So this is my latest hand quilting project. It was a Laundry Basket pattern that I made using a mix of my hand dyed fabrics and commercial fabrics. My purpose for making it was to show how well the two can go together. The pattern is quite traditional, however, with the colors I have chosen is it definitely a contemporary quilt. I wanted the quilting pattern to also have a contemporary feel as well. I chose to do lines... they would be easy and go quickly, having them go diagonally would add interest, and so many art quilts have linear quilting it would add to the contemporary feel. I am also using a variety of thread colors randomly, again, breaking with tradition. When I do linear quilting by machine, I don't mark them but I do I try to move in a straight line. However, just like drawing straight lines, they are not perfect. I like the imperfection... it adds a human touch, it let's the veiwer know it is done by hand. I wanted that same feeling in this hand quilting project. However, I'm not as good at quilting straight lines by hand as I am on my machine. I used the masking (drafting) tape to help. I have been using masking tape in my hand quilting for years, works wonderfully. However this time I didn't measure it to make sure that the tape stayed straight and true, I just put it down. I'm getting close to the finish and like what I have done. What do you think...Does the quilting enhance the quilt? Do you think the imperfect lines detract? Should the lines have been straight and parallel? Do the changes in thread color add spark or detract?
Frustration is Glioblastoma
So this is my latest project. I am so happy to have finished quilting it and to get it off the long arm. Talk about over quilting a quilt! This quilt comes off the "reject" pile... I made it for an exhibit but it was not accepted. Much has happened to it since it's rejection. It hadn't been quilted at that point, and it look a bit different. It started out just as "Frustration", it had multiple colors in the background (see picture below). I was trying to convey that when frustration hits me it takes over, and covers whatever else is going on. After it was rejected I set it aside to work on other things, however, I knew I wanted to put it on the long arm to work on my control and other long arm skills. Last fall my sister was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (a form of cancerous brain tumor). I spent the winter traveling back to NY to spend a week with her every month. Talk about frustration... she was frustrated with losing her abilities, I got frustrated for her and for the lack any good treatments for this devastating disease. Anyhow, I decided to change the background colors to all grey to represent the brain (gray matter). I knew I could do it with thicken dye. So I scrapped gray thicken dye over the background and let it batch. I needed to wash the thicken dyes out before I quilted it, so I stabilized the edges and hoped for the best. I had one area that needed repair. Then it was time for quilting. I did all the background (gray) areas first and then went back to do the red. I ran into some problems with that idea, but it was a learning opportunity (as this whole quilt has been). After quilting it, I decided it might look better if I cropped it. Not wanting to be wasteful, I now have two quilted bags and a whole slew off eyeglass cases or rotary cutter holders. Anyone need an eyeglass case?
First, I would like to thank all that helped in the judging room... your help is invaluable. Second, thank you to all the people who organized this wonderful event, and all those participated. It was great to meet all of you. I had wonderful students who seemed to enjoy both dyeing fabric and working improvisationally. I apologize to the dyeing class for thinking to take pictures during your class...although some of you might be grateful for that. FYI, the Convention Center was right next to the Mississippi River, how cool is that!
I love using leader/ enders when I am chain piecing. It was an idea from Bonnie Hunter. Instead of using a scrap piece of material in between chains, use two small blocks. You can work on two project projects at once! I keep a pile of 2" scrap squares next to my machine for this reason...Happy piecing!