The Uncommon Quilting Challenge continues! The 4 squares described in this post will bring me up to date to the end of March.
Square #9: I selected 3 colors of nylon netting in 2 sizes. Stored in a clear plastic envelope the netting looked to have wonderful potential for this project. An intricate pattern developed as the layers overlapped and the colors modified each other in an interesting way. However, I found the material very difficult to manipulate and it caught in the presser foot frequently. It took many layers to build up color and I finally gave up.
Square #10: Plowing around again in the scrap box I found part of a silk shirt. The best parts had long since used for other projects, leaving just the collar. Its familiar shape popped against the contrasting yellow background. I decided to quilt this in a simple grid pattern and with some planning and luck I caught most of the edges without interfering with the top stitching that was already there. This came together quickly which was a happy change from the struggle on #9!
Square #11: This square was quick to make, too. The fabric selection was key, and I started with a hand painted piece that included yellow and pink with black printed squares, and then selected 2 commercial prints and a light gray background. The irregularly cut strips were woven across the surface in a grid and stitched along each edge. It might be interesting to work back into this with more stitching - maybe red X's in each white spot, or just more grid lines.
Square #12: This is my favorite square in the project so far! I looked through my collage box for an idea, or an interesting material. This was a plastic mailing envelope covered with a rough grid arrangement of postage stamps. I cut out the stamp part and set it against the green polka dot background. The black sheer ribbon tethers the green to the edges of the square. Part of the success comes in the repetition of stamps. Scroll down to see more details. And, of course, the irregular grid idea shows up again!
I wasn't planning to make a doll this week. And, this isn't the doll I thought I would make. I was playing around with the clay - with another figure in the back of my mind - when this quirky little face developed. She looked so miserable. An orange dress with a lacy skirt and a yellow hair ribbon perked her up a quite bit. Now she just looks kind of dismayed.
I used sticks for her arms and legs. My choice of sticks is very diminished at the moment, but I did the best I could. The awkwardness has some appeal, but another time I would make some adjustments. As I see her hanging on the wall now she reminds me of a rag doll, which leads me to image her with sewn and stuffed arms and legs. I could try that while I wait for new sticks!
My older sewing machine had been in dry dock for about 15 years. I finally decided to go ahead and get it in running order again. When I got it back from the repair shop this week, I couldn't wait to try it out. It isn't as fast as the electronic machine and quite a bit noisier, but it makes a nice stitch without any tension problems. (Yay!) And the "darning" foot worked well for free motion stitching. A fabric painting from a few weeks ago has continued to cry out for some machine quilting. So, why not? This is the result: Painted fabric on the left and same painting with machine quilting on the right.
The quilting seemed to add a lot of depth and interest. I get really caught up in the details as they emerge. These photos are close ups of areas that I especially like.
I painted on fabric again today with a lively result. There isn't any area of this painting that I dislike, but taken all at once it seems a bit much. See what you think!
Next week I will catch up on my Uncommon Quilting Challenge. Also, I will take photos to share of some the little printing tools I have used on these examples.
When we moved to our Lone Raven Lane address last year, I didn't pay much attention to the street name. It is just a short street with 5 houses in a housing development. Now I'm thinking "Lone Raven Lane" does have a mysterious ring. A little research told me that ravens mate for life and are usually are seen in pairs. So a single raven is lonely, perhaps. We do see ravens around here although they are hard to distinguish from plain old crows, of which there are many. A few ideas are developing on this theme. Some even involve dolls! Here is the first result: "A Woman in Lone Raven Lane". (Mixed media on board, 7" x 9".
I tried to design 3 squares that used more unusual quilting materials with results that were quite different from each other.
The first square the uses stems of artificial flowers that I buy occasionally because I like the blossoms. The leaves are a spongy plastic material that was easy to stitch. I couched the stems by hand and then by machine in places. The quilting stitches outline the leaf shapes.
The second square is more like a traditional quilt in that cotton fabrics are used - and cut into squares. The irregular arrangement is balanced and tied together by the variety of polka dot sizes and colors. I like using the raw edges as another element to tie things together. I can see now that the piece could be enhanced by a little more stitching. Maybe I'll do that!
The third square is my favorite!
I cut the black plastic netting sometimes used to package vegetables into strips about 1" wide. These were easy to pull around into a variety of shapes, and created an interesting pattern where they overlapped each other. I sewed these down with thread to match the background. What are the chances of finding exactly the right print scraps in the bin? Pretty good, in this case! The tiny tulip motif ties the red and yellow prints together and is wonderfully at odds with the contemporary design of the whole.