Friday, May 25, 2012

Little House - on Stilts

The Renegade challenge this year is to build a quilted house.  I really like the idea and if you look back to earlier posts you will see my initial experiment.  But as I considered building a little house for the challenge, especially after seeing the incredible creative houses that other members had made, I decided that a square house would just not do.  So this little house is a triangle.  It is hard to tell this from the photo - you will just have to trust me.

I still need to add the beads that will hang from the roof - and some little fishy beads - but I really like it so far.  Making the house stable enough to hold its shape and stand on stilts presented MANY challenges - all of which I really enjoyed when I wasn't grumbling with frustration.

The stilts are chopsticks with strips of fabric wound around and glued.  Actually there is a LOT of glue in this project.  The stilts had to be glued in place and then there is a line of beads along each seam to really help it stay together.  I will include detailed photos of that later.

The roof was the result of a class I took recently.  You take fabric and fuse it to another piece of fabric and then cut out shapes that can be seen from both sides.  So these are tiny squares that are attached with a piece of couched fiber down the middle.  I really like the dimensional aspect it adds to the house.

The stairs were sort of fun. When you have a house on stilts, you need to have stairs to get to the door, right?  They are little triangle blocks of wood that I have in one of my many boxes of weird supplies.  I do believe that if a little tiny person came across the fabric lake in the little tiny boat, then they could actually walk up the little tiny stairs to my little tiny triangle house.  And wouldn't that be just TOO cool?

I do love these creative challenges even though they almost make me crazy - very good for stretching my brain.    Watch for photos of the beaded details soon......   barbara

And Now For Something Completely Different

Some days you just NEED to do something completely different.  I was thinking about circles - and I found this pretty fabric.  It wasn't cotton - but I really liked the colors of the fabric and the fact that it was shiny - probably some sort of polyester - maybe even from a blouse or skirt that I got at a garage sale.... who knows?

Anyway - I backed the shiny slippery fabric with a lightweight fusible and then with Wonder Under so I could fuse the circles in place.  After I cut out five circles I played with them for a while but the design was sort of predictable and boring.  So I started taking the leftover pieces and adding them to the design.  It took a lot of playing around - but I like the final design.

My favorite part is the fact that the colors shift whenever you move to a slightly different angle.  I used metallic thread for the quilting and, amazingly, it never once broke and made me mad.  And that is a miracle.  I did use those wonderful 90/14 titanium topstitch needles from Superior.

Once I was all done (including the turnover binding) it still didn't look complete so I added beads.  A lot of beads.  And little copper sequin circles.  Here is a detail.

 I enjoyed this detour from my normal projects.  Now I just need to figure out where I am going to hang this quilt... hmmmm.....     barbara

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cindy You Will Like This Beaded Rock

For a completely different Thing to Do - I have been felting rocks.  Uh huh.  Real rocks covered with wool fiber and tossed back and forth until the wool is felted.  Sort of weird but sort of relaxing. 

This rock had a little too much wool in one area that was sort of lumpy so I added some beads to conceal this problem.  This is one of the rocks that I made when my favorite sister-in-law Jeanne and my favorite niece Claire visited.  Here is a picture of what the finished rock looks like.

Sort of fun, don't you think?    It is TINY (only 2 1/4 inches long) but fabulous!!barbara

Finally Finished - Green Man

So he is finally all quilted and bound and ready to go.  Not that he is really GOING anywhere in particular.

I am pleased with the way he looks.  And I am still trying to think of a real name for the quilt.  Green Man seems sort of ..... dorky.  The Red Man quilt ended up being Consternation.

 Maybe this fellow should be Apprehension..... or Suspicion....or....
I guess I will know when I come up with the right name.

One of the big questions with this style of quilting is always how much quilting is needed.  The individual pieces are fused and need no stitching to hold the edges in place.  This makes Quilt Police really really nervous!  But since they are always confused by my work anyway - what do I care?

 I tried a slightly different method of binding and I like it.  Very simple.  Just attach the binding and turn to the back.  I think a border would have been way too much for this guy.

This is a detail photo of the quilting.  I used  two different colors of  variegated thread and wavy lines to give the impression of energy or intensity vibrating the air around him.  I did incorporate the suggestion of the wonderful artist/judge at the Little Rock show who suggested using a color of thread that picked up the color of the quilted portion.  I really like the effect.

Should I do another portrait next - or something completely different - like a plant.....   hmmmmm.....       barbara