A couple months ago I posted about painting a new piece called Succulent Love, and in the mean time, I’ve had a couple teaching gigs and a vacation trip and have been working on preparations for teaching at International Quilt Festival at the end of October. I don’t think people realize how much prep is involved teaching at conventions, it’s a LOT of work, so I’m only now getting around to writing up a post about the quilting and finishing of it.
This is the finished painting Misyfused to wool batting. I like to use wool batting when I want the quilting to stand out and have more definition. When the quilting has more space between the stitching it has more loft and when the stitching is very close together and dense the surface is very flat.
The hardest part about quilting sometimes is figuring out how you want to stitch the different areas. I decided for the agave, I wanted simple linear quilting that would enhance the physical form of the leaves, helping it to look dimensional.
I decided that I didn’t want to bind it in a traditional quilt-like manner, but do a gallery wrap on wood stretcher bars that I ordered from Dick Blick. First I figured out what size bars I should get based on the quilt wrapping around the sides with a 1 1/2″ depth, and bought two 32″ and two 36″ bars.
By the way, I painted the stretcher bars with acrylic paint before attaching the quilt. This is really important to protect the fabric from the acid that is in wood. Over time the acid will break down the fibers in the fabric eventually making holes.
Then I taped off a 32″ x 36″ rectangle on the front of the quilt so I could center it on the assembled stretcher bars.
I flipped the quilt face down on the table and placed the stretcher bars on top, aligning it with the taped rectangle by pulling up the fabric on each side to see that the tape lined up all the way to each corner.
Then I wrapped the top center of the quilt to the back, folded the edge under and stapled it in place. Then I pulled up the bottom center of the quilt, giving it a gentle but firm stretch, turned under the edge and stapled it in place.
Next I stapled the centers on the two sides the same way, then worked all the way around from centers outward, leaving about 6 inches at each end on all four sides free to wrap the corners.
It’s best to trim away as much bulk as you can to make a tight smooth corner, but be sure to leave enough fabric to smoothly wrap and cover the corner completely.
Finished! All in all, I really like the way it came out wrapped on the stretcher bars, it comes across a little more as ‘art’ and less ‘quilt’. Of course now it’s no longer eligible for quilt shows, but that’s ok, I like to explore other venues for my work as well.
I entered Succulent Love into the International Fiber Arts VII exhibition at the beginning of the month, but found out this week it didn’t get in. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.
And in that vein, the universe balanced the loss, when I received notice the next day, from International Quilt Festival in Houston that my Pink Bird won an honorable mention in the show coming up in October. 🙂
One of the many projects I have in the works right now is a batch of new thermofax screens for my Tea & Ephemera class. I’ve had so much fun designing these and can hardly wait to try them out.
It seems like like whenever I sit down and start working on something like making stamps or designing graphic materials, I’ll have one or two ideas, then suddenly I’m flooded with other ideas and can barely keep up while I’m juggling all the other stuff.
I’ll have the new thermofax screens available to buy when I’m in Houston at International Quilt Festival at; my demo table during the Mixed Media Miscellany event on Thursday Oct 29 at 3pm, and in my Tea & Ephemera class on Friday.
Oct 27-Nov 1 International Quilt Festival, Houston
January 7-10 Craft Napa 2-day Acrylic Inks Adventure
April 12-14 Focus on Fiber New Smyrna Beach, FL 3 day retreat Acrylic Inks Adventure
April 25-May 1 Smiling Turtle Art Spot, Omaha, NE 2 day- Tea & Ephemera, Heavy Metal Play day & 3 day- Acrylic Inks Adventure