Succulent Love complete

succulent love

Succulent Love 36″ x 32″

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.fused quilt

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.

agave quilting
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.

bkgrd quilting 1
For the background I really wanted to play with stitching plant like forms and then fill the space between with dense stitching to accentuate the designs.

bkgrd quilting 2 bkgrd quilting 3 succulent love quiltingThis is the finished quilting.

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.

1 taped

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.

2 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.

3 stretcher bars

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.

4 stretcher bars

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.

5 wrapped 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.

succulent love

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.

Pinkbird_fullAnd 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. 🙂


What else I’ve been working on:

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.

new thermofax screens

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.


I’d love to spark your creativity at one these upcoming events:

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

24 Responses to “Succulent Love complete”

  1. Susan says:

    Absolutely stunning. Your painting is amazing and the quilting more so. I love how you quilted the 2nd cactus. I can’t imagine what the judges were thinking but hopefully they see this post and realize their error!

    • lol, who knows, maybe there were lots of entries or maybe it didn’t fit as well with the other pieces being selected. There’s lots of reasons why work doesn’t get accepted. I appreciate your support though, thanks 🙂

  2. Clare Hunter says:

    Holy Cow. When I look at your work, it’s amazing and then you keeping doing more pieces that surpass amazingit!! Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous and thanks for sharing the process. The judges are blind!

  3. Beautiful! What paint to paint the stretcher bars?

  4. Robin Parton says:

    Love Succlent Love. So wish I was going to Houston this year.

  5. Chris Chambers says:

    Really beautiful artwork–thanks for sharing the process. Can I ask–do you have a preference on your wool batting?

  6. peaceful says:

    I love the butterflies and bugs incorporated into the plant then also in the background. And the quilting is really quite fabulous.

  7. Lynette (NZ) says:

    Beautiful piece any way you look at it Judy. I love everything about it. Have a lovely weekend

  8. Barbara says:

    Such beautiful work Judy. Thanks for the tip using the blue tape to center on the stretcher bar.

  9. Misty Cole says:

    Thank you for this tutorial. I need to do this for some of my quilts for an exhibit, and this is exactly the information I needed. Beautiful quilt!

  10. Joanie says:

    Judy, this is absolutely gorgeous! I love your work and would love to take a class with you someday. Will you have the new screens available to purchase on-line?

    • Thanks Joanie! If you put in a request with your local guild maybe they’d consider booking me 🙂

      I hadn’t really considered selling the screens online, not wanting to deal with that occasional overseas request shipping calculation, but I’m going to do a bit of research and ask friends how the deal with that and if I move to selling online I’ll be sure to post about it. Thanks for asking though, and if there’s any designs you are interested in, just send me an email and I can certainly put together an order with paypal and send them to you after I get them. The size and price break down is 3″x 4″-$10 (3 birds and top row in photo), 4″ x 7″- $15 (middle row) and 7″x 9.5″ -$20 (first 2 on bottom row).

  11. Succulent Love is lovely. Thank you for taking the time to show all the photos and writing about all the steps. Very generous of you to share all the tips.

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