Project Quilting 9.2 Entry: Mosaic Falling Leave

Project Quilting 9.2 Entry: Mosaic Falling Leave

I’m still intrigued by the idea of fabric mosaics, so I thought I’d carry that idea a step further into this week’sProject Quilting 9.2 “Triangulation“. It’s risky… because I’m not sure this will work–it could be a huge failure, but I think it’s worth a try.

Instead of cutting the square fabric tiles,like I did in my last post, this time I’m thinking of stepping it up a notch by cutting the tiny squares into even tinier triangles and placing them onto an overall gridded pattern to replicate leaves or vines cascading down in shades of green and brown … very organic, very arts & crafts (which I love). I happened upon a beautiful tiled wall and that was the inspiration for this idea.  Plus, it gave me a good reason to use up some of the lovely fabrics I hand dyed.

I’ll start by drawing a grid on paper to use as a guide for placement, and cover that with the Steam-a-Seam 2–with one uncovered sticky side up. I can use my 3/8″ slotted template to cut the squares & then cut them in half corner-to-corner to make lots and lots (and lots) of triangles. I don’t want the triangles too large, since my Steam-a-Seam 2 sheet that I happen to have on hand is only 9×11 inches or so…and I only have a few days to get it done–the challenge deadline is fast approaching (hope I make it).

I wonder if the idea will translate well as I progress filling in the grid one by one with different values of green…and then brown…? Hmmmmm.

Little by little, one triangle at a time, it’s beginning to take shape…

It almost looks like a forest to me at this point.

I’m thinking a charcoal gray Kona cotton fabric will work best for the background “grout”. Black might be too dark and get lost in the top half of the quilt, and white might be too much of a contrast. I’ll have to audition a few grays to get the right one.

After ironing the quilt sandwich together with batting and backing fabric, I’m off to my sewing machine to stitch between the “tiles” with matching gray cotton thread.

That’s done!  And I’ve added the border (simple gray).  So I’m on the home stretch! Time to do a little hand sewing on the binding…I always save the last bit of my assortment of Aurifil threads in a special place for my hand sewing…

I love my little doll pincushion that my friend brought me back from her trip to Liberty of London…(I almost hate to stick her with pins!)

What do you think about it Snicks? … too tired to comment?

Done, done, done…with a few hours to spare…whew!  Time to get a square photo uploaded for the contest.  Since it’s not square, I hope this one will be the best choice…

Please stop by at the website for Project Quilting Season 9: Triangulation to vote for your 10 favorite quilts”!

Voting starts Sunday afternoon (January 28, 2018) and ends on Saturday (February 3, 2018).

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

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Mad City Mini Mosaic Quilt For the Project Quilting Challenge: Hometown Proud

Mad City Mini Mosaic Quilt For the Project Quilting Challenge: Hometown Proud

It’s the middle of winter up here in Wisconsin, and cabin fever makes us do some wacky things. Waaaay back in the freezing February of 1979, the victorious Pail & Shovel party leaders fulfilled their student campaign promise to bring wackiness back to the UW-Madison campus. They built the head, crown, and torch of Lady Liberty and assembled it on top of the frozen ice on Lake Mendota. What a site! It created the illusion that the Statue of Liberty was rising out of (or sinking into) our frozen lake. It was a pretty amazing.

Since then, our Lady Liberty has suffered a fire, vandalism, and the effects of aging, only showing up (with a lot of reconstruction) a few winters over the years. So to get a glimpse of her on the frozen lake is pretty awesome. And really lifts your spirits in the dreaded cold post-holiday winter up here.

I think it was around February 2009, when the Hoofers (a UW student organization) took on the task of re-assembling it, that our Lady Liberty gloriously appeared again, not far from where I worked on the UW campus. So, during one of our lunch breaks on a beautiful cold but sunny day, , my co-worker and I just had to hike down to the lake, walk out onto the ice, and see it up close. Awesome!

Day One: When I heard this week’s Project Quilting challenge was “Hometown Proud”, I knew just what I was going to create! I brought up my Google file of photos of that day and found one to use as my inspiration!

Nothing says “Mad-Town Madison” and hometown pride better (except maybe the 1,000 pink flamingos on Bascom Hill in the springtime…LOL!)

I’ve been experimenting with a fabric mosaic technique (see my earlier blog post), so got out my stash of batiks in as many shades of blues and grays that I could find, and cut them up into 3/8th inch squares to fill in my sketch of our Lady Liberty.

To add a bit more realism to the scene, I cut silhouettes of a photographer and friend out of the darkest blue batik I could find, and decided to create the crown of the statue with fabrics cut to shape too, rather than using just squares.

