Hello readers… adding beadwork to yesterday’s quilt, a time-consuming yet very satisfying process. Yesterday I took my supplies to the beach and sat in a chair with my needle. This afternoon I spent time in my studio as it is hotter than Hades outside. Tomorrow I will continue and then back and bind the quilt.
Today I switched up my machine and used the felter to build a quilt top around a little hand-beaded piece of fabric I’ve had pinned to my work board for a while.
The felter is great fun because you never know exactly how the two pieces of fabric will meld together. Also, It’s a nice way to use tiny scraps of fabric that normally would have been tossed out.
I first set the large pieces with a fusible web to give them a bit of stability. Then I cut the scraps and arrange them in a pleasing way, and felt each scrap to the larger piece. It takes little time, unless you snap a needle! The felter runs with 5 and it’s a bit of a pain to change one out.
After the pieces were attached I added more beadwork to the whole piece.
This one’s finished…. hooray!
When I started out this summer, I told myself I wanted to complete the pieces I had started over the past year. Recently I counted those unfinished works and came up with a figure of 16… of course that didn’t include sketches in my notebook or stacks of fabric I’ve bought with patterns in mind. That might make a quilter feel overwhelmed, or it could make her feel really inspired. I know one thing – it feels good to finish and be satisfied with the work! I’m going to focus on the inspiration part, and pick out a new piece to focus on tomorrow. 🙂
This is the two steps up, one step back method of quilting. I separated the crooked section from the backing, re-attached it so it was straight, and then edge-stitched all three sections down onto the backing with an embroidery stitch. You are looking at the re-attached portion and some buttons that are starting to make their way onto the black kaleidoscopes. I ran out of buttons, of course. That will be tomorrow’s project…
I worked this morning on machine quilting and adding the buttons and sequins to the Bling Quilt. There’s an issue with the straightness of one of the elements, so I will be fixing that tomorrow.
Also, the photo is a small exercise I did last night after dinner, using scraps and some of the ripped out thread from the reverse appliqué quilt. Waste not want not… 🙂
Despite the cat’s best efforts I successfully attached the felt backing to the quilt this afternoon. Looking forward to adding thread and bead details tomorrow.
Sometimes you have to admit you’re beat, and walk away. After my third try machine quilting the reverse appliqué quilt I gave up and set it aside, with the ever-useful seam ripper, for another day.
Instead I pulled out three abstract quilt pieces which have split their time hanging on various walls or sitting in piles in my studio over the last 2 years. I’ve had an idea in my head about how to finish them. They certainly could’ve been complete quilts separately; but I wanted to link them together – the more difficult exercise – and I’ve been mulling over how to go about it for months.
The three pieces remind me of designs from the 1950’s and early 60’s, a lot of free form shapes. They also remind me a little bit of Vegas, and the shows out there. I think because of some of the beadwork and color combinations. 🙂
I wanted to pull the three pieces together on a backing that highlighted a similar, free-form silhouette. I have done this in a couple other smaller quilts with some success. but this is the first time I have worked this large. I started by layering the fabric, then I traced out a shape, and marked some cutouts. I think the cutouts add visual interest and help your eye move between pieces.
To be a quilt, by definition, there has to be three layers – top, batting, backing. I chose to put the batting underneath each separate piece. The backing will be three layers deep, and it’s like a reverse appliqué where you cut away the top layer to see what’s underneath. The final back will be black felt (found a use for that “fake felt” polyester stuff I bought!).
I’ve uploaded pictures that show the steps so far. Tomorrow I will be working on attaching the felt back to the rest of the quilt. I’m not sure yet how to do this… typically I spray the layers with a quilt adhesive, sandwich them and they are fairly stable for quilting. This piece with it’s cutouts presents it’s own challenge. After all the pieces are assembled I will add more stitching and possibly a little more beadwork.
So the seam ripping has gotten to be a habit this week. 🙂 I went back to this quilt that I had been very happy with when I completed it, until there were problems with the backing. After I took it off the first polyester background and redid this with a doubled square of wool felt, I stitched around the exterior with a decorative setting (which you can’t see well in the photo). The wool is a bit more expensive than fake felt but I think it’s worth the price for the better finish.
Spent another couple hours with the seam ripper today, pulling stitches out of the reverse appliqué quilt. They come out three times as slow as the go on. On the bright side, I get a second chance to decide on the kind of stitch, as I was between two patterns.