Friday, September 24, 2010

Workbook revisited

A while ago I wrote (almost) weekly about the Workbook Wednesday project I participated in. As these things tend to I went into the project full of enthusiasm, but things petered out after a while, and I didn't do all the assignments in the workbook. Still, I had fun along the way and I have managed to finish all the seven little quilts I started, and have learned a lot along the way.
I chose 'Windows' as my theme, and most of the small quilts have something window-related going on. With this one, where I worked with diagonals, I made a frame to give the impression of looking out of a window. To emphasize the diagonal line, I added some flower shaped beads and a butterfly. This one has traditional single fold binding.
Here we were to play with the placement of different abstract shapes. I connected them with quilting lines and if you think it looks like some red bikini briefs hung out to dry, that was not my intention, LOL.
I added a pretty polka dot ribbon along the zigzagged edge and some aqua beads in the upper left hand corner.
The appliqué pear and shadow was the only assignment where I used a pattern from the book. I also added an orange strip along two sides to try to give the impression of a shadow from a deep frame. This one is just zig zagged around the edge. I can see that it works as a quick and easy way of finishing a small piece, but it doesn't really suit my neatnik ways. It's hard to tear oneself away from the traditional use of a neat and proper binding, I suppose.
This one just started out as a sample of strips inserted into a square of fabric and comparing the effects of ironing the seam allowances towards the strip or away from the strip to get different effects, on that makes the strips lie on top of the quilt and the second giving recessed strips. To avoid having this sample just lying around and not making itself useful, I added an extra piece of blue to make it the same size as the rest and to try out some stripy quilting. With a bit of imagination this too can be seen as a window quilt - a  tall office building  seen from a ground floor window, mirroring the sunset, perhaps... Oh well, it gave me the chance to try out the blind hem finishing effect which I'd never tried before, and that's one I might actually add to my repertoire.
I also made a sample using curved seams, and decided to use it as a background for another technique: thread painting. I put the background into an embroidery hoop, drew the outline of the bird (recognise it from the border of my blog?) with a water soluble pen and added heavy stitching to create the sulky looking bird. The next technique was bobbin drawing. I used green perle cotton in my bobbin and stitched the cage from the back of the quilt. After adding a frame and quilting, I came up with the idea of adding the cat to emphasize the impression of a window, this time looking in through one. The edge got a narrow machine stitched line and was sealed with glue before I added gold ink along the edge. This was a bit messy, but worked well for this small quilt. It's not a technique I would have used for a larger quilt, though. 
This one started out as a wonky log cabin block. With a few extra strips it ended up the same size as the rest and became a background for my couching exercise, using both hand and machine. I added an uneven blanket stitch along the edge. I still struggle with making my stitches uneven, just as I struggle with making my log cabin blocks wonky, but I'm getting better all the time ;-) After quilting a big flower and some curly swirly lines, I added some beads for that extra sparkle.

The last piece was a collage using a fabric with a motif. Heather Ross' goldfish were perfect here, and I also tried out the porthole technique, or faced opening, on the green fabric, placing a fish behind the opening. Some beads on this one as well and for the edge I zigzagged down some lengths of novelty yarn.
So there you have it. A lot of new techniques resulting in seven little quilts. Not perfect, I know, but that's hardly the point. They are finished, and that makes me happy :-)

1 comment :

Tine said...

These are all beauties - and the pear is my favourite! Wow! That is awesome!