Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Two More Blocks

More embellished blocks to share!

I'm so close to finishing this quilt.  It's exciting because I start so many and it seems to take forever to finish them.  This one was actually started less than a year ago.  A new record for a heavily embellished quilt!

The first block features a printed fabric lady.  I bought this fabric many years ago and it has a selection of figures and words written in script.  I don't know how I'll use the words but this lady was the perfect fit for this quilt.

I used a fine black thread and backstitched around the main features.  I wanted it to have some dimension.  The butterfly is one of my homemade buttons which I stitched to one side.  I think it makes her look a little dreamy.  The outer polka dots have colored letter beads and buttons in matching colors.  I haven't done anything with the interior border yet and I may just leave it as is.  The one thing I was thinking of doing was using some green embroidery to tie it in better with the outer border. 
This photo shows the detail of the button wreath I created for another block.  I actually used the layout case I featured a few days ago to lay this out, then I stitched it when I had leftover thread on my needle.  It's a great idea to have a little project like this little wreath while working on an embellished piece for that very reason.  I can use up little pieces of thread and avoid having to thread another needle, (which is great because I don't see as well as I used to!). 

The interior fabric was a simple black and white print and as appliques often do, was puffed out a little too much after I stitched the wreath on.  So, I threaded my needle with two strands of white embroidery floss and made a simple stitch in each white rectangle.  It adds texture, shine, and helps it lie flat. 

You might wonder if all of this is done right the first time.  Not!!!  Just this weekend I picked out stitches in one block three times.  I tried different ways of accenting the fabric and none of them were working.  I haven't taken photos of that section yet but when I do I'll explain to you my thought processes and why I decided to do it the way I did. 

After a while you get to know when it's "right."  My tip is to never force it.  If you're doing something and you feel uncomfortable about it, put it down and come back to it later.  I usually end up picking it out and doing something different, the break helps me reconnect with it and "see" it differently. 

This is actually good advice for any artist.  I always put my works in progress out where I can see them.  I may not look at them every day, but it's good for me to get a fresh perspective.  It's amazing what you'll sometimes catch out of the corner of your eye.  One of my art instructors told us to always prop up a drawing or painting, walk away from it for a while, (preferably overnight), and approach it fresh in the morning.  It really helps.

This quilt is actually hanging over the back of my chair in the family room.  My dog's hair gets on it, (I go crazy with the lint roller when I'm finished), but he never sits on it because all the lumpy beads and buttons make it uncomfortable.  I don't think cats would like it either but they're unpredictable so who knows.  Anyway, I leave it there so I can look at it as I go about my daily chores.  It's always fun to see it when I come around the corner.  It helps me keep track of whether or not I'm heading in the right direction.

I'll have more blocks to share tomorrow, in the meantime....

Happy Stitching!


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