Every year the AQS (American Quilters Society) has a guild challenge. Guilds all over the country come up with their own theme and create small quilts according to the rules of their own personal challenge and the rules of the AQS. The guilds vote on their own quilts and the top 8 of each guild is submitted to the AQS in Paducah, KY for approval to enter the AQS quilt show. If a guild is chosen to submit their group of 8, then they are sent off to Paducah to be entered into their show in Grand Rapids, MI. If a guild is so lucky to win, the guild wins a hefty check. Our guild has chosen the theme, “Monogram or Family Name” They are due Feb. 6th to be judged at our Feb. 8th guild meeting by a professional judge. I came up with kind of a whimsical idea incorporating most of my creative passions and inspirations. I plan on using lots of color because I’m all about color!
From my drawing I start making paper patterns from freezer paper. It can be ironed onto the fabric over and over again without leaving any residue. Just be sure you iron the SHINY side down. Otherwise you probably will be cleaning you iron. It’s great stuff and should be in every quilters cupboard. When I am happy with the shapes, I then trace my pattern pieces under the fusing material. Here you see the freezer paper ironed onto the background. I chose to do a monogram. It will eventually be the letter G formed to like like Birch branches. The letter P will be fern fronds and the S will be a vine sort of flower that I made up. Yes, you can do that. No rules in art quilting (except the AQS – dimension, 3 layers, and hanging sleeve according to their directions).
I chose a “Grunge” black fabric so I could use lots of bright colors. The drawing is my jumping off point. Next I started to lay out my paint pallet of fabrics. I have a large board covered with cushioning and ironing board fabric. It makes for a great work station when I fuse.
Fast forward, I hand painted a white fabric with black and grey and brown inks to look like birch bark. I forgot to take pictures of that process, but you’ve seen me do that before. After the fabric was dry (it only takes 10 min.), I applied the fusing to the back and proceeded to cut out my birch branches. The fusible backing tends to peel off easier if you let it set a few hours or longer. I get in a hurry and scrape the paper backing with a straight pin and them I can peel it away. Here you can see the whole monogram and two of the hummingbirds.
Here I have painted morning glories with fabric paint and when they were dry I again fused the Pellon Wonder Unde to the back side of the painted flowers. I cut the shapes out and allowed them to dry in the sun until I was ready for the bright blue flowers.
More fusing has taken place. Vines are fun to do. Just apply fusing to the back of a fabric you love and free form cut squiggly pieces. You can always cut some more or make adjustments as you go. Always remember to have pieces coming from behind objects so it appears more real.
You may not know about Teflon pressing sheets. These are 14 inch sheets that you can buy in most quilting stores. They are pricey and baking teflon sheets that you use for cookies are cheaper and work the same. I found that out later. Anyway, they work great for assembling more intricate things on the sheet so you can adhere it to your quilt in one step. Brilliant idea! So I created this little bird and he has small parts. So after the sheet cools, you simply peel him up and put it on your quilt when you are ready for it. I use one sheet on the bottom and sometimes one on the top so I keep my iron clean. I’m notorious for having to clean all the fusible web off my iron. That is another trick I want to share. All you need to do is run your hot iron over a wet Mr. Clean Eraser sponge until you get all the gunk off. It works really well.
Here is a look at my little bird. He is working on a nest that isn’t built yet. I fused my knitting needles and sewing needles with a silver metallic fabric. As this quilt has progressed, I feel I have made my own personal coat of arms so to speak. I may add “est. 1955” at the bottom in heavy white top stitching thread.
Here is where I am now. I think I have found the binding fabric, but I want to add a flange and I think this giant ric-rac works great. I “auditioned” green ric-rac and it wasn’t the one. This is where a design board comes in so handy. My first one was just one sheet of insulation board covered in a felt flannel. Just a flannel sheet blue taped to a wall for a few days works too.
Here is the nest I was talking about and my squirrel is quilted. I cross hatched the background after marking it off with a chalk pencil. The chalk lines will brush away. This was pretty unusual for me since I like to do free motion so much. The rest of the quilt has been done in free motion.
Well it has been a few days of thinking about that ric-rac and believe it or not, I am going with the green. It is a little narrower and easier to get a 1/4 in seam allowance worked in under the binding. I then have to cut the excess ric-rac bulk off so I will be able to get the binding wrapped around the back properly. I rounded the corners of the whole quilt. That has been quite a problem to get it eased with all the bulk from the ric-rac. You have to engineer it right so it lays perfectly flat while hanging at a quilt show or the judges will get you for that. Plus I now realize that the regulation AQS sleeve has to fit across the very top with curved top corners. Boy did I make a lot of work for myself. (Note to self…don’t curve the top of the quilt.)
Here are a few closeup shots. But I forgot to get the Est. 1955 on the bottom of the quilt. I’ll do it this week. But I wanted to show you the quilt, basically done.
I am now busily making my new line of Junk Gypsy, Country Chic, Boho, Gypsy Cowgirl Jewelry. I don’t know where this all comes from , but I just love that style. I am offering free shipping with coupon code “cupid14” for any purchases this month. Valentines day is coming you know. Here is a little taste of PeeGee Jewelry new items.
I made the wing from my cold porcelain and glazed it in pink and white.
I must have a pair of these for myself!
Indigo and Silver
A little Downton Abby Style. (Rog and I are hooked on that show) Anyway, take a peek at my shop. More stuff being made today.