Day Two: in the photos above all the bits of fabric have been fused down onto a white background (note the parchment paper to save my iron from a sticky mess). Then I added a layer of tulle over the top of all the fabric pieces to help keep them in place while machine quilting.

Next up…layering it on top of the batting & backing, and adding a border or two. I think I may get this project done in time to link it up for the contest! Yay!

Day Three: It took a lot of fabric auditioning time to find the right borders from my fabric stash, but I finally found something I liked.

Next came machine quilting. I wanted to emphasize the tiles by quilting between them, but also quilt in the sculpted face of the statue with Aurifil 50 wt grey thread.

In the photo above I’m going back and forth over the facial features with grey thread and free motion quilting,

Day Four: After adding the binding and hanging corners and hand sewing the binding to the back, I felt it still needed a bit more definition between the statue and the background.  So I went over some of the stitches with black Aurifil thread, giving it a bit more depth…

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I think the black really made the statute’s features show up from a distance…

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And the black helped define the statue against the ice and sky backgrounds…

Here’s some photos of the finished fabric mosaic…

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A closeup of the “ice”

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And last but not least, the photo I’m going to uplink to the First Challenge of the Project Quilting Season 9…

MadCity Lady Liberty Lake Mendota

MadCity Lady Liberty Lake Mendota

Voting begins Sunday, January 15, 2018 and ends the following Saturday.  I hope you’ll stop by and vote for your favorites (of course, I’m hoping one of your favorites will be mine).  🙂

UPDATE: VOTING IS CLOSED. Thanks to everyone who voted for my quilt–I really appreciate it. I came in 3rd — no prize, but I’m very pleased to be third out of 113 entries!❤️. And my name will be entered with the other quilters into the final drawing at the end of the season. Yay!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Making a Mosaic With Fabric

Making a Mosaic With Fabric

I was looking through my Quilting Arts magazines and found an article by Cheryl Lynch where she shared her technique to make mini mosaic quilts.

I’ve always been drawn to mosaics, whether they’re made in glass, tile, paint, or fabric. It’s something about their detail I guess…so I was intrigued with the idea of making a mosaic pattern out of fabric.

After a little searching, I found her Etsy shop online and decided the best way to learn her technique was to purchase one of her kits, and the cutting template.

Photo of mosaic quilting kit

It arrived fast, and I was so excited to get started. Her kit included the instructions, lots and lots of batik fabric squares (to cut up for the “tiles”), a sheet of Steam a Seam II, tulle, a light batik for the “grout”, and full size pattern. It was hard choosing which of her darling patterns to try, but I decided on the bicycle pattern (I love bicycling). The plastic slotted template I bought in addition to her kit helps in cutting the 3/8″ square “tiles” with your rotary cutter. I tried doing it with a regular rotary ruler, and you can do it–but believe me, the slotted specialized template makes it so much easier.

The first step is to cut the variety of batik fabrics (by color) into tiny tiles, and organize them by color. Variety is the key. Batiks really help…not only do they provide the variation, the color permeates through to the back of the fabric so there’s no “wrong side”…so you never have to worry which side is up!

After sliding her master pattern under a sheet of Steam a Seam II (with one sticky exposed and facing side up) I secured them with thumbtacks to a foam core base. Using the pattern underneath as my guide, I placed each individual fabric square with a tweezers on top of the base following the outline of the pattern and then filled each section in…being sure to leave a little space in between each “tile” to let the fabric “grout” show through (the light batik fabric is added later and will show through these spaces).

It was a bit time-consuming, BUT I actually found the process relaxing and almost therapeutic and satisfying …kind of like putting a puzzle together or coloring in a coloring book. I also enjoyed the fact that it was an easy project to work on for a while, step away to do other things, and then come back and continue.

Isn’t it amazing how much progress you can make on a project (whether it’s sewing, quilting, or even cleaning a closet)… if you can carve out 20 minutes here and there throughout your day?

The next step was covering it with parchment (to protect the iron) and fusing it to the light batik “grout” fabric. Then layering it on top of a quilt sandwich (batting & backing) and adding a piece of light-colored tulle before adding the 2 narrow borders and machine quilting.

It’s hard deciding on the borders (see photos above)! But you know, I don’t think you can make a bad choice when you’re auditioning fabrics for your borders. You intuitively know when something really isn’t working. And when I came down to the last few choices…I think any of them would have worked. It’s just a matter of going with your gut, …so I finally decided on a grey batik and a medium brown batik–both from my stash.

