Archive for November, 2009

Hole Mole Challenge II

November 16, 2009

As promised, I’m back to finish the Hole Mole Challenge story.  My leg surgery was in the middle of this quilt construction, so I rested for a couple of days while my brain was busily considering techniques and options  for emphasizing the curved piecing and for adding the bright colors that were in the mola. 

Various widths of black thread zig-zags along the curves helped to define the curves, and weaving has always appealed to me, so I decided to fuse small wavy strips of color to the center to add the bright colors.  They are supposed to look like they are floating over the base:

IMG_0001 center fused and pin basted


When the quilt comes back home, I plan on adding quite a few more fused or embroidered wavy lines.   I think it’s a bit sparse right now, but the challenge deadline was looming.  One of these years, my propensity for procrastination – and alliteration 😉 will get me in deep trouble, but I was able to make the deadline – by almost 24 hours. 

Next was the border.  The angular design around the mola really appealed to me, but I did not want to copy the entire border.  Instead, I drew one of the border designs on graph paper, cut it out, and placed it over fused fabric.  Then I traced around the paper cut out and added the 2 corner motifs.  10 small fused lines were added alongside the corner motifs.    Here is the first version:

IMG_0002 totally fused but on the wrong side
It is not what I wanted.  I fused one group of small 10 pieces to the wrong side.  All I can say is don’t fuse fabric to a border when you are taking Tylenol with codeine.    That section had to be cut out and replaced.  I tried to reheat and remove the fused pieces, but there was fusible residue left behind, and some pieces just wouldn’t pull up.  Thank heavens I had enough fabric to replace that small section.  This is how I wanted it to be:

IMG_0003 totally fused
Now, it was shaping up.  But it needed a third focal point.  One of my best friends always talked about the holy trinity of good design – 3 focal points.  They serve to add interest to the surface, and keep your eye moving across the piece.  It’s hard to see in the photo, but there is also a hidden hummingbird quilted on the quilt:

IMG_0006 embroidered hummingbird
It was a bit too hidden though, so a  black bead was added after the photo was taken.  This way it’s  a little easier to locate. 

Next was the quilting.  The wavy fabric strips were quilted with invisible nylon thread and the border was quilted with a rayon thread that was a close match to the fabric.  Then out came black acrylic paint.  It was scary to paint on a fully  quilted piece, but I wanted the fused orange border designs to relate to the mola.  Black paint down the center of the fused pieces  hopefully gives that section a mola-like effect.

This quilt was faced instead of using a regular quilt binding, and I’m really happy with how that turned out.  A 2″ hanging sleeve was attached to the back, and the label was added last.  Voila, the finished quilt:

IMG_0008 finished


I hope you all enjoyed reading about how this 24″ x 24″ art quilt  “The Flight of the Hummingbird” was created.  Now to clean up my sewing room, and start the next project.



Holy Mole Quilt Challenge

November 15, 2009

I’ve been very quiet in blog world this past week as I’ve been busy making a quilt for a Holy Mole Quilt Challenge sponsored by Pat Pauly, a fellow RAFA member.  The challenge was to use a mola as a design source or inspiration for the work, although the mola may not be used in the work itself. 

Priscilla Kibbee – another RAFA member – travels the world and brings home lots of wonderful textiles for the rest of us to purchase.  She’s been buying molas for years and lots of us have been purchasing them for years.  They make their way into jackets and quilts, but a lot have been on our shelves waiting for the right project. This was the right project for me to use my first mola, and believe me, I have lots more on the shelves waiting their turn to be brought to light.

Here is a picture of the mola I chose to use as my inspiration piece:

humingbird blog
Resisting the attempt to make a realistic piece, I decided to try my hand at an abstract piece, focusing on the colors in the mola.  A pleasant afternoon was spent sorting through my fabric until I found exactly what I wanted. 

The center is a 9 patch and I wanted to create gentle curves reminiscent of a hummingbird swooping in to get some nectar from my perennials.    Out came the graph paper.  There are times I really need to draw something, cut it out and play with the pieces instead of using a computer graphic program.  This was one of those times.

I drew a 6″ square and placed a dot 2″ down on one side and 3″ down on the opposite side.  Then I took my flexible curved architect tool and joined the two dots.  That created a gentle curve that could  easily be pieced on the sewing machine.

Okay, that was one line.  I wanted this square to be a 4 patch, so I turned the square and placed a dot 2″ down on one side again, and 3″ down on the opposite side.  I shaped the flexible curve differently and connected the two dots.  Now I was in business.  A 4 patch block was born.

By repeating the dots the same way, that meant the seams would connect and curves would flow across the entire row.  I also mixed things up a bit by flipping some of the squares so the curves would flow gently vertically, as well as horizontally. 

Here is a picture of the paper pattern layout I made for the center:

Mola paper pattern blog
Those arrows are marks for the fabric grain.  It helps keep the squares from getting all wonky. 

Onto the piecing.  I selected 2 dark values and 2 medium values of blacks and greys hoping to add more movement to the squares.  After piecing the first row, I thought one of the medium values was reading too dark.  What to do? What to do?  Of course, you look at the other side of the fabric and voila, you have a different value.  So I pieced the second row with that one color used on the wrong side.  Here is a picture of the 2 rows:

Mola center rows
I was still torn as to which version to use.  I was way too close to the fabric for me to make a good decision.  Out came my reducing lens.  Once those 2 rows were viewed through the reducing lens there was no doubt which row to use.  There was much more movement with the fabric turned to the wrong side.   The first row had to be resewn, but it was so worth it.  Here is a picture with the center completed and the borders attached:

Mola borders added blog

All that was accomplished in 2 days.   This post is getting rather long, so I’ll finish it up tomorrow.


