Monday, January 29, 2024

Hanging Device with wood eye screws

I looked back at previous blogs about the making of hanging devices for art galleries.  In the first one that I wrote, I used small eye screws.  But those weren't big enough for one of the local galleries.  What they needed were eye screws that were large enough for a pencil to go through it.  Here is the package and a picture of the eye screws, and  a bunch of them showing how they slip over the pencil. They are #10 x 1-3/8" zinc plated wood eye screws.  They are rated to hold 25 lbs.  

I remember now that the sleeves had to be split for some art galleries, while a solid sleeve was fine for others.  I'll wait to see if I get my garden lady series into art galleries, and then modify my sleeves then, if I have to.  

My husband went to the local big box store and bought boards from the craft wood area.  They were 1/2" thick x 4' Long x 3" deep.  He cut these to the exact size that I needed for my quilts, which is 1-1/4" shorter than the finished width, or the length of the sleeve if it's shorter.  That leaves 5/8" on each side for the eyes.    We figured out last time that the eye screws needed to be put closer to the top edge, rather than in the center.   So we marked those at 5/8" from the top edge and centered on the 1/2" width side.

We made 5 of them for the garden lady series, which I'm hoping to get into gallery shows.  Each board got labeled with the name of the quilt that it goes with.  Here's what a finished board looks like:

I hope you are able to exhibit your art quilts in galleries and here's crossing my fingers that these can be shown side by side.

Friday, January 26, 2024

quilts for charity 2024

My fabric stash was getting too huge with left over pieces from other quilts.  So, it was time to make a few quilts to be donated to our charity group.  

These two were made with simple 6-1/2" squares and 2-1/2" strips of color and white.  They measure 54" wide x 66" long and were made mostly with purple and blue fabrics.  Our group often asks for quilts that are appropriate for boys and men, and I think that these will fill that need.  In fact, I almost always make donation quilts with the males in mind.

Here are some instructions:

Cutting instructions:

Colored fabric:

Using a variety of scrap fabrics, cut 50 each 6-1/2” squares for the solid blocks.

After 6-1/2” squares are cut, use the scraps to cut 2-1/2” wide strips, at least 6-1/2” long or as long as WOF.  You will need enough for 50 pieces, but don’t cut them all into 6-1/2” pieces unless you have to.  It’s much easier to work with long strips and cut them to length later.

White fabric:

Cut 2-1/2’ widths of white fabric at WOF.  If you’re using scraps, cut the strips as long as you can.

Sewing instructions:

Sew the white strips to the 2-1/2” colored strips, with white strips on the top and bottom of the colored strip.  Press towards the colored strip.  Cut into 6-1/2” x 6-1/2” blocks.  You need 50.

Layout and sewing the top

Lay out the quilt blocks in a setting of 9 blocks x 11 blocks.  Make sure that the solid blocks are at all the corners and alternate the strip set blocks with the solid blocks.

Sew each row separately and press towards the colored blocks.

Sew the rows together and press these long seams in one direction.

Finish stay stitching

Stitch about 1/8” to ¼” from the edges to secure all the seams, since there are no borders.

I hope that you also find some time to make quilts for those in need.  Perhaps you are already in a quilt group that collects and donates them in your community.  

Monday, January 22, 2024

Garden Lady #5, part five and final - "Harvesting"

This is a continuation of 4 previous posts about the making of Garden Lady #5.

I quilted the piece on both my domestic sewing machine and my sit-down long arm.  I used all kinds and colors of thread and tried to add some texture in the sky and field; there was already plenty of texture in the foreground.

It turned out to be 31.5" W x 51" H.

I started looking for some art venues to display the quilts all together and will let you know if I get accepted into any of them in 2024/25.

I hope you like Garden Lady #5, which I've named "Harvesting".

Monday, January 15, 2024

Garden Lady #5 - Part Four

This is a continuation of 3 previous posts about the making of Garden Lady #5.

The next thing that I wanted to add was some purple fruit that might look like as if it was being picked and put into the basket. I used some purple hand dyed fabric that I had on hand.  Using printouts from Pinterest and my sketch book, I drew up some plums in a couple of sizes.  One technique that I like to use is to trace the shape onto a dissolving foundation, glue it to the backside of the fabric, trim the edges, glue them again, and iron them to the back.  This gives me a nice clean edge that is easy to stitch onto the quilt.  (Unfortunately, the product that I used was Ricky Tims poly stable stuff and he is out of business!)  Here are some progress pictures:

I placed the plums and basket on the quilt and stitched around all of the edges with invisible thread and a small zig-zag stitch.  Once they were placed, it was clear that some leaves needed to be added, so I drew them up and used the same technique as the plums.  The final thing I added were some inked birds and white butterflies.  Here is the quilt top all pinned and spray basted, ready to quilt.

I hope you like how the top turned out!


Monday, January 8, 2024

Garden Lady #5 - Part Three

This is a continuation of two previous posts about the making of Garden Lady #5.

The arms, legs and face were made from a couple of flesh colored fabrics.  After they were interfaced, they were fused to Steam-A-Seam II and put together on my Teflon covered board.  I made the face and colored in the lips, then made the mistake of using water to activate the ink.  Needless to say, the red lips bled into the face and I had to toss that piece in the garbage.  This picture shows the 2nd face without any of the details, nor the red lips (yet).

I decided to use colored pencil after trying both the Inktense pencils with aloe gel and some Fabrico ink pens.  The pencils were the only thing that didn't run.  I think I was having this problem because the fabric was interfaced.  In previous pieces, the skin wasn't interfaced and both of those other options worked just fine.  Here are some of my trials on the first face and the final face.  I love how youthful the face ended up looking.

I hope you like it so far.  Stay tuned for a couple more blogs about the making of this art quilt.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Garden Lady #5 - Part Two

This is a continuation of a previous post about the making of garden lady #5.

I turned the edges underneath on the "garden" pieces and stitched them into place on top of the path and the two top background pieces.  I used a zig-zag 1.8 stitch width and 1.0 stitch length.  

I noticed that, since the background wasn't continuous, I was having a difficult time keeping the background flat and intact.  So, I added some stabilizer into the areas without fabric.  Here is what the background looked like after those steps:

I traced the pattern for the dress and hair and pinned them in place and here is what they looked like:

I could see that the back leg was going to cover up some pieces that were 3-dimentional, so I moved the location a little bit.  It'll take some of the dynamic nature out of the piece, but it's better than ending up with bumpy legs.

The next thing I worked on was the dress.  I decided to fuse some interfacing to the back of the purple material, and will do so with the arms, legs, face and hat.  Some of my other art quilts had see-through that I didn't like, so fixing that problem in advance made sense.  I used Pellon interfacing meant for lightweight clothes  (I don't know the specific number, because the paper insert covered 6 different types.)

I used a Dark violet Inktense pencil and water to paint the shadows on the dress  The freezer paper pattern was cut to reveal the areas to be inked.

And here is the dress with one arm pinned in place and the cuff and color pinned in place.

I hope you like it so far!