Sunday, May 15, 2016

Art Quilt Practice Pieces

After last week's whirlwind (a guild quilt show and the Art with Fabric blog hop) I didn't think I'd want to quilt for a few weeks. Well, I stayed away from my quilting for 3 whole days! However, the two little projects I made were pressure-free playing using new techniques or materials.

So far, I've participated in 3 of the Colour Me Positive 2016 Weekly Journal Challenge, by creating mini art quilts that are mostly words with free motion quilting (FMQ). I love seeing everyone's art work on the dedicated Facebook page. The pieces are fun and use all types of art journalling techniques. I didn't even know that this existed until joining them!

Week 18 of the Colour Me Positive Challenge - Healing Art
Week 18 of the Colour Me Positive Challenge - Healing Art (13" x 7.5")
Since I'm also using words in these quilts, I'm now learning to write again with Joanne Sharpe's Whimsical Writing books and videos. Between all of these resources, I've learned about all kinds of neat writing, drawing and art products that are easily adapted to fabric. That's why I couldn't wait to start playing with stamps, markers and stencils.

Week 18 - Healing Art

Details of the tree - coloured and thread painted
Details of the tree - coloured and thread painted
I started this piece using the tree stencil and then went a little nuts with some of my daughter's stamps.

I took out my permanent markers and coloured the tree and outlined some of the butterflies and flowers. Since the green of the tree was too intense, I toned it down with some thread painting in browns and darker green.

I then added the "Healing Art" using some cool grungy alphabet stamps. The letters didn't stand out enough so I experimented with my new markers and played around with a colourless blender. Wow! I love the effect it has on the letters - I even used them on the tops of the tulips. It makes them look like water colours. I then added metallic thread through the bobbin and did a little bit of FMQ

As with all of my art, the hardest part is knowing when to stop. I looked at the piece from the perspective of the art theory I've been learning.
Does the piece have:

    • a focus point; 
    • contrast; 
    • balance; and 
    • flow?

I think that the answer is yes. However, since the techniques used on this piece include FMQ, stencils, markers and stamps, I though that I should add appliqué to the mix. That's when I dug into my scrap stash and found two cools cats! Nothing says mellow like cats hanging around :-)

Week 9 - Live like a grownup, play like a child

At the quilt show last weekend, my daughter bought me a couple of hand dyed cheese cloth by local fibre artist Linda Palaisy.

Fantaisie 2 -my creation for Week 9
Fantaisie 2 -my creation for Week 9 (6.5" x  9")
The colours were so lovely I could just taste them! I couldn't wait to try making something fun and whimsical, so here it is - Fantaisie 2, a fibre collage.

I attached the cheese cloth to a blue cotton to lighten it up. In my stash I found three different fabrics - the hollyhock, the faeries and half meter of fabric that had butterflies, hummingbirds and these great borders.
Fantaisie 2 - close up
Fantaisie 2 - close up
I attached the fabric using thread painting. It was flimsy and difficult to sew, so I used a minimum of stitching and then quilted it. Since it's just a fun little piece, I decided to leave the borders as is, without binding. I was hoping to use the same technique I had used for Woven Landscape  - to just fold the backing between the batting and the borders, but it didn't work out. Those are the drawbacks to just forging ahead without planning!

What I learned:
  • I should stop when I'm tired - that's when challenges happen.
  • Challenges are not important when playing. Fix it, or just move on :-)
  • To colour or write on cloth, just iron the cloth to freezer paper to make it more stable.
  • The Fantaisie 2 piece is dark, but I think that the borders lighten it up and give it contrast.
  • I love the look that the cheese cloth adds to the piece.
  • In case you're wondering, yes, week 9 should come before week 18, but we're encouraged to add our pieces whenever they're ready. 
I will be linking up to the following parties - check them out!
Oh Scrap!  Let's Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, Free Motion Mavericks, Off the Wall Friday, and Freemotion by the River

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Art with Fabric - Light at the End of the Tunnel

Original painting by Sheila Langlois of Kirkland Lake Ontario
Welcome to the Art with Fabric Blog Hop.

My art quilt is based on a painting by Northern Ontario artist Sheila Langlois (1930-1996). More about Sheila and how I met her at the end of my blog.

I love this art work. Sheila painted it when she went back to art school as an adult. It was a study in primary colours. I call it "Study in Primary Colours or Light at the End of the Tunnel".