Next up was machine quilting through all the layers. You could free motion quilt, but for this piece I was able to follow the grout lines pretty easily using my walking foot. I found a cotton Aurafil thread in a matching color and outlined the main bicycle, then continued along the horizontal lines of the background.

To finish up, I added a couple of folded squares (triangles) to the top corners of the back of the mini quilt for easy hanging with a thin wooden dowel. For more info on how to do that, see my earlier blog here. And finished it off with matching binding.

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I hope you’ll give mini mosaic quilting a try.  I can’ wait to start a new one using my own design.  (Or if you’d rather purchase this finished art quilt, it’s now for sale in my Etsy Shop.)

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Chickadee Mountain View Art Quilt

Chickadee Mountain View Art Quilt

I’ve been wanting to create a second art quilt using a pattern by McKenna Ryan as the inspiration.  It’s a peaceful mountain scene featuring a branch in the foreground with Chickadees.

The challenge for me was to try to find just the right fabrics for each portion of the scene by auditioning them one by one.  I wanted choose the best fabric to give  the contrast needed in the composition.

I started by creating the background, including the borders (so that the branch could be appliqued to extend into the borders.

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Then I draw each part of the landscape onto a sheet of Seam-a-Steam 2 Lite.  (I’m so glad this product is back on the market again.)  I love it because it a double-faced fusible that has paper on both sides.  You peel one side off, and it’s “sticky” so it clings to the fabric you want to use, but it repositionable.  Then you fuse it with the iron, and wait for it to cool down before cutting and peeling off the second paper to fuse it to the background.

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I started with the background and then cut and fused the individual items to it, starting with those furthest back and ending with those closest to the foreground.

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I “auditioned” several fabrics before deciding on which ones to use, and which ones didn’t work.

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The log cabin and trees were fun to pull together.  For the chickadees, I created each bird separately and fused the pieced together as one and then set and fused them to the branches.

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Here’s the chickadee & log cabin after they’ve been quilted with a bit of thread painting.

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After everything was fused down, I quilted and thread painted with different colors of thread.  My favorite thread is Aurifil. They have so many luscious colors to choose from.

Here’s the result after quilting and binding.

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I immediately put it for sale in my Etsy shop, and it’s been sold and is on it’s way to it’s new home in Toronto, Ontario.

Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Painting on Fabric Quilts

Painting on Fabric Quilts

I treated myself to a box of Derwent Intense 24 Ink Pencils earlier this year, and an online class from IQuilt entitled “Artistic Painted Applique”.  The instructor, Linda Poole, showed us how to first create a pallet of color to familiarize ourselves with the variety of ink pencils in the pack.

After Ironing some freezer paper onto the back of a piece of white cotton, I drew some circles and filled each in with a different color of the Inktense Ink Pencils.

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Adding textile medium brings the pencils to life…

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They react like watercolor or paint on the fabric.

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Next I backed a piece of stabilizer to the back of my fabric & sketched a bird I’d seen at our feeder earlier this year.

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Then it was just a matter of coloring and adding the textile medium to blend it all together.

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The color is beyond the sketch lines because I needed to that cut it out and fold over the edges to applique.

I usually start with an overall idea of what I want to do…many times from a photograph I’ve taken.  But this time I worked “backwards”—having to come up with a background scene to place my little bird on.  It took me awhile to figure out what that would be.  The bird seemed to want to perch itself on a branch of some sort.  I was lucky enough to find a beautiful batik in my stash that worked perfectly for a background.

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I drew in some lines where fabric “branches” would be fused, and cut various sizes of leaves out of a multicolor orange batik for the leaves.  Next came the free-hand overall quilting to accentuate the veins of the leaves and down each branch.  I decided on overall “pebble” quilting for the background around the bird and some branches/leaves.

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I also quilted other free-hand stitches, including outlining the bird (and his feet)…

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and a feather stitch on the top portion, and swirls/meandering on the bottom.

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After trimming, I added folded triangles to each corner to make it easy to mount on the wall with a simple thin wooden dowel and one nail or hook.

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And I “framed” it with a black binding.

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The Red Breasted Grosbeak I saw earlier in the spring hasn’t come back, but this quilted art wall hanging will be a permanent reminder of his beauty!  Hope you enjoyed watching the process!

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Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting Last Challenge for 2016 #PQ7

Project Quilting Last Challenge for 2016 #PQ7

#PQ7 There’s one last challenge this year for Kim Lapacek’s PROJECT QUILTING (2016).  My goal this winter was to make a quilt or quilted item for each challenge.  And I’ve just made it!

