My pattern called “Summer” is now live on PatternSpot.com! Yippee!!
I finished my portrait of Whoopi the poodle last night! She finished at 11.5″x11″. You may remember her from this post and this post waaaayyyy last December. She was supposed to be a Christmas gift(yikes!) for my Aunt Kim, but I missed the deadline and decided to finish it later. But I had worked on it SO HARD that I felt burnt out and didn’t want to touch it with a ten foot pole. So, Whoopi got put into a project box and placed on a shelf. Not the actual Whoopi, mind you, she’s enormous and we couldn’t fit her on a shelf if we tried. Here’s a gratuitous action shot:
But now that I’m in my new sewing room, I got her out and decided to finish what I started. The original plan was to do a blue background with abstract piecing to mimic the original photograph, but it felt wrong when I took a good look at it on the design wall. Whoopi is clearly the star of the show (as in real life!), so in the end, I just kept her background plain and finished the edges with a facing. Here’s the original photo I got from my cousin Spencer:
He had put his aviator shades on her & she posed for him. She dearly loves accessories, might I add, & has been known to wear pearls on special occasions…
ANYWAYS, to design this art quilt, I took the photo and deconstructed into five layers of color using Illustrator. I then separated out each layer and printed them onto freezer paper so I could iron them onto the correct color of fabric. Then I laid a piece of clear, dissolve away Sulky stabilizer over top of each layer and traced the pattern pieces with a fine Sharpie to create a placement map. Once I had placement maps for each layer, I laid down my background fabric and lightly misted it with water. Then I laid down my first layer of Sulky and it stuck in place to the dampened fabric. Next, came the hard work of cutting out all those teensy tiny pieces of fabric and sticking them down to the placement guide. Once I had the first layer down, I zigzagged over top of them to hold everything in place, and set the project in a water bath to dissolve away the Sulky. Then I repeated it with the next layer. Then the next until it was complete. Some of the pieces were smaller than a grain of rice. I was working with my best Tweezerman tweezers to hold on to everything and to rip off the freezer paper pattern from the top of the piece after it was placed correctly. Whew. I’m tired again just from writing that! After that, I needed to add dimension to her through quilting and it proved very difficult due to the amount of threadwork on the piece. Here’s a detail shot:
In order to get the appropriate loft for her features, I had to stack four layers of wool batting underneath. FOUR LAYERS. It was scary. Almost like putting a couch cushion underneath your presser foot. But Rory (my sewing machine) and I persevered and added just enough dimension to really make her stand out. Here’s a side view to kind of show you what I’m talking about:
Pure craziness! But this is one of my favorite pieces ever. I love it to death! She’ll be packed up tomorrow and be shipped off to Edmond, Oklahoma. & I suppose this was as close as I’ll ever get to owning a dog!
I’m off to take care of more skeletons in my sewing closet! Have a happy Sunday! -rebecca
Here’s my latest addition to the sewing room- a little design wall for my miniatures and art quilts. It’s made from signage that I scored back when I worked for Target.
Here’s two more of the signs:
I think they were from a Mother’s Day campaign about five years ago, maybe? Anyways, I saw them and fell in love immediately. My signing specialist told me he would put as many aside as he could when the next advertising campaign had to go up. So, I have two square ones that are about 3 feet tall and two bigger ones that are about 3 feet by 4 feet. They are all extremely lightweight! I mean, who wants a heavy sign dropping on their head while waiting in the checkout lane, right? Anyways, one of the larger ones was missing the cardboard in the center, so it wasn’t too stable & I used that one as my guinea pig design wall. I cut a piece of modular foam insulation to fit the opening and wrapped it in the scrap batting from my old design wall. Then I stapled the crap out of it! Then, I stapled the board to the sides of the frame create a more rigid structure:
I’ll hang it up opposite my gigantic design wall sometime tomorrow when it’s a more reasonable hour in the day to use power tools… Good night! -rebecca
This is Xerxes the whale! (I asked my sister to name it & the first name that popped out was Xerxes. Such an odd child… But I remember naming one of my childhood cats “Thomas Cola”, so I guess what goes around comes around.) Anyways, I’ve been working on her for about a month now. I actually finished her Thursday for a zippered pouch exchange at my local modern quilt guild. But there was some drama ’round these parts & I wasn’t able to go to my meeting. She’s been hanging out on my cutting table ever since and I started noticing all the things that were bugging me about her- seam lines were off center, the tail was wonky, etc. So , I totally ripped her apart again this morning. But I digress! She started about a month ago when I made a clay sculpture of a half whale…
I used Crayola air dry clay from Target. Thank God for Back to School sales! Anyways, while it was about 75% dry, I draped it with muslin and made pattern pieces to test out in paper…
When I was satisfied, I busted out my beloved stash of Mendocino fabric by Heather Ross. I love this line of fabric so much that I’ve been too afraid to make anything out of it! But Xerxes seemed to be calling out for the ocean, so I sucked it up and cut out my pattern pieces before I could think about what I was doing. To make it stand up on its own, I used ByAnnie’s Soft & Stable and used polyfil stuffing in the tail.
There was much wrestling involved with that zipper, let me tell ya. It required a buttload of pins and I still managed to break a needle from shifting fabric. Oy.
I’m working right now on finishing the rest of my QuiltCon Block Challenge entries. I did the easy one first:
& now I’m working on another one to stick with the Texas theme. So… That was my week so far! Fun times… Happy quilting! rebecca
My giant 8’x8′ design wall is up and I’ve got my rulers organized thanks to 3M Command hooks.
All my rolled up patterns, freezer paper, and mylar rolls now have a safe cubby to call home. This is a first for me!
My chandelier is still yet to be hung, but I won’t let it get me down…
The best part is that I’m back in the saddle again! Rory is oiled and ready to go! I found my iron after searching every corner of the house! My rotary blade has been changed! It’s time to get busy, yo! But it’ll have to wait until tomorrow, though- I’m sleepy! lol -rebecca