This is the first piece of original art that I owned. It's been a part of my life since I went to Ottawa University some 35 years ago. It had pride of place in my dorm room.
The art quilt as it was two weeks ago
The art quilt two weeks ago - see previous post

When I was asked to participate in the blog hop, it didn't take me long to decide to quilt this art piece. I love it's vibrant colours and movement.

I took many photos of the painting, but none of them really does it justice - just like when you see an original Renoir and discover that it's much more vibrant than the pictures you've admired all of your life.

Although I loved the painting, it's now obvious that I had never "really" seen it. I had no idea how complex it was until I started to think about recreating it in fabric.

The first thing I did was raid my scraps stash. Not long ago I had placed all of the scraps that hadn't been cut into squares or strips, into bags by colour. It made my search for the right fabrics much easier.

Reds and oranges are starting to appear in the art quilt
Reds and oranges are starting to appear
The first week, I spent most evenings working on this project. On Saturday, with daylight coming into the room, I realised that my colours were off. What I had seen as dark blues and blacks were actually medium and dark blues - there is no black except for a couple of thin branches. I pulled the piece apart and started over, only choosing colours during daylight hours.

The choosing, cutting, placing and gluing of the fabric took about three weeks. The painting has so many details - it was hard to decide what to skip. I knew that it didn't have to be a replica of the original painting, but that was easier said than done. Near the end of the three weeks though, those decisions were much easier to make!

It's starting to look like the painting!
It's starting to look like the painting!

A mess - happy to put away the fabrics to FMQ
Happy to put away the fabrics to FMQ

I have to admit that I was thrilled when the piecing part was over. After all that work, it only took me a weekend to thread paint and quilt it.

I'm always nervous about knowing when to stop thread sketching and when it's time to quilt. This time it was an easy decision to make since all of those pieces where glued in place. It all had to be sewn down, or it would fall apart the first time it got washed!

For the thread painting, I used two green threads and one each of blue, red, orange and yellow thread. I paid particular attention to emphasize the circular movement of the painting. I did pretty much the same thing when quilting it, while using less thread colours.

What I learned:

  • This was the first time that I made an art quilt based on a piece of art. I really miscalculated a few things. 
    • I didn't want to make a pattern - it would have been too difficult and for me, it would have taken the fun out of making it. I took a photograph of the painting and divided it into 9 equal(ish) parts to guide me. It turns out that my proportions were off (too wide and not long enough).
    • I also didn't account for the border. The quilt was originally 16" x 16" but after making the backing, I lost a lot of the painting's top and bottom details. Oops! After it was finished I realised that I could have left some of the white background fabric at the edges since it wouldn't have shown once the backing was attached. I suspect that I'll remember this lesson.
  • I didn't realise how complex this piece was until I started trying to create it. I was so tempted to start adding the details of the branches in the middle of the yellow section right at the start, but I knew that I could only do this in the end, after it was all pieced. Staying away from those branches was the hardest part of the piecing!

Sheila Langlois, Artist and Friend

Sheila Langlois, 1994
Sheila Langlois, 1994
Sheila was a well know artist from Kirkland Lake and my mother took a couple of her painting courses. I didn't really know her until the summer before leaving Kirkland Lake for university. That summer, I didn't have a full time job, so I took as many short term jobs as I could get. Sheila was looking for someone to do housekeeping once a week.

Working for Sheila was the highlight of my summer. When I got to her home, I never knew what I would be doing that day. Sometimes it was normal housekeeping work like vacuuming and dusting, but at other times it might be cleaning windows or helping Sheila make chicken kiev for a dinner party that night. Sheila would always prepare us a lovely lunch and we'd spend an hour chatting about everything, from art and music to philosophy.

One day we cleaned out the room where her paintings were stored. Sheila worked mostly with water colours of Northern Ontario scenes. This painting was very different from her usual work. I fell in love with it and bought it!  The painting hangs in my dining room, across from two of her water colours of trees and water that I inherited from my mother.
Quilt: 15 1/4" x 15 1/4"
Painting: 20" x 16"

I'm thrilled that this quilt will now hang above my sewing machine. For me, this work of art symbolizes the light at the end of the tunnel - in other words, hope. I also reminds me the summer I met Sheila.

Art with Fabric
Thank you so much for dropping by. I hope that you'll get a chance to visit the other participants in the blog hop. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's art this week.

