Gulf Shores Beach Art Quilt Series, 3rd one

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The third art quilt in the Gulf Shores beach series I am working on is finished, minus the binding and sleeve. The binding and sleeve are ready to go, I'm hanging it to let the shape settle, then do any squaring etc. that is needed. I have already blocked it, but I added a couple of touches to it. If I need to re-block it, I will. I showed a snippet of some of the stitching in the last post on the series. I don't want to give the details of this one away as it is a gift. I will show a snippet of a Great Blue Egret I made. By the way, don't ask me why it is called a "great blue," I haven't figured that out and I haven't read up on it. This is entirely thread drawn on the sewing machine, not machine embroidered. I drew a basic outline using an air pen on a piece of Pellon thick stabilizer, then I started. This took 10 different colors of thread, but the last stitching is not showing as I did it after I cut this out and appliqued it onto the art quilt. I added some silver into the feathers to give it a more reflective look, like when light hits something.

Each art quilt in a series is supposed to be different, how different, and what it will look like is up to the artist.

Totally Me!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

There's a new movie coming out with the Peanut characters, and there's the opportunity online to make your own character. The above character is totally me. My son and his family live in Santa Rosa, where Charles Schultz lived, and they are members of the museum.

Totally cool....

Gulf Shores Beach Art Quilts, 2 finished, 1 in process, probably 1 more

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I have previously posted the first art quilt in this series, for my husband's family. They have been vacationing in Gulf Shores since they were little, I will just say 60 years and leave it at that. They have a reunion of the siblings every year, and those gatherings (in the past with parents) have been going on for about 30 years. This series of art quilts is to commemorate that and to give each person a part of the memories.

The first art quilt reflected brown pelicans:

I can't post the second art quilt yet, as that person is on the computer a lot. I want to wait to reveal it after she receives it. This is a tiny peak that shows the small circles I stitched. I placed a pin next to it to give some sense of size.

The third art quilt is in process, and that person isn't on the computer with a lot of mobility as most, so I will share a small snippet. This recipient's art quilt will reflect sea shells, as this person has liked to get up early at sun breaking, walk the beach and collect shells. There are very limited shells now at Gulf Shores due to the lack of sea grass in the Gulf. If you have sea shells, hang onto them. Lack of sea shells is another sign our oceans are dying.

This snippet shows the top quilting stitches being in spirals, to emphasize the spirals in sea shells and waves.

It won't take me long to get the third piece finished, and then I decide about the fourth one.

Crocheted Friendship Braid Quilt

I prepared this friendship braid quilt of butterflies in a method most people have told me they have never seen before - when they have watched me put a braid together. I don't quite understand what they are talking about. I prepared panels so I could quilt as I go, and planned to joining the panels together with fabric strips. My Crescendo sewing machine has a running eyelet stitch and I got the idea that I wanted to crochet the panels together.

I first mentioned the idea to someone who crochets and quilts, and they thought I was crazy and told me it wouldn't work. It did work, whether you like the result is up to you. The colors in this yarn helped to pull out the colors in the butterfly fabrics. I used a long straight upholstery needle that I purchased at JoAnn's in the curtain and upholstery section, and I pulled yarn through the eyelets to make a pattern of stabilized yarn loops to be able to crochet around. I crocheted around each panel, and then I joined the panels and then crocheted around all of the panels together. This was stabilized enough, but I decided to do more.

Using my sewing machine, I stitched the crocheted places to the fabric. This really wasn't necessary from a stability standpoint, more as a design standpoint, that some people may not like the other way. I did that.

After it was all finished, I then took the leftover pieces from making the quilt, and I added in leftover pieces of white fabric, and I made a matching bag to store the quilt in. I sewed in a personalized machine stitched label, and I left a little side opening for the note to the recipient. It was signed, sealed and delivered.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

I haven't posted regularly lately because life has been very busy, but not busy with great things. I have struggled all year with my health, one thing after another. So far this year I have had three surgeries. I have been trying to be more creatively productive in order to cope with everything. Keeping my mind busy designing etc. has kept my mind from focusing on the pain. The pain this year has been really bad. The knee surgery actually has created daily pain that will not go away per the surgeon. He had to do three procedures instead of one. I had a jaw biopsy yesterday. Normally I hate pain meds, but I have to admit for once I was looking forward to being on pain meds because my whole body has been in pain. It turns out so far the jaw pain hasn't bothered me, so much for that idea. I can take pain meds I have for my knee etc., but I really don't take pain meds. I don't want to get hooked on pain meds like some people do, and I need to be able to drive as needed. You are not supposed to drive on pain meds, not within 24 hours after you are on pain meds. Some people don't seem to know that.

46" Hanger for Pressed Fabric

I was pressing fabric for an art quilt backing yesterday when I mentioned I would love a 46" hanger. My husband looked at me puzzled. Disclosure: My husband is normally the one who presses my fabric. He was interested.

I explained to my husband that most fabric widths for quilting cottons are up to 45" wide, much wider bolts are available for fat backs -- backing fabrics that range around 108". He disappeared for a few minutes and returned from the utility room with a long PVC pipe. It wasn't very thick, but it was at least 46" long. He asked me if it would work, and it will.

He asked me how I will hang it, and I replied I have clothesline cording, leftover from when I made clothesline baskets.

He asked me where I will hang it, and I replied in my studio, above the closet doorway.

He asked me what I will use to hang it, and I replied I already have picture hanger hooks above that (where I hung a design wall, but didn't like the location).

I can wrap it with batting if I want to pin art quilts in progress.

So, now I have a hanger for hanging fabric widths that have been pressed, to prevent a lot of wrinkles from handling and from not having a place to keep pressed fabric wrinkle free.

Cheap or free notions

Quilters use a variety of tools, notions, templates, papers and on and on. These can get expensive. Art quilters use a larger variety of items. Free is always good. Recycle is good. Another thing is buy the same type of item in a different type of store. Go to garage and estate sales. 

Many items quilters use are also found in a hardware store, at a cheaper price. Just be sure to do something to your item so your husband doesn't run off with it. A few years ago I was walking by my husband's desk and I found one of my quilting tools in his pen cup. I asked him why he had my tool and he said he found it. He found it in my quilting studio. He is helpful too. He will find things that he thinks I might need or could find a use for with art quilting.  You can get a variety of good quality magnetic tools to retrieve dropped pins. If you have a large studio, you might consider the roofer's magnetic rake to pick up pins. Magnetic bowls to hold pins are also available here. Screen door plastic replacement kits are used to make storage bags, totes and storage buckets - and you can get storage buckets there. Crushed walnut shells used to make pincushions used to only be found in pet stores, but you can get finely crushed shells at some hardware stores. They are used in sandblasting items. 

A few years I was working on a specific art quilt that needed a few odd things. I went to a local fishing shop and bought some items normally used to make lures etc. when the sales guy came over to ask me if I needed help, he didn't appreciate my answer about buying something for my art quilt. I have also bought tackle boxes and Plano plastic drawers for the Plano tackle boxes. 

If you go to Starbucks or Paneras and get the plastic stick that is used for stirring and for sealing the lid to go, you can use that as a free version of the purple "Thang." You can use it to guide fabric towards the needle, pull threads up, and many other uses. 

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