Sunday, December 31, 2006

Techno Rainbow Quilt

Techno Rainbow Quilt
Two Sided Duvet Cover
Twin Sized
My last project of 2006. I learned many things (again). If you prewash fabric in your washing machine, it will get somewhat twisted out of shape (just like it did 30 years ago when I was first learning how to sew). And if you plan to cut and tear along the grain, this becomes I remember why rotary cutters are so great. I did tear the black background along the grain and ended up making a piece just too slightly small. Yes, it was correctable with a little creative piecing, but darn it! I thought I already learned this one.

Part two of the learning: why fusible is so awesome!! I had a crazy notion to not fuse the appliques, just cut them, pin them, use some stablizer and satin stitch to my heart's content. That was when I had planned to cut the black out from behind the squares (to make their colors look brighter). And that was before my son came in the room and wanted to keep adding more and more and more and more blocks. I ended up using fusible like scotch tape, just to hold the squares in place. But I had forgotten one important fact (because I had been using fusibles so much and had taken them for granted)--cut edges ravel. This thing was the BIGGEST MESS you have ever seen!!ACKKK, there were threads everywhere! I persevered, got all the threads either tucked under or cut off.

Part three: This one is good though. When I tie dyed the rainbow side, I power washed it in the grass for the first rinse. Then I held the warm colors out of the washing machine while the cool colors up to the yellow center got washed (I used a short prewash cycle). This is a very boring step, but it worked. Then I flipped the ends and stuck the warm colors up to the yellow in the machine and held the cool colors outside. Last, I washed a third time in the machine, the entire piece. I was very happy with the results. The first big piece I made like this last year, I just threw the whole thing in the wash and even though I had rinsed extensively in the yard, I still had a lot of cross over bleeding and a resulting dulling of colors.

This will not be quilted. I bought a white and fluffy quilt from the store and stuffed it inside the cover and then stitched it in place, around the edges. It will keep the boy warm through many a night and is machine washable.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Plover Lover

Plover Lover
9" x 9"
 This begins a series of small quilts. I found a piece of construction fencing blowing in the road near a construction site. Though I had seen Jeanne Williamson's series of construction fence quilts, I decided to challenge myself with using the literal pieces of construction fencing on quilts as an embellishment of sorts. For the first set of quilts, it actually became the center of meaning for which the quilts are made. In this quilt, I am looking at a plover through the fencing, a glimpse of nature through a man-made object.

Only One
9" x 9"
 The second of the series, shows another glimpse of nature through the construction fencing: the only tree left as the hills are bulldozed. The ring of buttons forming an "o" or an "Oh!, I see what it all means now." I am listening to Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi, "don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got til it's gone, you pave paradise, put up a parking lot."

Balancing Act
12" x 14 1/4"
The third in the series. Now, most of the construction fencing is gone and we are left with a view of fragmented green spaces and contrived human development. This quilt is a metaphor of balancing human needs and environmental protection. Here we have a glimpse of Darwinian evolution, as the only species visible has evolved to look like ubiquitious construction fencing. The bird's wing and foot are precariously positioned (3D) in an attempt to maintain balance.