Here are the links to the other participants' blogs:

Monday, May 9th, 2016
Maartje Quilts in Amsterdam
Lee Anna at Not Afraid of Color
Renee at Quilts of a Feather

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Kathy at Qreative Quilts
Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl
Chris's Quilting Universe
DeAnna at Georgia-Girl Quilter

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Alida at Tweety Loves Quilting
Yanicka at Finding myself as an artist
Heather at Heather's Blog
Sarah at Georgia Girl Quilts

Thursday, May 12, 2016
Cynthia at Cynthia's Creating Art
Janeen at Quilt Art Designs
Wendy at Kwilt Krazy
Afton at Quilting Mod

Friday, May 13, 2016
Carol at Quilted Fabric Art 
Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter
Nina-Marie at Creations...Quilts, Art...Whatever by Nina-Marie
Joan at Moosestash Quilting

You can also check out these linky parties: Free Motion Mavericks, Off the Wall Fridays, Oh Scrap!  and Freemotion by the River

Wonderful news! My quilt was featured on Muv's Free Motion Mavericks.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Floral Fantasy Wholecloth Quilt

It's finished and now hanging at the CTQG So full of love quilt show this weekend. If you're in Ottawa, I hope you'll consider attending. We have very talented quilters. It should be a great show.
Almost finished Floral Fantasy Wholecloth Quilt

I didn't take a final picture of this beauty before it left home because the deadline for handing in the quilts was Tuesday at 6 pm. At 5:40 I was still beading. Thank goodness an extra hour wasn't a problem, but there was no time for pictures.

I've added a couple of pictures at the end of the post, now that I've finished volunteering at the show this afternoon.

This project is based on Cindy Needham’s Machine Quilting Wholecloth Quilts on Craftsy. One of the topics in her course is making a medallion wholecloth quilt, using a variety of stencils and free motion quilting (FMQ). I've used many of her techniques and advice in the last two years. This my second project based on her class - the first one was another wall hanging with tons of FMQ, but all made by following the printed fabric at the back of the quilt. It sounds weird but is so cool! This is a technique that I actually want to make again.

Figuring out what to do with the centre
Here's the process I followed:
  • I drew the stencils directly onto the fabric then added the batting and backing. It was nice not to do any piecing!
  • To be honest, I had no idea how to quilt this thing. I FMQ around the medallion using a relatively heavy King Tut variegated cotton thread.
  • I then outlined the border and added metallic thread through the bobbin. That was relatively easy to do since I only had to stay in the centre(ish) of the outline. 
  • Finally it was time to outline the butterflies and add metallic thread to their body. 
I still had no idea what to do with the medallion, so I ignored it. I knew that sooner or later I would figure it out!

Before adding pebbles to the circles of the flowers
I then proceeded to FMQ in straight(ish) lines around the design. I believe these are called match sticks. Since there are many angles to this piece, I just tried to be consistent when changing the angles of the FMQ.

When that was done, I still didn't know what to do with the medallion. I started by FMQ pebbles with metallic thread in the centre circle. I then echoed every second flower with the same variegated thread. Since the flowers that weren't echoed were standing out too much, I FMQ inside them, following their outline. As you can see in this picture, it was starting to look good, but I felt that the circles in the quilted flowers stood out too much so I quilted pebbles.

What I learned:
Floral Fantasy Wholecloth Quilt at the Sew full of love quilt show
  • I really wanted to block this quilt as Cindy Needham recommended, but I ran out of time. It really could have used it since the medallion was quilted last and was less densely quilted in some areas. Not good practice but if I had waited to quilt the medallion first, the quilt would still be a work in progress (WIP).
  • As usual, this project wasn't planned - not because I didn't want to but because I didn't know what to expect and what to do next. Now that I have some experience, I'll choose my next stencil pattern more carefully, based on how I'll be quilting it (I hope).
  • I liked the beads and may add a few more once I get the quilt back.
  • This was one of the first times that when I quilted the outline of the border, I should have taken the time to tie off the thread. It was a good quality polyneon thread but it tended to undo. Since I have quite a bit of this type of thread, I will try to remember to tie off my ends.
  • I wasn't as careful as I should have been when I FMQ the corners of the quilt. I actually had to go back and sew a few more lines on two of the corners. This happened because I was quilting them at an angle. I'll have to watch out for the corners next time.
  • I'm so happy that the next CTQG quilt show is in 2 years! I need a serious break from deadlines.
In front of my art quilts at the Sew full of love quilt show

I have linked this post to the following Linky Parties:

Sunday, April 24, 2016

More deadlines

I've often said in my blog that I don't like quilting under deadlines. Well, I still don't like it, even if I sometimes have to!

