Sunday, September 20, 2009

Think Outside the Box

For a long time now, I've wanted to expand my quilt collection to include techniques that would read more as art than a traditional quilt. My desire was to blend my traditional hand quilting background with a contemporary, fiber art twist. I thought outside the box of traditional quilting, and this is where I landed! Who would have believed that the answer would come to me while I cleaned my studio.

These fiber art pieces had their beginnings as the scraps left behind after I squared off my fabric with the rotary cutter. I had just finished a quilt that had different fabrics with a white theme and I had a million little strips. With a little adjusting to my new found treasures, I was on the right track. I looked down on the stack of fuzzy white mini-strips and was a bit disheartened. The tone on tones that worked so well in the queen sized quilt, just looked like a sea of white. Flat and uninteresting. So I dug a little further into the basket and found some pretty sky blue pieces. I striped them up and added them to *the mix*. That was what it needed. A little color variance to give the collection some depth.

But it still lacked the 3-dimensional feel I was looking for. This was solved with a look into the basket that sits by my sewing station. I found little bundles of threads...all tangled together. I picked through them, sorting out the whites and metallic. I added the thread bundles to my fabric scraps and there it was! I was so excited.

The next task was going to be securing the thread and fabric bundles. All those little pieces!!

I needed a backing....
something to anchor the little pieces to. A piece of plain white muslin would do. I carefully laid all the little strips onto the muslin and pined like mad! Then to the sewing machine. I attached the darning foot and off I went.
For the first time in my quilting career I didn't have to worry about tying threads and burrying them at the back. I left the tails and it just added more personality to the....what do I call my new fabric creation?

I then cut the new fabric creation and assembled the little quilts the way I have for years. I added a needle turn applique tree trunk and soft sculpture branch, covered in snow, to the "Snowy Oak".
To "Believe in Magic" I incorporated a needle turn applique dragonfly and hand embroidered the verse.

To follow this new idea of an art piece, I made stretcher frames and mounted the quilts around them instead of using a binding.

I'm very happy with my decision to think outside the box. I have four more quilts on the design wall and have been having so much fun with this new technique.

Thank you very much for stopping by and I hope you visit again next week.

1 comment:

  1. try putting a piece of tulle over your tiny pieces of fabric and then free motion stitch over them. The Tulle will hold them in place and you wont have to chase after the ones that make it off the piece. I do soem free motion stitching in soem of my pieces.