When I heard the challenge was “A Goose in the Monkey Wrench”, I immediately thought about creating my own version of a large “Monkey Wrench” block  by inserting “Flying Geese” into and maybe around it.  I opened up my Electric Quilt (EQ7) and found the “Monkey Wrench” block, then inserted Flying Geese around the structure of the block.  It needed more, so I played around with adding flying geese in the  border, turning and twisting them until I found an interesting pattern.

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This is what I came up with (above) after several trials and quite  few different colorings.  I’ve always wanted to do flying geese in gradated colors….now’s my chance.

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EQ7 allows me to print my drawing as a paper piecing pattern so I can print it on my favorite foundations—Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper.  After gathering some of my batiks and hand dyed fabrics in the colors I needed, I started paper piecing the center of the mini art quilt

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What I love about paper piecing is the precise points.  I could never do that with regular cutting and piecing.  Some people can…but not me.

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Here’s what it looked like after the center was finished and I started on the “flying geese” border—yikes, there’s a lot of little pieces!  Looks overwhelming.

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The only thing I don’t like about paper piecing is peeling all the little bits of paper off the back of the quilt top after it’s sewn together…but a good movie, and it goes quickly.

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Here (above) is the mini art quilt–quilted, bound, and finished.  It’s now for sale in my Etsy Shop here.

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I like the curves that were created by the flying geese around the border—reminds me of ribbons.

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I chose to do a simple stitch by the ditch (not “in the ditch”) quilting.

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Here’s the finished quilt (above), and the EQ7 rendition (below).    PQ EQ7

The colors are different, but it did turn out very much like my EQ7 rendition.

So the Challenge is finished for this year.  I want to send a special “thank you” to Kim Lapacek (and her mother) for all the hard work to make PROJECT QUILTING a reality.

I hope you’ll stop by Kim’s “Persimons Dream” website to vote for your favorite entries.  The voting begins at noon Sunday, March 20 and ends March 25.

I got the chance to talk with Kim at the Sun Prairie Quilt Show just a few weeks ago–she’s so much fun (that’s her on the right).  Catch her website to find out more about the quilts shown in the background.

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UPDATE:  The voting has ended and mine came in at second place (out of 32 entries).  Thanks so much for your votes!  It was a lot of fun.  Looking forward to next year!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING,
AND

HAPPY NATIONAL QUILTING DAY!!!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting Challenge: Vacation

Project Quilting Challenge: Vacation

This week’s Project Quilting Challenge is “I NEED A VACATION”.  My favorite vacations are traveling to a beautiful spot, finding a cabin or home to rent, and relax by the lake, river, or ocean and just take in the beautiful view.  We might do some day trips in the area, like hiking or going out for lunch, but always coming back to the serenity and beauty of the surroundings of the spot we’ve rented.

I found a photograph I had taken this past summer when we ventured up to one of our favorite spots near Bayfield, Wisconsin.  A short walk from the back of our cottage is a rocky private beach with a spectacular view of Lake Superior, with Bass Island and the rest of the Apostle Islands, in the background…it was breathtaking!  I loved walking down to that spot with a cup of coffee every morning to take it all in.  So when I heard “I need a vacation” as the theme, this is where I’d want to be.

My first step in creating the scene was to find fabrics that had the same feel as the photograph (and my memory of it), and cut a piece of batting and backing to the size I wanted to serve as the backdrop “canvas”.

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Then I cut and positioned the background and shoreline onto the batting.  I had just purchased something new—a Fons&Porter glue pen.  It worked great to keep everything in place.  I found it a lot less messy than the regular glue stick.

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Bit by bit, auditioning fabrics–some that didn’t work, and others that did, I continued adding to the scene.

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I thought the trees and bushes needed a bit more depth, so I got out my soft pastels and went to work, shading the foliage…

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And adding some depth to the water and rocks…

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I’m glad I purchased the set (on sale).  I used a blending stick to blend it in.

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The sailboat is small in the distance, so I decided to create it by thread painting…

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After quilting, I wanted to add a border…so I auditioned several different fabrics and came down to three possibilities…

I didn’t care for the dark blue-grey, it seemed too dark and gloomy.

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The blue batik was interesting, but the black piping was too harsh…

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I felt the brown brought out the color of the rocks, so I went with that…

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Here the borders have been added…along with more batting and backing.

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And here’s the finished art quilt…

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With a close up of the water…

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and the thread painted sailboat in the distance.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey, and that you’ll stop by Persimon Dreams website PROJECT QUILTING and vote for your favorite quilts!

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The voting begins February 21 and runs through February 26 (2016).

UPDATE:  The voting has closed.  I came in #3 of 39 entries–no prize, but no bad!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts