Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fractured, FFFC #51

FRACTURED - 11.5 x 11.5
Originally I wasn't going to even attempt this challenge. I had several things that I wanted to get made to give as Christmas gifts and knowing how slowly I sometimes work I didn't want to get distracted. The challenge was to use a single shape and using only that shape to make a design. We were to also keep in mind theme and repetition, along with color value and contrast. The best laid plans, right, well one evening I was sketching in one of my sketchbooks and thinking about what I would do if I were doing the challenge and the sketch labeled Design #1 in the image below began to take shape.

The image isn't my original drawing, I did spend time playing with size and placement of several of the triangles before I had a design that I felt I could work with. I am not sure if this meets the rules or not, I am using only one shape, the triangle, but my triangles are not the same, I changed sizes and even the shape of them to provide visual interest. Still I was pleased with resulting drawing and decided to go ahead and make the quilt.

My next step was to figure out how many different fabrics I was going to need to execute this design. So I took some tracing paper and colored pencils and did a color mock up, see Design #2 above. Then I drafted my freezer paper templates and went to the stash to pick fabrics. In the Design #3 image you see my original fabric selections with the prepared freezer paper templates. Next step was to iron the templates on the fabrics, cut the fabrics out and lay them out on the background.

I chose for my background fabric a solid hand dyed fabric from the stash, I think this is a Cherrywood, but I can't be totally certain. The choice was determined by how it worked with the orange fabric you see in the lower right. I really wanted to use that fabric so picked my background accordingly.  In the image above #1 is my original selection of fabrics. They all did work together but I didn't like them when I had them laid out. Back to the stash, the green was replaced with a marbleized blue, and the turquoise blue marbleized fabric replaced with a darker blue hand stamped fabric. I still didn't like it, the dark blue was getting lost against the background. Note that I was also slightly changing the layout of the triangles during this process. Then I found this beautiful hand dyed fabric that I loved, but contrast wasn't the best with the large light blue marbleized piece. So I recut the large triangle, fussy cutting it to give me a light area where I needed it for the overlap of the two triangles. This left me with an extra large light blue triangle, which I decided to use in the lower left of the piece. Image #3 shows this final layout.

Next step in the process was to glue it all down with my white fabric glue and then to create the quilt sandwich. I don't like using stabilizer so to avoid that I make the quilt sandwich and use the machine applique stitches as a quilting feature. Then it was time to decide on how to applique the pieces down. I wasn't in the mood to spend the time matching threads to use my usual narrow zigzag stitch (satin stitch) so I decided to use a different stitch and only one color of thread. For the thread I chose a King Tut black variegated called Rosetta Stone. The stitch I selected is sort of like a button hole stitch, though not quite the same as the hand stitch. On my Janome 6500 it is stitch #34 in Mode 2. In the top 2 pictures in the image above you can see my progress sewing down the pieces. Once I had them stitched down I tucked away threads and did the background quilting. I used another King Tut thread for the background, machine quilting fairly densely.

I knew that I wanted to hand quilt all the triangles. Many of these fabrics have either a pearlized or metallic finish applied to them (one reason why I selected them) so I decided to use a metallic thread for the hand stitches. In the end I used 2 different Sulky Metallic threads, sliver and copper. In the orange triangles I used a Rayon Madeira thread. After machine quilting I trimmed the quilt and applied a narrow binding which I hand sewed to the back. I took the quilt to Chicago with me to work on the hand stitching. I stitched most evenings while watching TV with my sister. I love the look of the hand stitching but it takes forever. The quilt still needs a label and a sleeve, but is otherwise finished. I know I could add beads, but I don't think it needs it. It is small only 11.5 inches square.

I think I like it, though it doesn't have a dark dark, which I usually like to include. But my attempt at including one just didn't seem to work (see the image with the dark blue fabrics) The value change there disrupted the flow of the triangles one to another, maybe if I had put it in a different location it would have worked but I am not sure. I call this quilt Fractured, but I didn't make any attempt to create triangles that would actually fit back together as something. Maybe an idea for a different quilt.

That is it for today. I still need to post the rest of the Sketchbook Project images. Yes, I did finish it Friday, and did get the book in the mail yesterday. But this is long enough. Comments or questions are welcome, let me know what you think of this little quilt.