a heat erasable pen to mark where the stem/leaf elements should go. I plan to stitch long thin stems with just a hint of leaf shapes – that may change when I get underway and decide to include some fabric cutout leaves.
For some reason I can’t seem to find inspiration for a quilt at the moment – so I’ve turned to smaller projects. Looking through my Pinterest saves I considered the “Skinny Quilt” ideas I’d stored there. Several looked interesting – I selected two, then went through my fabric stash to see what I had that might work for both.
I found a photo of a 4-panel square quilt constructed from blocks with interspersed light and dark. One strip is probably not enough so I think I will work on two, but of unequal width. I started with the light colours – based on a soft teal and juxtaposed some dark blue (with gold), some other blues with greens gold, and finally the tans including two pieces of silk dupione which have a strong grain which I think will work well. I don’t know yet whether I will interject a contrast between the two panel elements, or not. The technical challenge is that the insert strips are cut with a curve which means cutting the seam edge of both fabrics at the same time and sewing the opposing curves. We’ll see how that goes.
This panel is based on a photo of a painting done by Marieka Diepenveen (you can see it peeking out on the left side of the fabrics – the round blue flowers). Again her painting is a wide rectangle but my intention is to create a panel about 12″ x 50″. I’ve chosen the two pale grey fabrics using the white with tiny black dots to separate them, with a collage of greens at the bottom. I have lots of colourful blue scraps and even some small circles from another project that might work themselves into the banner.
Finished with a hidden binding and backing fabric. I like this one even more than the original. I think the ombre fabrics create a feeling of water and notice the single fish swimming against the school…. But that’s it for fish – I have no more in my bag of fusible scraps.
Skinny Quilt #4 – An Update
Skinny Quilt IV – Straightened
I wasn’t happy with this banner – it wasn’t quite square and it showed when the piece was hanging. Yesterday, I took it apart so I could straighten the sides and while I had the backing and binding off, I decided to remove the smallest blue circle – first, because it was the wrong colour – it didn’t really show up – and second, it was the eighth circle and an odd number is more pleasing. Now the yellow in the top large circle is now echoed in the small one and your eye moves between the two and is then drawn into the complexity of the fabric design of the other circles. A better balance.
Best of all, the banner is now square so it hangs straight and I can include it I the banner/skinny quilt collection.
I have two quilts to work on but I’m not satisfied with the embroidery design I’ve created to quilt the “Nine Shades Of Grey” quilt and that has me hung up. So instead of quilting Magic Squares Quilt IV, I decided to work on edge stitching Fish 2.
Fish 1 also used these same leftover off-cuts from Quilt-On-The-Go with the “X”s and “O”s appliquéd to background layer of blue blocks.
Two weeks ago I gave away Fish 1 to a friend to whom I’d promised a wall hanging (Well, really I made “Tropical Flowers” with her in mind, but once I’d spent 2 months thread painting, and then had it hanging in my home for a while, I couldn’t part with it, so Fish 1 went to her, instead.) I know it has found a welcoming home.
After Fish 1 left the house, I missed it. For some reason I felt attached to it. However, I still had quite a few fish in a bag and two lengths of an ombre fabric in turquoise shades, so I decided to make Fish 2.
Same construction as the other Skinny Quilts/Banners – two unequal wide-ish pieces of fabric (cut from width-of-fabric) joined by a 1″ strip of a definitely contrasting fabric, with the appliqués fused then stitched in place.
This afternoon I edge-stitched all the fish, then added rather bright-coloured eyes (which I thought would be an improvement on Fish 1). I even managed to embroider my signature (even if I have it going in the wrong direction – the bottom edge of the signature should be facing the fish – nobody is ever going to notice it – once the embroidery began I knew I wanted it running bottom toward top but it was too late to stop and change it – as with a lot of this embroidery work – you get it right the first time, or you live with it.)
BTW – a better name for this piece is “Against The Crowd” or “Swimming Upstream” – one fish is swimming against the others!
Now I need to set up a hidden binding, add a backing, then hand stitch the binding in place – maybe tomorrow, or the day after.
I completed the panel sashing this afternoon. The light fabric tones down this “quilt of many colours” somewhat. Now I need to add a narrow border using the sashing fabric to frame the panel. (Here’s what it looks like without the sashing.)
Quilt Of Many Colours
Then a border – I found this batik fabric in my stash a couple of days ago – it wasn’t the fabric I was originally planning to use to frame this panel but I think a 2 1/2″ border of this dark teal might just bring the colour hodgepodge together – fingers crossed.
Possible Outer Border
I plan on looking again through my stash – there may yet be another largish piece of fabric that works with the panel although I don’t see any in my mind’s-eye. I may even take the panel shopping to see if there is a fabric that says “take me.”
Yesterday, I gave away my “Fish” banner to a friend. Last evening, I dug out my remaining fish and this afternoon, I found some ombre fabric that might work well with them to create another skinny quilt/banner. It’s a quick and easy project to fill in my wall art collection for this year’s showing in Parrsboro. I lost close to three months of sewing/quilting time this summer with my fractured wrist. I’m trying to catch up so I have enough new creations to show.
And while I’m at it, I will have a go at another couple of these skinny quilts – however, not until the two throw quilts I’m working on are finished – I try to complete one piece at a time before starting something else – that way I don’t have unfinished projects sitting around. I don’t know how other quilters live with a closet full of UFOs – I need closure.
So I will get the Magic Squares Quilt IV top done in the next day or two, then set up backs for both the grey/gold and this quilt and get both of them quilted – I’m aiming for end of December.
The remaining skinny quilts/banners are finished. I hand stitched the hidden bindings on the back of each hanging and added a sleeve for hanging it.
I’m happy with the combination of background fabrics and the appliqués – a close look shows I managed the edge stitching precisely. I like the quiet background and strong appliqué colours in this panel.
Skinny Quilt II
I wasn’t sure how I felt about the bright colours in this second banner but now that it’s completed I like the profusion of “dots” in the appliqué fabrics, echoed by the two small circles to fill in the space on the right. In the right location this could be an interesting accent piece.
Skinny Quilt III
I’m less happy with this banner – now that it’s finished I can see my idea to increase the spacing while decreasing the circle size didn’t work so well and I didn’t see, until now, that I have an inbuilt curve to the left! I think I chalk this one up to experiment and construct another to take its place.
Skinny Quilt IV
That’s what’s so interesting about improvising – I’m always amazed by how most of the time my experiments turn out well. It’s not that this one didn’t have potential – it’s just that I didn’t see the “flaws” until it was actually finished and hung on the door. It’s a lesson that I need to be a tad more detached and analytical when looking at these pieces at a distance.