Monday, February 1, 2016

The Background Makes the Quilt

I think that the background makes the quilt on many of my fiber art nest quilts.  The background for this quilt started out on a different quilt, but got put aside when the nest covered up the feature I like the best about this background, which is the illumination in the center.   After looking at it on my design wall, I decided that I would add a couple of birds (and of course, a nest!).

Here are the paper sketches showing my idea:

Two birds, nest and tree sketches

I consulted by little helpers, the M&M granddaughters, and they said the birds had to be blue and the nest should be purple.  No surprise there... this is the second time they suggested a purple nest.  I wonder what color they'll like when they're old ladies.  I would always suggest lime green, or a cousin of that color!  Well, maybe not for this quilt.

I refined my sketches and built the two bluebirds with Steam-A-Seam 2.   I like this fusible for it's ease in temporarily placing pieces until they look right and fusing the pieces only at the end.  I placed my sketches underneath a sheet of parchment paper.  Then as I cut the pieces of fabric, I placed them on the parchment paper.  When they were all in place and matched the sketches, I put another sheet of parchment paper on the top and pressed to fuse the pieces to each other.  After this cooled, I peeled off the birds and placed them on the quilt.

Lower bird showing sketch and bird

Upper bird on top of sketch

Since the main feature of this art quilt is the light radiating from the center, I needed to shade the birds a little bit.  I used colored pencils, paint, and fabric medium for this step.  The eyes were added with a black permanent marker.  There was no way I was going to attempt the legs and feet of the birds in fabric!  Embroidery floss and an outline stitch is how those features got added.  The lower bird needed to be offering some material for the building of the nest, so I also embroidered that detail with purple and silver embroidery floss.

Friendship before quilting

close up of lower bird

This is the first nest in the series that is supposed to look like it is in progress.  The purple materials on the lower edge of the quilt are the same as in the nest, which include embroidery floss, gray tulle, and shredded cotton fabric.

I used several colors of thread to quilt this little art quilt.  The ombre effect of the fabric is best highlighted with subtle changes in thread color.

And here is the finished quilt.  I hope you like it!

Are You My Friend by Joanne Adams Roth

1 comment:

  1. Joanne, Your "friend" quilt has such wonderful story line! I like the texture of the nest and the nest material in the bird's beak. Your grands were right on with the color palette!--Terry