The first deadline was getting ready for the Fibre Fling 5 Show & Sale earlier this month. It was a huge success. The art was fabulous and I got everything done on time.

My two next deadlines are the Sew full of love quilt show with the Common Threads Quilt Guild (CTQG) from May 6 to 8 and the Art with Fabric Blog Hop (May 9th).

Sew full of love Quilt Show

Our guild's quilt show is every second year. It's always great to look back over the last two years to see what I've made and decide what to enter in the show. I've registered 5 quilts for this year's show. Thank goodness I've been productive. There's only one item in the show that I haven't completed yet.

Here's a glimpse of Floral Fantasy. My next post will be about the process of making this lovely lady.
Floral Fantasy - a wholecloth quilt
WIP (Work in progress) Floral Fantasy - a wholecloth quilt
I still need to finish beading it and then bind it. I'm actually going to block this one like we're supposed to. I hope it'll be worth it. I'll let you know how it goes.

Of course, after finishing the quilt comes the label and hanging sleeve. I know that 2 of the 5 quilts in the show are ready since they were in the Fibre Fling 5 show, but I suspect that I'll have to attach a sleeve and label on at least two of the other three.

Art with Fabric Blog Hop

I've been thinking about this project for a while now but only started choosing my fabrics as I was finalizing the pieces for Fibre Fling 5. I can't trust myself to start a new project before finishing something with a deadline. My middle name could be Procrastinate!

I don't want to spoil the surprise, but here's the background of the piece.

Background of the Art with Fabric Piece
Background of the Art with Fabric Piece
The project is based on a painting. Not a famous one - since I own it! It doesn't look like much now, but it's the foundation with lots more to come.
It would seem that I don't naturally notice details in paintings. Even if I've been looking at this lovely work since I was 18, I didn't realise how complex it was until I started really looking at it to plan this project. Not to give too much away but what I saw were the vivid colours and the mouvement. Although I won't be reproducing the painting, there is still a crazy amount of detail in it that I don't want to loose. It will be to find that "juste milieu" between detail and impression.

Since I'm on a deadline (Yikes!!!) I need to stop writing this blog (i.e. procrastinating) and finish piecing it tonight or tomorrow at the latest. I haven't decided how much thread sketching to do vs. quilting. I still have trouble with this part. I will have next weekend to thread paint, quilt and bind it since I need to have a photo of the finished product by May 2nd. 

What I learned:
  • Saying yes to projects with deadlines is easy when it's a few months into the future. Deadlines are not a bad thing - it's just that I don't really take them seriously unless they are looming! 
  • I'm looking forward to summer and being deadline-free, until I find something else to do!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Learning to write - again

Colour Me Positive Challenge
Like most of you, I've been writing since I was 5 or 6 years old. At different stages of my life, what I wrote and why I wrote has changed. At first, I wrote mostly for school - homework, math, essays, posters and stories. As a mom, I wrote lists of things to do and buy, notes for sick or late kids and the occasional letter or card to family. Since working on a computer, I only write when I'm at meetings or when I have no idea what I'm doing - then I'll take out a pencil and a pad of paper and write until I have some sense of what I should do, or at least what I should ask. It's my personal brainstorming session.
Week 6 of Colour Me Positive
Week 6 of Colour Me Positive
My penmanship has never been great, but not as bad as some. I've never had a reason to worry about it until I started making art. As I participate in the Colour Me Positive Journal Challenge, it's become obvious that if I want to use words in my free motion quilting (FMQ), then I had better learn to write - again!

These first couple of efforts weren't too bad. The large writing in my "kindness to all always" pieced was fine, but the words on the fingers needed a little help, especially since I misspelled Smiling (I've always had problems with cursive "n" and "m").

Week 3 of Colour Me Positive
Week 3 of Colour Me Positive
In the "be here now" piece, the link between the letters isn't great, particularly between the "o" and "w" in "now". Since I was mostly practicing my FMQ stitches, I wasn't paying much attention to the letters.

Then came my latest piece for week 14. From the start, the letters were a problem - and there's only one word and four letters!!!

"Once you choose hope, anything can happen" Week 14 of Colour Me Positive
There are a couple of reasons for the problem. The first is that I didn't plan my project. I'm a "jump right in" kind of gal and that's what I did. I made my quilt sandwich, threaded the sewing machine with maroon thread and started outlining the letters.

I really could have removed the letters' stitching and started over, but where's the fun in that! I love fixing things and adapting - and that's what I did. (ok, the sorry truth is that I always hope that it won't be that bad and I'll be able to ignore it!)