November Rochester Area Fiber Arts Meeting

November 8, 2009

Last Thursday was the Rochester Area Fiber Arts meeting, and it was wonderful as always.  It’s always nice to see what everyone is making.

Anne has been painting fabric and adding words:

Anne painted 1Anne painted 2
It’s going to be hard to cut into that fabric. 

Caris completed 3 little pieces: 

Caris red

Caris green leaves

Caris gingko leaves

They are all very different and I’m really impressed with her composition skills.  The last one was photographed sideways and when I rotated the picture, it looked very peculiar, so I left it with the sideways orientation.

A new member, Glynis, showed some of her hand dyed fabric.  Her 8 year old son Harry helped with these two:

Glynis and son

Glynis and son 2
It’s wonderful that Harry is so creative.  Imagine what he’ll be making in another few years.

Marcia made a wonderful wall hanging from arranging vegetable produce:

Marcia veggies
Pat shared a work in progress for our upcoming De CaDence gallery show:

Pat music theme

And Sarah modeled the pants and jacket made from fabric she hand dyed:

Sarah silk outfit

She has also been making a lot of jewelry lately and this bracelet was my favorite:

Sarah bracelet
There was even more for show and tell, but some of my pictures were on the blurry side.  Linda finished a fabulous face quilt and Diane was working on a piece for the upcoming De CadEnce gallery show also.  So am I.  Elaine was wearing a great jacket and Julie made a really stunning quilt using cyanotype images.    That photo has a great big while post in the middle of it. ;-(

Show and tell was moving so quickly, I couldn’t keep up with all of it.  Next month I’ll be sure to take my vitamins before I go.  That way you all won’t miss a thing.  😉


Rose Anne’s Face DYB Block Completed

November 3, 2009

Ah, a new month.  There is something refreshing about the beginning a new month.

Rose Anne’s Face DYB crazy quilt block was completed and mailed yesterday.  Here’s how it turned out:

Diane Dimity for Rose Anne Face DYB 

So much was learned on this block.   The  polymer face was painted properly this time.  I really messed up Leslie’s face and am so sorry about that.  This time I sanded, put very thin coats of paint on the face and blended colors.  Would you believe thatface has 3 different colors on it?  It is also sealed. 

Then onto the beading.  Number 6 beads were the base row, followed by a row of size 11.  Then I added the bugle beadswith a small seed bead on the edge.   It sat there like that for over a week.  While it was pretty, it was too round, too isolated, had no movement.  It just sat there on the block doing nothing.  I was happy with the beading, but not how it looked on the block.

A few months ago, I had purchased a book on goldwork and recently purchased a lot of the supplies.  This was the perfect time to attempt my first goldwork embroidery.  I couched the gold strands close to the face with red thread, then curved it every which way, and couched the strands in place with gold YLI metallic thread.  Now that face was smoking hot!!!

As a regular reader of Rose Anne’s blog, I remembered she has a May birthday.  So the next addition to the block was the actual Gemini constellation in the upper right hand corner.  Sparkly silver metallic DMC thread was used for the body withsilver lined clear beads for the stars. 

One more motif was needed to balance the block, so the Gemini symbol was embroidered in the lower left block with thesame thread used for the constellation. 

Unlike everyone else, seams are afterthoughts for me on crazy quilt blocks.  I know I should start with the seams, but every time I do that, I get carried away and don’t have room for the motifs.  Plus, the print fabric in this block had so much interest, I really didn’t want to add a lot of seam embroidery.  It seemed to detract from the block.

The first seam was the one in the lower right corner.  It has red rayon DMC floss, green KNK buttonhole twist silk thread , and crystal beads in the center.  Some gold metallic beads were added to fill in the bottom triangle.

The second seam is a looped buttonhole stitch.  The first pass was done with 2 strands of DMC cotton floss, and the second pass with a lighter color.  It was a simple seam treatment, and I was thinking about adding a third color, but wanted to get the block in the mail.  It was supposed to be mailed by 11/1, but as that was Sunday, I figured mailing it on Monday wasn’t too much over the due date. 

Last but not least, I added gold beads in different sizes scattered across the blue and red star fabric.  I hope that RoseAnne will like this block.  It was an honor to contribute to your wall hanging, Rose Anne.

Now for an update on my leg surgery.  This year, when I haven’t posted to my blog, it’s because I’ve been dealing with medical challenges, and this year has been one for the record books.  The most recent was damaging all 3 tendons in my left ankle.  I just completed my  physical therapy for it.  I tell you, that electric pulse therapy, followed by ultrasound, followed my massage, followed by more electric pulse therapy works wonders.

The ankle is still swollen, but I can walk with no pain, not very far, and not for very long, but I can walk again.  Injuring my ankle, made my knee injury regress, so I’m trying to get that back in shape now.  It’s been a long haul this year, but I’m a firm believer in physical therapy.  Hopefully, the leg surgery will occur next week, and I’ll finally be able to concentrate on strength training.