Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Peacock Colors, Celestial Shapes

No beads today. 

A few months ago I attended a quilt show with childhood friend EmmyK. Seeing all of the beautiful fabrics and artistic patterns made me switch gears from beading needles to sewing machine needles--for a while, anyway.

Currently I have a bedspread sized quilt top, a lap quilt sized top and four pillow fronts waiting to be layered, quilted and finished. 

I have completed two lap quilts. One of them was sort of a throat-clearing exercise and nothing terribly creative or special. The one shown below was just finished yesterday--I hand-stitched the binding while watching the last season of Face Off. The rest of the work on this quilt was done on my trusty Bernina.

The fabrics are the Lumina line by Peggy Toole for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. There are multiple colorways for this line. I chose the Peacock colorway, although the Dawn colorway is also calling to me. 

I mean, just LOOK at these fabrics! How could you not love looking at these gorgeous images and colors every day?

My machine quilting skills are rusty, to put it kindly. I practiced on a small quilt sandwich before I tackled the real thing. I need more practice, no doubt. Even with all of the right tools (special presser foot for the machine and Machingers gloves), this simple curved freehand quilting stitch got away from me frequently. 

By the way, a quilt sandwich is not lunch, it is the three layers of quilt top, batting (the fluffy stuff inside) and backing fabric that have been pinned or basted together prior to putting in the quilting stitches.

I used one of the Lumina fabrics, a scalloped design, for the quilt back. This photo shows the back turned over against the front of the quilt.

This same fabric, cut into strips, also appears in the quilt front along the upper edge.

It is always fun to see how a fabric changes its personality when it is cut into smaller pieces and combined with other patterns.

Since mixed media is very hot right now, and since it satisfies a deep-seated need to create mash-ups, I want to start making wall hangings that combine quilting, painting and beadwork techniques. The Gruffalo and I are planning a move within the next month or so. We are downsizing, and I am in the process of packing up my studio. I can't wait to get everything unpacked and arranged in the new space so that I can start on my mixed-media visions.

In the meantime I can enjoy the colors and swirls in this quilt. It has a prominent place at the end of the bed.