So of course, at first I ignored the letters and did some pretty nice FMQ around them. That was fun. Then came the challenge and fixing part. What was I going to do with those letters outlined in maroon?

I decided to hide the sewing by covering the letters with organza and then beading around them. It sure would have been quicker to have removed the thread at the beginning of the project and have started over :-) Placing a few beads here and there is fun. Outlining the word HOPE was painful. I'm just not that patient. After doing one letter, I get in the "Been there, done that" mode. I was SO happy when I finished the outlines.

Title page of my lettering journal
Back to my original thought. This work made it pretty obvious that I needed to learn to write - again. Since looking at everyone's amazing creations on the Facebook page of Colour Me Positive, I've become very impressed with the writing in their art. So how can I do that? Many participants have mentioned Joanne Sharpe, whimsical art maker extraordinaire. I have seen her book and was tempted, but what convinced me was her free video series that goes with the book.

I'm not quite ready to translate my letters to a quilt yet, but it won't be long. I also get to practice my lettering and FMQ every time I have access to a paper and pen. How cool is that?
Applying the Pencil Sketch Technique

Here are a couple of my practice pages. This first one is the pencil sketch technique from her book. I used it to write her mantra - "Play, practice, write, repeat." Replace the word "write" with the word "quilt" or "FMQ" and the saying now applies to quilting.
I found this quote by Ray Bradbury in the book Quilt of Belonging: The Invitation Project by Esther Bryan and Friends. It describes courage, hope and/or faith so well - you still experience fear but you know that you can walk or jump off the cliff and your wings will support you.

I'll be writing about the Quilt of Belonging project after I visit it with my daughter, between June 9-12, in Kingston, Ontario.

What I learned:

  • A little planning when using words in a quilt is not an option - it's necessary. I really hope I remember this!
  • Beading is fun in moderation.
  • Learning from artists in other disciplines is great. It can all be relevant to quilting. It's a great way to broaden my horizons and learn all kinds of new things.
  • My new lettering journal will also be used for free motion quilting designs and for creating writing exercises. What a wonderful journey.

Hope you keep learning and passing it on.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Fibre Fling 5 Show

It was amazing to see my art quilts hanging beside other wonderful art and feel that they fit right in! I have to admit that I didn't expect this to happen to me, at least before I retired and got to play and create full time.

It was great to help set up the Out of the Box Fibre Fling 5 art show and sale. Some of the larger pieces were hung on the wall, but there were a dozen free-standing structures to hang the art pieces. I worked with one of the artists to set up the pieces on the structures. What a great learning experience.

I learned what pieces played well together and would look good hanging on the same surface while others did not play nice. See my "What I learned" section below for some basic tips on choosing which pieces should hang out together.

Here is the video of my interview with Liana Voia.

Envelope for "Imagine"
"Imagine" 26½” x 30½”
Even before the show, it was quite the job getting my pieces ready. Each piece needed a good label, a card with information and a photo for display purposes as well as a hanging rod. I always use a dowel, but had to attach eye hooks and then a length of wire to each dowel.

Each piece also needed a container or envelope for transportation to the show. If the piece was for sale then the container needed to look good in case it sold and was taken home by a customer. Here are the envelopes I created as well as the pieces that were in the show.

The envelope for "Imagine" was the largest since it had 2 sections - one for the quilt and the other for a piece of cardboard so that the quilt could stay rigid and not get folded and creased. I couldn't roll it up since it was three-dimensional.

Inspiration: Musical Challenge for the CTQG representing the song “Imagine” by John Lennon. The people are holding hands around the crazy-quilted world. Each fabric represents a culture or part of the world.
Materials: Cotton fabric, ribbons, beads, embroidery floss
Techniques: Hand embroidered, machine appliquéd, free-motion quilted, beaded

I made the envelopes for the next two quilts out of a pillow case. You can see that "Woven Landscape" got the edge of the pillow case while "Yellow Kayak" got the end part.

