Monday, May 20, 2019

Brown bag challenge - Making the circle pieces

This is a continuation of previous posts about the Vagabonds brown bag challenge.  My design called for circles of varying sizes.  After looking at ideas on the internet, I landed on all kinds of techniques that I wanted to use.

Painting - after painting the ugly 1972 textile, I fused it to Steam a Seam Lite II and cut out the circles.  In this picture, the top and bottom circles were made with this technique.

Washers - I painted the silver washers to match the painted textile and hand appliqued them to their background fabric pieces.

Copper - I cut it into circles and hand appliqued them to their fabric backgrounds.

Heavy and odd fabric - I fused them to Steam a Seam Lite II and cut them into varying sizes of circles.  I also sewed them to a backing fabric and turned them right side out.  The lower right circle was made this way.

Leftover threads were combined with some of my scrap threads and Angelina fibers, then sandwiched between two layers of green tulle.

Handmade paper fabric was cut into circles and appliqued to background fabrics.

I beaded and embroidered many of the circles.  After I made all of the components, I appliqued them all to the background.   Here is the quilt after the circles were appliqued:

Monday, May 13, 2019

Commission Sewing and Review

I've accepted a new challenge!

This time its not a skills challenge, but instead is an income producing challenge.  I applied to Connecting Threads to be a quilt pattern tester and they have hired me to do this for the past couple of months.

Its right up my alley, with my engineering degree and background in developing patterns and quilt classes.  Plus, I get to sew with someone else's material and supplies.  And, finally, I don't end up with more quilts stored in bins.

Unfortunately, I can't show you any of the quilts that I've made.  Secrecy is the key to working with catalog companies before they unveil their patterns and fabrics.

So far its been pretty fun and is another thing to keep me busy in retirement.

I hope you find things that are challenging and fun too!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Design start for brown bag challenge

I wrote two previous blogs about the Vagabonds brown bag challenge.  It's not a secret this time, so I can share my progress with you.

I sketched up a couple of design ideas based on the bag of goodies I received in the exchange.  Originally, I was certain that I would take one of my landscape photos; shred whatever fabric I got; and make it all into a collaged landscape.  However, I got a zipper, some washers, a bit of copper, and some really interesting fabrics.  There went my first ideas of a landscape based on one of my photos.

I searched internet sources for ideas and narrowed them down on my sketch pad.  The winner was the 35" w 50" L design on the bottom right, which is a fantasy landscape.

I placed some lines on my design board that looked like the drawing, and used it as the pattern that was transferred to freezer paper.

This is a series of pictures and a description of how I used the pattern to make the background.  Batting was cut slightly larger than the outline and was pinned to the wall and then the freezer paper pattern was pinned on top of that.  You can see all the layers with the outline ribbon, the batting, and the paper pattern below.

I cut out one wedge of the pattern at a time, sprayed the batting with basting spray and placed chunks of fabric directly on top, slightly overlapping the edges.  Here are the progress pictures with the background fabrics going up on the design wall.

After all the pieces were placed, the top and batting were removed from the wall, a layer of light gray tulle was pinned on top, it was backed and quilted.  That's all for the background.

I hope you like the progress pictures.  Stay tuned for more on this challenge quilt.