Friday, June 10, 2011

Trying painting with fabric

I am not sure what the correct term is for my new project.  I decided I wanted to create an Iris with fabric and make it into a quilted piece.  I have seen flowers done with applique, and I have liked them.  I looked for books at the library on how to do this, but there were none at my local branch, and since I wanted to try it now, I decided to just go ahead and jump in feet first.  Anyone who knows me shouldn't be surprised by that.

The first thing I did was go through my husbands photos.  It is so lovely to have a professional photographer around the house.  I selected one of the irises he took last week at a neighbor's house.  After I printed it, I took some time to sketch it out freehand.  I realized I had to simplify the design a bit to make it work in fabric.  I still wanted it to look like an iris, though.  After the initial sketch, I took a black marker and outlined the basic shapes I would be using.  Then, I enlarged it so that when it is taped together, it is approximately 22" x 18".  With the pattern (or cartoon in weaving) drawn, I headed to the new fabric shop in Kent.  I purchased the green for the background, and the three purple batiks for the flower.  I already had some yellow for the center.  All of this took most of the morning. 

My next step was to number all the different parts.  I figured out how to draw the parts on the SteamASeam so the flower would not be reversed, and started cutting for the bottom focus petal.  I decided to do fusible applique after much internal debate.  I really enjoy hand work, but it took me so long to get my Hawaiian piece appliqued, and I would like to finish this sooner than five years.  I would also like to do some thread play on at least the focus petal.  The iris has purple lines radiating up from the purple edges and I think I could simulate that on the machine.  My question is, do I do that as part of the quilting process, or before I sandwich everything together.  I have a while before I have to figure that out.
I mentioned that I went to a new quilt store today.  It is called Running Stitch Fabrics and it is in the Kent, Washington historic district.  The shop has been open about a month and is still growing its stock.  If what they have is any indication of the future, I will be going back there often.  They are building a collection of Island Batiks that is stunning.  I had no trouble finding what I wanted there.  They have the Grand Finale line by Sandy Gervais for Moda which I am in love with.  I think I have mentioned before that Sandy Gervais is one of my favorite designers.  My budget won't allow me to buy any this month, but if I save my pennies, maybe next month.  The shop carries bright fabrics and has a good selection of blenders.  There was a very wonderful fat eighth bundle of blenders, but I stuck to my Iris fabric today.  There is a very large classroom area in the back which is open for quilters to come and work when classes are not in session.  They just got in their long arm quilting machine.  Soon, they will have classes and rental times available.  If you are ever in Kent, I highly recommend this warm friendly shop.
The last thing I have to share today is a completely ridiculous project I have been working on.  I am going to be singing with my small group in a show next Saturday.  We are using hats as props.  It was deemed a good idea for me to wear, at one point in the show, a replica of the hat that Princess Beatrice wore to the Royal Wedding.  I, of course, have to make the hat.  So far, I have used an old baseball cap, heavy fusible pellon, pink fabric, rubber tubing, and a glue gun.  As soon as my husband eats another popsicle, I will have a pair to use to hold the thing at the correct angle, I hope.  Here it is so far.  All I can say is that it is a good thing I am not trying to make my living as a milliner.

At least, I think it will be recognizable. 
I hope you all have a wonderful quilty weekend.


Impera_Magna said...

"As soon as my husband eats another popsicle..." *roflmao* Too funny... that's a great copy of that very strange hat...

Your iris is going to be stunning... how wonderful that you have access to such fab photos!

Joanne said...

The iris is going to be great - thanks for sharing the how-to's, that's something I have wanted to try too.
Your hat is fabulous!♥