Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Feeling Artsy

My quilting mojo has been on the decline lately.  I've got 4 quilts queued up for quilting, but not sure on the design or if my FMQ skills are up to par yet.  And all Craftsy classes are on sale.  There were a few classes that were on my radar, but then I came across Wendy Butler Burn's Art Quilting 101 class for only $9.99.  How could I resist such a deal?!?  It's turning out to be an amazing deal!  Only halfway into the course material and my mind is swirling with new ideas and visions for future art quilts.  Last night I stayed up late, pulling out this fun line up of scraps and adding Wonder Under fusible in preparation for one art quilt vision.  But I wondered whether I had the skills to create this vision.  The quilt was so perfect in my mind, that I feared it would go all wrong once I started to cut.  So I procrastinated and continued to progress through class, without touching a scrap of fabric.  But once I saw the yarn couching technique demonstration, I simply couldn't stay on the couch any longer.  I was ready to head to the studio and dive into the world of Art Quilting.







I started with a simple heart fused in the center of my fabric.  And then the chaos ensued with yarn, thread, stabilizers and quilting...oh my!
I had some fun ombre yarn that I layered down first.  Initially, I was all fussy about the ends matching perfectly.  But once I started to layer on more threads, I liked the chaotic look and just piled it on  keeping a looser heart shape.  I pulled all different threads in teals, purples and pinks, especially all the threads that gave me tension woes, like Superior's Glitter thread for a little bling!  Then I covered it up with a sheet of Sulky dissolvable stabilizer and a few pins to keep everything in place while I moved to my machine.  Using invisble thread on top and black aurofil in the bobbin, I used a large zig zag stitch and went around the heart 3 or 4 times, to hold all the threads in place.  Off to the shower to wash away all the stabilizer and then lots of ironing as I was too excited to just wait for it to air dry!

Once dry...I did a narrow satin stitch around the heart and decided to do some more satin stitching around the heart.  I first did the pink narrow lines, but thought it needed another pop of something.  I added some shorter but thicker zig zags in teal and then layered and bound it all.  I really liked working small (only 11"x11") and trying some new techniques, materials and just letting the project evolve.

While I will not criticize the end project, I need to find a way to work neater without losing my creative mojo.  While it was a small project, there is a whole lot of texture going on in that 11"x11" square.  It started with pulling out several fabrics to audition for the background.  Then all the fusible.  Then all the threads.  Then backing and batting!  My studio looked like a tornado rolled through!  At first it was fine to work this way.  But as each phase involved more and more materials, soon my work spaces were all cluttered that I couldn't continue without the risk of injuring myself or my project.  I was just moving stuff from the cutting table onto the iron board, where it would then be in the way when I needed to iron...and vice versa!

Despite the sheer madness or managing my work space, it certainly was a liberating experience.  No pattern, no limits...just fun and experimentation!  I love my Electric Heart and look forward to future art quilting.


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