Years ago, a friend brought me a tote bag from Vienna, featuring fabric with a print by Gustav Klimt. I took the tote, loaded with collage supplies, to a family gathering recently, and when putting everything away, didn’t notice that one jar of rubber cement was not closed tightly!
What a mess greeted me the next morning! The lining of the bag was a loss, so I cut the print off the bag and tossed the rest. The fabric is some kind of synthetic – not something I could really press – and it had lots of little fused crystals on it, for added bling.
So I turned it into a convergence quilt! The colors suggested rust, gold and black to me – standard for so many of Klimt’s paintings. I had removed the original crystals, but will add more to the finished piece.
It turned out well, and will go on display in June, 2015, with the Library Quilters Show, at the Morton Grove (Illinois) library. It will be interesting to see whether anyone recognizes the original painting.
I have had a really fun time making these small quilted wall hangings, featuring yoga pose silhouettes! My good friend Sherry Brodock was in town in January, playing with fabric, and she came up with this gorgeous background. I would not have thought to add the purple and green print in with such warm colors, but the contrast is quite appealing.
The pose on the left is Triangle, and the one on the right is Dancer’s Pose. After layering the background fabrics, I cut a silhouette out of black fabric that has a fusible on the back. Once that is fused in place, I stitch close to the edges with black thread, and then again a little bit outside the figure, partly to define it, and partly to hold the top part of the wall hanging together. I trim the edges and bind the piece. These two have sleeves on the back for hanging, as they are slightly larger than some of the others. They are for sale on my Quiltaruni store on etsy.com.
Sherry did a second layout of background colors, so those will be next. When I find a good combination of colors, I take a photo to remind me of the gradation. So I can also replicate this particular gradation, and have enough fabric to make more. Thanks, Sherry!
I love working with not only gradated backgrounds, which look like landscapes, but also with silhouettes. It is so easy to find a shape online, and then cut that shape out of black fabric, and fuse it to something else.
Cattails appeal to me in particular, and I have now made 5 or 6 of these small pieces, to go on my etsy store. (Go to etsy.com, and search for Quiltaruni.)
These two pieces have the same background. As long as I am layering fabrics, I make a piece about 20″ wide, and then cut it into two or three strips. The strips are not perfectly level, or the same width, which give the layering an organic feel. I fuse the layers down, and top stitch or do free motion stitching along the edges. It is amazing how just putting a few pieces of fabric together can suggest a sunrise or sunset!
Then, I add a small fusible crystal at the top of each (not shown here), to indicate a star. Very satisfying!!!
After having taken a driving trip in the winter, I am inspired to do some snowy landscapes as well. Considering my stash of fabrics, this idea could keep me going for a very long time!
I have long been fascinated by silhouettes, often of people. Recently, I’ve made a few small pieces (to go on my etsy store) featuring silhouettes of cattails at sunset, but while at the yoga studio the other day, the idea came to me to do some of yoga poses.
I layer fabrics on batting to represent some kind of landscape, and then cut a shape out of black fabric and fuse it to the background. This one worked particularly well, with the reds and pinks seeming to indicate a sunrise. Then, a small fusible crystal near the top suggests a “morning star”, which can be either of the planets Venus or Mercury, or the star Sirius.
This makes a smallish wall hanging (10 x 18″), and the number of poses and backgrounds is unlimited! I am onto something new!
OnDecember 12, 2014, I posted a photo of what I called a Tropical Fruit French Braid Quilt. Some of the floral fabric was left over, so I used it to make a “convergence” quilt, along with three other pieces of fabric. The pattern and directions for this come from Ricky Tims’ book, Convergence Quilts, Mysterious, Magical, Easy and Fun:
Tims’ book is a delight to look at, regardless of whether you are making a quilt or not. This very out-of-the-box technique involves sewing fabrics together, cutting them into strips, and mixing the strips in a new configuration – twice! The results are mind blowing.
After making this one quilt, it figured it “needed something”, so looked through my library of embroidery designs, and found the perfect thing. In the photo, the applique has not yet been cut out or applied – this is the “audition”. I am quite pleased! This will go on my etsy store in January, 2015.
So here is the finished French braid in those bright colors that I featured in my last blog post. Holy smokes! Looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it? Mango, apricot, peach and persimmon colors. It actually glows!
The braid was easier to make than I was expecting, and quilting it, “in the ditch” also went quickly. I am so inspired that I will make another one with these colors but a different border. And there is another project in the works with that border of wild tropical flowers.
Last week’s French Braid turned out so well that I decided to do another. After having seen a gorgeous yellow rose, with peach and coral at the edges of the petals, that has become my color palette for the next piece. Sometimes it is hard to find enough peach colored fabrics for me, but right now, I have a pretty good collection.
So the next step was to go back to the fabric store (what a hardship!) to purchase an accent fabric. Much to my surprise, I found TWO! So the question became – which one to use?
The answer is to use BOTH. I will do two French Braids, one with a dark accent fabric, and one with a lighter one. Honestly, these colors seem to vibrate in my chest, making them part of my wellness program.
Every once in a while a project doesn’t go quite the way I expected it to, but turns out so much better that it is breathtaking. So it was with this French Braid.
Originally, it was going to be in one of my all time favorite color combinations – peach and green. My wedding was in peach and green, as is my bedroom. But the teal snuck in and made for such a vibrant contrast that I became rather obsessed with putting all the pieces together so I could see them together.
On my camera, the borders came out deep blue, so this photo has been altered in Photoshop. The real thing is a bit brighter than this, and absolutely thrilling to me. This piece will go on my etsy store if I can ever part with it.
The French Braid pattern is very satisfying to me, as the colors gradiate, and make for a design reminiscent of a cathedral window. My next one of these is being lined up now, in yellows and peaches, inspired by a rose I saw the other day. Stay tuned!
I have joined PAQA (Professional Art Quilters Association), and gone to a couple of meetings. A quilt challenge has been suggested, for members of this group, and the finished pieces will be shown at a big quilt expo in the spring.
The subject of the challenge is “The Midwest”, and we are meant to depict, in 18 square inches, what living in the Midwest means to us.
To me it means variety and contrast. I used photos that I took myself, and printed them on fabric. One is of Chicago’s “Bean” (officially named Cloudgate), and one is of Dugout Lake in Hazelhurst, Wisconsin, just down the hill from the cabin that used to belong to my grandmother. The juxtaposition of these images shows that living here in Chicago, I not only have access to one of the major cities in the country, its architecture, cultural diversity and stimulation, but also to the beauty and peace of the great outdoors. The images are arranged in a yin/yang symbol, to represent opposite forces balancing each other. In the four corners are the colors of the four seasons – more variety and contrast. The change of seasons is one the things I love the most about being here.
All summer I kept thinking about how I’d like to do some brilliantly colored scrap blocks set against a black background. But the idea for the placement of the blocks eluded me until one day, when I was out walking. I am quite pleased with this design. It might be an original, although there is no way to know for sure.
While I was working on this version, it came to me that blocks in all blues and greens would look great against a light colored background, so that is in the works, too. Then it was suggested that I write up the pattern for this quilt, and offer that for sale on my etsy store (https://www.etsy.com/shop/Quiltaruni?ref=search_shop_redirect), so watch for that in the future.
I will even do a youtube video of how I make scrap blocks!
So along with the pattern will be an offer to custom make a quilt like this for other people. I can envision someone wanting one where all the blocks are done in autumn colors, or one with all purples and blues. The variations are endless. It would also be a good design for memory blocks – fabrics that you are sentimentally attached to, but don’t know how to display.