Tag Archives: fabric art

an experiment in abstract quilting

mountain quilt 1The Big Rock Candy Mountain quilt is finished- all quilted and bound! As with most projects, the first step is the hardest and that was definitely true in this case. Working without a pattern requires a huge mental effort and so I must admit I walked away from this project for months at a time because I was having a hard time seeing the big, final picture. But all the hard work in abstract quilting was so extremely rewarding, and now, I think I’m hooked.
mountain quilt backFabric with assorted keys on the back, a panel from Urban Outfitters I found a few years back.
big rock candy mt quiltThe quilting was done by Corn Wagon Quilt Company in Springville UT. They have done custom work (freehand by the human operator, not a computer programmed stitch) for me before so I trusted they would do a good job again. I was very undecided on how to quilt this project. I went back and forth on various ideas, asking everyone’s opinion and you can see what won out- based on majority rule. I had Van Gogh’s Starry, Starry Night pictured in my minds eye when I saw the background. I had pictured swirls bigger than these but I didn’t specify exact size and I think these smaller swirls suit just fine.
big rock candy mountain quiltThere are a few stars in the sky- I had pictured more but I think it works out just fine. Someday I’ll have my own long arm quilting machine and I’ll be free to quilt whatever I can dream up (after hours and months of lessons, practice and messing up I’m sure).
triangle pieced quiltI love the way the straight stitches on the mountain really make the points and geometry stand out. Very simple- in a good way.
backlight quiltBacklit and blowing in the wind, it took me about 5 minutes with the camera poised and ready to get this picture. The wind was making it flap and twist, but I had to get at least one good picture with the mountains in the background and the sunlight coming through the fabric.
keys on the backsideI learned from my mother-in-law to always title, sign and date a quilt. Here is one way- just a corner of muslin or plain white fabric in the back corner, hand stitched on, for the important details. This location works well because you can easily flip the bottom corner over for the details without taking the quilt down off the wall. (And I’d better not forget to sign it…)
hanging a quiltIf the quilt is meant to hang on the wall, include a sleeve at the top when stitching the binding on. About 2 or 3 inches wide across the top should suffice. This picture is actually a great bad example of what to use when hanging the quilt. I’ve got a very bendy piece of wood that is twisting and turning (as you can see) and not allowing the quilt to hang nicely flat against the wall. Chose a strong, flat and thin piece of wood for hanging and there will be minimal to no sag over the years.
quilting from the backA view of how the quilting stitching looks against the keys on the back.
folded quilt
mountain quilt with timpOne last look, with my neighboring mountains before this quilt goes off to it’s new home. it’s going to artist Colt Bowden and growing family. It’s going to be tough to say goodbye. (I might have to make another one for me).

For a look at this quilt in the piecing triangles process look here.

wonky quilt block pattern, part 1

quilt with wacky squaresI just came across these squares… I had pieced them last summer using blue-themed scraps. Oh, how I dislike the unfinished project- it was haunting me, mocking me every time we crossed paths, so let’s see if I can make them into something¬†useful this summer and do away with our uncomfortable encounters. Let’s try a wonky quilt block pattern idea I’ve got.

abstract squaresI was originally thinking about making them into a table runner. Something wasn’t quite right (or maybe it’s just me) the side by side layout (pictured above) wasn’t working or I just got bored of the project and I shelved the squares.

blue squares perspective quiltI like the squares better like this, all four together. But still, there needs to be some gaps, empty space to make the randomness intriguing and inviting- not frightening. It needs white, a contrast between the squares to set it off. It could use some flow and continuity amongst the 4 squares as well.

wonky squares ,log cabin quiltI do love the colors though, I think I’ve got an idea…

trimmed quilt squares First, I trimmed all of the square to the exact same size- 15.5 inch squares.

cut the square in halfI piled all the squares up on top of each other and cut them in half with a rotary cutter. Somewhat scary… so I just took a deep breath and cut.

cut the squares in half againWith the squares still stacked, I cut them in half again. Now each stack has a swatch from all 4 original squares, pre-selected for you if you want to keep things easy in the next step.

crazy abstract squaresTake the 4 stacks and lay them out into 4 new squares made from 1 of each original square.

abstract quartered quilt blocksSo far… all the blocks sewed back together again. I’ve got a plan for the next phase, stay tuned…

Look here for part 2!

tiny things tuesday

Let’s talk about how tiny things are so much more awesome than anything else in the world. Why are tiny things so funny and cute? I’m not sure if it’s just me, and it’s definitely rubbing off on my kids now too. Together we ohh and ahh, squeal in silly voices at just about anything that is scaled down to a tiny size. It’s ridiculous and I don’t care. Tiny and detailed object are even better.
Here’s a sampling of my favorite tiny things at the moment:
mouse in sweater
This traveler mouse by Johana, available on Etsy, is absurdly tiny. Take a look at her other critters too- some wearing glasses, sweaters, carrying books…

felt bear necklacePeace felt warrior necklace also on Etsy by catrabbitplush. The beauty is in the clever details and the size- about 6 cm by 6 cm.

firebird
Made by the talented Alice Mary Lynch, a commissioned piece titled ‘the firebird’ wears a skirt made from a traditional Russian vintage costume, red tulle petticoat, embroidered socks, plaited golden hair and vintage feather brooch with multi-coloured stones. Very impressive work.

small character dolls
I’ve been following Jess Quinn’s blog for awhile now, she also has an Etsy shop. I’m so inspired with her mad/rad art, sewing and creative skills. I wish I lived in England so I could attend one of the shows where she sells her dolls and be starstruck.

crocheted cactus
These little cacti are reason enough to learn how to crochet. Who wouldn’t want one of these as a gift!? The pattern is available at Little Things Blogged if you’d like to give it a try. I will be attempting to make these very soon.

felt cat with purse
I think it’s the somewhat mournful gaze- not to mention the accessories- that got me on this fat cat. I don’t have any details though, the website is all in Russian.

So, go ahead and adore all that’s tiny on this terrific tiny Tuesday!