what if?

I recently made this small collage piece and thought that if I could see it easily in my workroom and be reminded daily, I might actually challenge myself more often to take a familiar technique several steps further than I currently do. When I have a piece which I consider a fail, I try to work out what has gone wrong and mostly I think it’s my colour choices so even though I have two colour wheels and an Ultimate 3-in-1 Colour Tool within easy reach, and I decide to use colour combinations that compliment each other, what actually ends up on the fabric falls far short of the original expectations. I’ve also always known that putting random colours of paint on fabric and expecting the end result to look fabulous will rarely, if ever work, but I do it time and time again and get the same muddy results or clashing colour combinations each time. I’m never surprised when this happens and I don’t know why I haven’t stopped doing this, but I’m hoping that from now on, seeing my “what if?” collage will be like someone shouting, “STOP! What if you actually think about this before you paint/draw/sew/cut….” Maybe I need several of these collages in strategic places around my workroom. Hmmm.

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Not sure about the heavy border of black soft cord but I think the appliquéd letters are a success. The large piece of painted interfacing the letters were cut from was a fail, but in smaller pieces the poor colour combinations seem more acceptable. I would consider this collage a success but I can’t really explain why. Do you agree? I welcome your opinions and or suggestions for improvement. I’m already working on a second piece using the same letter cutouts but in a different “what if?” manner.

Cotton fabric background coloured with acrylic paints. Letters hand cut from heavy-duty interfacing previously splattered with acrylics, and free-motion stitched to the background. The blue rectangles (painted cotton sheeting scraps) were stitched around the borders using a normal sewing machine presser foot with reduced tension and a very short stitch length. Backing fabric (not shown) of bonded twill fabric.

 

zippered pouches

I thought it was time to start using up some of the odd bits and pieces of fabric that I have so I made these little zippered pouches which will go on sale in my son’s shop. Hopefully they will ‘fly off the shelves’ as they say!

a country house

I really enjoyed stitching this house this weekend and wouldn’t mind living in it if it was real. Appliqué and free motion machine stitching. Approximately 16″ x 12″.

country cottage

floral fun piece

I had some fun yesterday making this jug of flowers wall hanging from fabric remnants bonded to the background with Heat n Bond lite then free-motion machine appliquéd. 13 x 20 inches approx.

floral jug

quilted applique

For starters, furnishing fabric samples are probably not the best choice for a quilt top. Not being able to easily remove the paper border that was stuck to each sample didn’t help and having to reduce them in size as a result was another factor that should have rung warning bells loudly in my brain. On the other hand, I really liked the fabric texture and the colours available, had no other use for the samples and nothing better to do this week.

I appliqued the pieces to the blue top fabric and used repositionable mounting spray to baste all the layers together since I don’t possess quilting safety pins, have no intention of buying them and was too lazy to baste by hand. Once the applique was done, I took photographs and used Photoshop Elements to try out various free-motion quilting designs. The one I finally chose looked fine in the 12 x 12″ test quilt I made but the actual quilt was surprisingly heavy and difficult to maneuver when free-motion stitching and this resulted in inconsistent stitch length. I constructed a temporary working area to hold the quilt when ripping out the large area that I’d just sewn and subsequently moved my sewing machine there to better support the quilt when stitching the simple diagonal lines which were my final choice for securing the layers together.

This quilt is only approximately 34 x 44 inches so not large but is an ideal lap quilt size and I’m glad I made it – something else ticked off my list of ‘things I haven’t sewn yet’ list and although JP liked it and admired the work that went into to it, when I suggested to him that I could hang it on a wall, he suggested an outside one. I’m sure he was just joking. If I make any more quilts in future I think I’ll stick to small ones. I admire those quilters who sew bed-sized quilts on a domestic sewing machine but I imagine that it is actually more of a struggle than they care to admit!

blue quilt

quilt table

 

 

 

 

tiger tiger 3

He’s finished now and stitched to what I thought was an appropriate background fabric which I never thought I’d find a use for. A suitable mount is yet to be decided upon so he’ll go on a pinboard in the workroom for the time being. Hope he doesn’t scare the inhabitants of a nearby shelf  when they realise he’s staring in their direction!

tiger 3

 

tiger 4

tiger tiger

Yet another felt appliqué, this time using an image of a tiger for the design. In my head it will could be fabulous when complete but there’s a lot of stitching to be done and many layers to build and much that could go wrong between now and the last stitch!

tiger 1