Monday, October 17, 2005

I played at artsy this weekend

By now you know I"m not artsy. But I am in this "gift bag" challenge, where you buy a gift bag you really like, put in 6 FQs of fabrics that go with the bag and then they got exchanged. You then make a wall hanging out of most or all of those fabrics, and you can add some fabrics of your own if you want.

I found I like doing these because it forces me to use colors outside my normal range and lets me play at new things that maybe I wouldn't have done otherwise. For some reason it makes me relax more about trying new things or colors.

Well - the challenge has to be done by Nov 1st! So I decided I had better get going on it. Now for the last month I had been planning what I wanted to do - so I had that part done. And collected a fabric I wanted to add into the pile of fabric I received for background. Even enlarged the pictures I wanted to use for templates! Just was afraid to make those first cuts!

This weekend I bit the bullet! Made the square in a square background - easy part! Then I ironed on freezer paper to the back. Next I rougly drew some curved lines on the freezer paper to make "leaves". Put some registration markes on the pieces so I could remember how to put them back together - no matter how much you think you can remember - you can't - so I've learned to put them on! And in several places and different color pens! Next I took my rotary cutter and cut the pieces near the drawn lines. Sometimes the rotary cutter just makes better curves and motion than my pencil! Adjusted any registration marks I needed to.

Then the fun part! I took any piece that was to be a leaf, pulled off the freezer paper and ironed onto some green fabric. I labeled the freezer paper pieces green 1, green 2, green 3 and green 4 first because some leaves are multiple parts. Cut out the shapes with about 1/4" seam allowance. Now since artsy isn't my thing, I have to do this next part slow. I relaid out the pieces (freezer paper side up). Then I figured out what needed to be put back together first. I always tried to put a green on top of a background - you'll see why in a minute. Once I determined which piece would go together with another, I glued sticked the seam allowance under onto the paper side of the freezer paper. Laid it slightly over the background piece (or other leaf piece), roughly matching registration marks on back, and then zig zagging the piece onto the touching piece with a very small zig zag in matching thread. I use a 1.0 width and 1.0 length on my machine and it works well. I use matching thread because I like to press - and I always worry about pressing with the invisible thread. This way I don't have to worry about it.

I proceeded to put the pieces together until I had the whole thing back together! On one background piece I also appliqued (same way) a bias stem that the tulip will be put on. Wanted to do this before I sewed that seam so it looks like it is coming out of the leaves and not appliqued on separate. Once finished squared up the piece - you'll have jagged edges - and Waaa Laaaa! You have what I show on top! Next I will machine applique (invisible - like I did the leaves) onto the stem. Had to enlarge the tulip a bit more at work today, so didn't get any of that done. But it is taking shape!

Below are some in progress pics. I'll keep you updated as I make progress on this!

Gift Bag and fabrics I started with:

Cutting the leaves in progress:

My gift bag and fabric I sent - I wonder how mine is looking?

5 comments from wonderful readers:

Joanne said...

Wow, Dawn - that is incredibly creative. I'm really impressed - and I'm not into art quilts, but I love what you have going there. I bet it is really fun to play "outside the box" once in a while!
Joanne

Dawn said...

It is fun to play. And the good thing is, if you don't like it - give it away - you don't have to look at it again!

But the bad thing is if you love it, and have to give it away you might not be able to recreate it!

sophie said...

I love your interpretation of the bag. A friend and I are just beginning our own personal version of this challenge--in fact I'm off to the post office to check for her package right now. (She received mine last week.) How's that for synchronicity? Thanks for the inspiration.

Dawn said...

Sophie - I hope you record your process as you do it with your friend!

Sharon said...

First of all, I must say that I love your technique - and if you hadn't told me, I wouldn't ever have guessed you were artsy challenged LOL!

But, please tell me. Is the gift bag that came with fabric supposed to be used for the inspiration as well? And do you keep the piece or give it back?

I think I am liking this challenge, if I could just understand the guidlines!