Alright – here are the circles and Xs pinned to the background. The result is the illusion of circles (greens) on circles (blue) which is what I was after.
I laid the panel on the floor and photographed it – the circles that were in the wrong place stood out dramatically – I made a few swaps although that wasn’t so straight forward since I had precisely the right number of circles and crosses to fill the panel with just a couple left over. I thought I was going to have to cut more but I got away with what I had by moving a few around.
Circles / Xs pinned
Now comes the painstaking task of pressing the pieces in place so I can then edge stitch them with a decorative stitch. I’m hoping the Wonder Under holds better than the Heat ‘N Bond I used on a previous quilt – I had to use white glue on some of those circles when they began separating from the backing. It will take me the better part of a week, I’m anticipating, to edge stitch all of these 154 elements.
I still have no idea yet where to go from here – I think I want a navyish small print (a grunge?) for a narrow border, then a wider border in chartreuse – I will have to go shopping with the panel to decide what might work because I haven’t anything in my stash that suits the colour scheme in the panel.
Here’s how the appliqué work is beginning to shape up – I fused Wonder Under (Pellon 805) to the back of 4 1/2″ x 17″ strips of 30+ fabrics ranging in colour from pale yellow/green to a very dark green. I made the decision to cut the circles from the lighter fabrics and the crosses from the darker ones (that may be a limiting decision but I had to start with some kind of order from which to begin).
So far, I’ve cut a bunch of circles and have pinned them on the blue background and I’ve started interspersing crosses – I’ve been placing/pinning as I’ve cut out circle and cross elements – I think at the moment I need to cut out more crosses and see how close I can get to the bottom right edge with them, then fill in the rest with circles.
Circles & Crosses
NOTHING is fused in place! I have to get the space filled with circles and crosses, stand back and look at the whole from a distance, take photographs to see what the whole looks like, before putting an iron to the quilt top. I have a feeling I may have too many light coloured circles in that upper left corner (over the darkest squares of the background panel) – I think I will want to drop a few darker circles in that quadrant – just trying to visualize what that would look like.
I’ve done maybe half of the cutting out of circles and crosses. I need to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening getting the rest cut out before I attempt placing more elements. The crosses when placed side by each create circles from the background panel – I want to bring out more of the blue in the middle of the quilt top so that will mean more crosses in that area.
The good thing is everything is just pinned at this point – I can still change my mind about all of it.
Here I am with a stitched background layer – it took 3-4 hours to assemble the pieces – the difficult part was collecting them from the floor in the order they were placed and keeping the paired squares in the same order while I was sewing them. I did reference yesterday’s photo several times to be sure I hadn’t reversed blocks.
Stitched Background Layer
I began by creating the vertical columns stacking the 13 pairs from bottom to top proceeding to the next column, then the next. I put post-it notes on the top square of each stack to identify the order in which I needed to sew them. I chain stitched the pairs in each column, cut them apart, pressed the seam to alternating sides, then built each column being careful to nest the seams.
Yesterday I pulled 27 contrast fabrics from my stash from dark green to light green – in the photo there is a lot more turquoise in the selections than I saw when I stacked the fabrics and the light green looks rather peach. I think my pale colours aren’t strong enough to make the elements I plan on cutting out pop. So back to the stash I must go – I’ll see what I have in yellow that might provide a better contrast, or maybe (heaven forbid) I will have to go shopping for more strong bright lime green batik for the appliqués over the dark background blocks.
I’m trying to stay within the stash for this quilt, although I already know I’m probably going to have to shop for some fabric to create a border – that’s because about a third of my blocks came from a charm pack (I have no more of those fabrics) and the other fabrics I used came from my scrap boxes (there is very little left of those as well – not enough to do 4″ borders).
I finally have a quilt on the go.
I started by pulling from my stash a double jelly roll of batik fabric (5″ width of strips) with an idea – but beyond opening the package of fabric strips I haven’t been stuck. Nice fabrics but I just can’t find a way to start. Next I pulled out a charm pack of blue batik fabrics (5″ squares) and that seemed to get me underway. 5″ squares are rather small – ending up as 4 1/2″ blocks so I’d need a 10 x 13 array at the least to make a decent size quilt.
By adding more than twice the number of squares in the charm park using fabric from my stash of fat quarters and scraps I’ve managed to come up with 130 blocks to set up a graduated 10 x 13 array from light to dark which I can see serving as background for an appliqué quilt.
I’m still not sure what will develop as a layer on top of this background – I will likely use circles somewhat in the way I did the original “Double Vision” quilt which my niece now has.
The question is what colour palette will complement these blues – shades of green ranging from light chartreuse to dark green/blue? I’ll have to see whether I have enough fabrics in my stash to make this work.
More as the work progresses – now to stitch this assembly together. That’s for tomorrow.
Just finished. I’ve spent the past four days stitching the edges of the appliqué – the leaves and flowers, and creating embroidered flower centres. It’s been slow but steady. Whereas I did a narrow quilt border on the previous version of this idea (flowers on a black/white background), this time I took the flowers to the border edge and decided to do a hidden binding so the cropping of the flowers was easily evident.
Modern Flowers – II (Wishing For Spring)
This version of the idea is brighter than the previous one. I could continue with variations on this theme, but I’m going to stop here. This is wall art piece #9 – I’m aiming to have 12 pieces completed by the end of July – so I’m getting close. On to other ideas.
Last week I cut a set of “watercolour” jellyroll strips in to 2″ blocks – I want to try doing some kind of “watercolour quilt” with the fabric squares – a wall art piece, actually, not a lap/throw quilt. I thought this would be a quick and easy project – not so sure now that I’m trying to lay out the squares in some kind of dark/light array.
There are quite a few people who are doing these quilts – there are any number of tutorials on how to make one. They use a special fusible gridded interfacing – not going to bother with that – I am planning on simply sewing the blocks together in rows based on the layout I create on my cutting table. Also many versions of these quilts use the “watercolour” piecing as a background for something else – I may end up doing something like that but I have no idea what the top appliqué elements might be at this point. Anyway, this is the next project I’m going to try – let you know how I get along!
I’ve been looking at pictures of quilts by Freddy Moran – large bold background with appliqué collage in strong bright colours. I decided to try something like that.
I set up a black/white fabric background, then began cutting out flower-like shapes in layers and bright colours. Nine large flowers later I thought I needed to connect them in some way so I included a long flowing branch of leaves. Then added a few lighter green leaves (from a floral print fabric) to just finish off the appliqué.
Now to start thread painting – here’s where I can use contrasting colours, particularly on the leaves and stem to make them brighter. No time to even start that today – tomorrow, for sure.
Made quite a bit of progress today – having decided to use the blue/green fabric for the border, I chose some blue/teal embroidery thread and overstitched in the dark green areas and while it isn’t sharp in the photo the stitching does tie in the blue of the border.
Thread Painting and Borders Almost Completed
Then I began working on the poppies – finished the centres, did some thread painting on the petals (may still do a bit more), added a bit of red stitching to the opening flower buds. Then I added the wide outer border and blind stitched the mitred corners.
Now I need to cut a piece of muslin for the back, and a couple of strips from the outer border fabric to do a hidden binding.
Poppies – Original Photo
Above is the original photo that served as inspiration for the textile piece. I think I’ve come close to capturing the vibrance of the poppies at the peak of their beauty.
Now to finish the piece and move on to the next one.