A creation from Way Back: a florid appliqué heart Valentine designed by Elinor Peace Bailey.
I have always wanted a patriotic mini-quilt, so before surgery, I prepped up these little stars, fused them down to 2 1/2″ squares of fabric and stitched them together in a block. I figured I could stitch on them while healing. I would use some of those pearl cottons I’d collected while doing Oh! Christmas Tree, and blanket stitch around the shapes.
I taught my husband how to rotary cut, and we got some stripes together (short is 8-1/2″ x 2-1/2″; longer is 16-1/2″ long x 2-1/2″). I swapped out my big machine for my teeny Featherweight, and stitched them together, one-handed. At my first check-up the doctor gave me the go-ahead to do stitching, as long as I wore my sling, saying it would be “therapeutic.” Oh, yes.
Putting on these scissor-cut 1-1/4″ borders was not easy (finish at 3/4″). I’m so used to man-handling the fabric for speed, I’d forgotten how to slow-stitch, or slow-quilt, or whatever you want to call it. Before, I would grab the strip in front and in back and put some tension on it, floor my foot pedal, and force that fabric into place. Since I only have one hand available to help guide it through the machine, this wasn’t going to work.
Auditioning the next border, with the realization that there is no driving, either, so no running to the fabric store if I don’t like what I have. I scissor cut the borders, laid out the little mini quilt face-up on the ironing board, and gave it a good press and smoothed it out. Next I laid the border face-down on top, and again pressed it. Since I can’t force these pieces together, I have to coax them. I pinned them together in many places, and fed the seam slowly through the machine. Flattest border I ever put on, with no puckers anywhere.
I had an old printout from the internet (couldn’t find the source when I went back to reference it) that had this word, so I drew two lines, 5″ apart, then another guideline 1″ inside the top and bottom and freehanded the letters. I fused them on to the quilt. They are about 5″ tall overall, as that outer border was 6″ scissor-cut.
I sketched out a bud, figured out some leaves. I drew joined leaves, inspired by my love of samaras, or those joined helicopter seeds from maple trees, but also inspired by this photo [PDF of pattern shapes is at the end of this post]. Above, I am trying Sarah Fielke’s method of prepping up shapes for appliqué. It worked fairly well.
I laid out all the parts: leaves, byds (small and large), tubing for stems and more cut stars (on the pattern sheet), trying to decide if I like two leaf sets next to the word Liberty, or one. I’ll appliqué or blanket stitch down everything…then decide. Since I work in small segments of time, and ever so slowly, I might make my goal of July 4th. Here’s the pattern sheet in a PDF document: liberty-usa-quilt-bits
Please be sure to set your printer’s settings to 100% so the large star will measure 3-1/4″ where noted. It contains: large flower bud (top and two sides), small flower bud (next to Liberty), joined leaf shape and the large star. You can either shrink this star for the 16 stars in the central star section, or look for a star online that will measure about 1-3/4″ to 2″ across.
Keep stitching, however s l o w l y !
This is the deconstruction post for my recent Four-in-Art Challenge of Shimmer.
First off: what a lame title. I had another name picked for this (“Multiverse Snapshot”) which is a much cooler name, but I’d forgotten that I had chosen it, and instead on the label put this blathery clichéed title. Now that you know how I really feel about it, I’ll tell you how I put this together. (And no, I’m not making another label.)
I wanted to recreate the little specks of light from Multiverse (see previous post), so cut strips of silvery metallic fabric. This is leftover fabric from my friend Lisa’s American Flag project (a flag the size of a basketball court); she rescued me when I couldn’t find my own lamé in my sewing room. Just for the record, that stuff is a challenge to work with: the strands kept going off on their own, as you can see above.
I wanted the vantage point to be off the piece, so I drew a dot on a post-it note off the paper, but when that didn’t prove to be a far enough vantage point, I went further to the left, making the radiating lines in red pencil.
I had some strips of solids leftover from this quilt, and put them into use.
I seamed a couple of those strips end-to-end, laid the resulting longer strip in the center, and chose a bright solid to lead off the piece, and stitched down one side. I went back and forth between doing this piece in a series of gray and black fabrics vs. rainbow, but knew that I didn’t have a wide enough range to get the effect of Multiverse, so changed it up to a muted rainbow.
A good beginning. You can see by the red cast of this photograph that I’m sewing at night.
A lot of times I’m tired at the end of the day and don’t want to sew, but then I say: “What do I want to have done before I go to bed tonight?” and head back into the sewing room. Often just working for ten or so minutes will engage me enough to keep going at it for at least an hour.
I was feeling a lot of pressure to get this sewn up ahead of time, because I knew that I would have had a surgery when this posted (it happened about a week ago: a repair to a severed tendon on my rotator cuff) and I knew I’d be unable to complete this, or any sewing at all, for some time.
But hopefully it will be good to get the pain gone (cause is referenced here) and my shoulder back in working condition.
I almost like the back better than the front. If I had any creative guts at all, I would have gone with this. My professor in my digital art class once told me: “You have a problem with tidiness in your art.” Yep, I’m all about the tidiness, as long as you don’t look at my garage. Or sewing room.
I backed it with this new piece of fabric, “Dropping Seeds” by Roseanne Morton. Okay, I want this fabric in ALL colors; it’s terrific. I chose a simple black very narrow binding, and did my usual two squares-folded-on-the-diagonal-and-sewn-into-the-top-corners for how I’ll hang it. (I put a dowel cut to size in those “pockets” and suspend the piece on a pushpin or nail.) Happy Shimmering!
Next quarter’s challenge, due May 1st, is Light in the Darkness.
Every time I head to Washington, DC and go to the National Gallery of Art, I head downstairs to go through this light insulation by Leo Villarreal, titled Multiverse. The lights are static, then blinking, then shimmering, then moving and I never tire of it.
Shimmery Tunnel of Memories, Quilt #177
Four-in-Art, Series Four: Light
10 1/2″ wide 16″ high
Our Four-in-Art art quilt group’s yearly theme for 2017 is Light, and our first quarterly challenge was shimmer.
Shimmer is best captured in movement, in seeing the light flicker and move and wink and flash, so it was a hard one to interpret in cloth. But I had taken a snapshot of Multiverse on a trip to DC, and used that as inspiration for this challenge.
I’ll do the Deconstruction on the this quilt in the next post.
Please visit the others in our Four-in-Art group, and see how they interpreted the Challenge of Shimmer:
Betty Sun Shimmer, Filtered
All of our blocks are on our blog, Four-in-Art.
I don’t ordinarily post on this site news of a controversial nature, so if you don’t want see this, please click on by. This video was produced by my church and is about the least political statement I could find regarding why the world’s refugee crisis is something that affects us all.
Regular quilting content comes again on Wednesday, with the Four-in-Art Challenge Reveals, but I felt my blog would be a superficial place to visit if you did not know of how the events of this week’s news has affected me as a quilter, as a human. My husband and I have donated to a couple of places; International Rescue is one. Many of you are already helping in so many ways: I honor you as you all make this world a better, a more loving place to live.