Yellow Kayak
Inspiration: Quilt based on a friend’s photograph of her kayak in the river.
Materials: Cotton fabrics, shoe lace, metal clasp, button 
Techniques: raw-edge appliquéd, free-motion quilted

Yellow Kayak 11½” x 12½”

Envelope for Woven Landscape
Envelope for Woven Landscape

Woven Landscape
Inspiration: Playing around with a woven background and creating a whimsical landscape.
Materials: cotton, organza, jute-cotton ribbon, beads, embroidery floss
Techniques: woven background, raw edge appliqué, beaded, embroidered and hand-quilted

Woven Landscape 13" x 17½"

Hockey Day in Canada
Inspiration: Playing with fabric in a winter theme. I finished it on Hockey Day in Canada 2016.
Materials: Cotton fabrics, beads, buttons, tulle
Techniques: raw-edge appliquéd, free-motion quilted, beaded

Hockey Day in Canada  12½ " x 9½"
The envelope for "Hockey Day in Canada" was made from lovely snow flannel with a blue border to extend the envelope. 
Envelope for Hockey Day in Canada
Envelope for Hockey Day in Canada

A very practical envelope

I didn't make anything special for the "Memories of the South-West" piece since it was small enough to fit into a plastic pouch and it wasn't for sale. Some duct tape to secure the information to the envelope and it was done! 

Memories of the South-West 12" x 9½"

Memories of the South-West
Inspiration: After a trip to the American south-west, I wanted to create a landscape art quilt, however the photo used as inspiration is from Ayers Rock in Australia.
Materials: cotton, wool and acrylic yarns, embroidery thread, tulle
Techniques: hand appliquéd, embroidery, machine sewing.

During the Fibre Fling 5 show, we had the privilege of being interviewed for a short YouTube video of our work. I was interviewed this morning. After a couple of false starts, it went really well. As soon as it's ready, I will link it to this post and possibly to my blog page - something else to learn to do :-)

What I learned
While helping to put up the show on Thursday, I learned some tips about placing art pieces together. Here is what I surmised:
  • A face in a piece will always attract the most attention. Our eyes are drawn to it. To be placed with such a piece, the second piece has to be visually strong enough to command its own attention without distracting from the face. 
  • Similar colours in two pieces may help them to "play nicely with each other". There still needs to be enough contrast so that they don't just blend into each other.
  • Shapes in both pieces are important. A piece with straight lines may not play nicely with a piece that is mostly curves or more flowing. 
  • I also learned that I have pretty good colour instincts. It's great though to know why something works or doesn't work since saying "that it doesn't feel right" isn't the best way to express your opinion.
  • As I write these tips down, I realise that these also applies to auditioning fabrics for a project. On the other hand, breaking the rules will often create stress, contrast and interest. It just depends on the effect the artist is going for.
I have linked this post to the following linky parties. Please check them out to see what others are doing. Thanks for stopping by.
Off the Wall Friday; Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? Fabric Frenzy Friday; and Lessons Learned Linky

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Woven Landscape Finished

Completed Woven Landscape - 13" x 17.5"
Here is my completed Woven Landscape.

My last post introduced my latest landscape art quilt. I talked about my inspiration, my love of weaving and my struggle with the design of the trees.

Once I finished the trees with matching fabric and organza, I stitched them on with embroidery thread. I then added more embroidered flowers and changed some of the original appliqued flowers.
Getting the trees right

It was then time to consider how I was going to finish the quilt. I really liked the woven pieces sticking out at the edges, and didn't want to loose these by adding a binding.

I have no idea where I got the inspiration to find ribbon to frame the picture while keeping the edges intact. Off I went to my local craft shop and I found the perfect ribbon of jute and cotton.

However, if I was going to finish it this way, I had to figure out how to add the backing and batting to the quilt without the binding. I ended up tucking in the backing edges between the batting and the quilt top. I then attached the backing and batting to the top by sewing on the ribbon. It wasn't quite as neat as I would have liked, but not bad for a first attempt. I hope to make more of these woven pieces and perfecting the backing.
Quilted and beaded sky
The entire piece is densely hand-quilted, mostly echoing the shapes. There are also a few beads in the sun and within the flowers.
Close-up of the flowers with beading
Foundation paper pieced label
The finishing touch was the label. It's a 4" foundation paper pieced block in the same colours as the trees and backing.

I'm thrilled to have the piece ready for next week's Out of the Box Fibre Artists' Fibre Fling 5 Show & Sale. If you're in Ottawa, I hope you'll consider attending. The artists are incredibly talented. It should be a great show.

What I learned:
  • As always, when I get frustrated with a piece, it's important to let it sit for a few days. Inspiration will eventually come!
  • I was lucky to find the jute/cotton ribbon for the border and even luckier to have somehow thought of that as an option.
  • I really like the look of the dense quilting. It's very effective.

Check out these linky parties: Oh Scrap!, Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Needle & Thread Thursday, MOP Monday, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Off the Wall Friday, Fabric Frenzy Friday,