Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ship Sails

Anthem quilt post number 4??? I am getting a lot of mileage out of this one!!

When I started envisioning this piece the feature that stood out in my mind were the sails on the ships. That was why I put the ships in the foreground, so the sails would be larger and more striking.  I made the sails out of a silk fabric I was given by a friend (thanks Sally!).

It's a little hard to see it here, but the sails are three dimensional. I sewed 2 rectangular pieces of fabric together on three sides, and turned them inside out to make small pillow shapes. I then hand stitched the opening closed.

When I first put them on the quilt top they looked too stark and flat, so I added some shadowing to them with a variety of different oil paint stick colors.

They are only sewn on at the corners of the sails. I used a bead on each corner to add a little additional close up "interest".

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Buildings and Trees

Here is a close up of a part of my Anthem Story quilt. This is the area near Fort McHenry that is being bombed by the British Ships. There were some homes and other buildings around the fort that I depicted with simple building shapes. I have been putting more structures in my quilts ever since I did a city scape last year. I like the look of them, apparently!

 I used some dark blue tulle to add some shadow to the side of the buildings, and I used a contrasting thread to paint in the lines of the edges of buildings.

This challenge required us to use a large floral print. I fussy cut some of the flower pieces and used those to depict trees around the buildings.

I also used the dark tulle in the sky to give the impression of a darkened, smokey sky, since the bombing occurred over night. It is twilight in my quilt.

The red yarn in the front is from a "boo boo" that I needed to come back and address. I tie red yarn to safety pins and put them on the quilt at a location where there is something I need to take care of later.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Interview in Fountain Valley Patch

Deborah Stanley is a friend of mine and a wonderful artist. She has begun interviewing local artists on her blog and I am flattered to have been the first person interviewed by her. She also posted the interview on the Fountain Valley Patch. You can see the interview and Deborah's wonderful work by  clicking on the following link:

Deborah Stanley's blog

You can see the Fountain Valley Patch interview by clicking here:

Fountain Valley Patch

Thanks Deborah!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Here's my Anthem quilt again. I am going to show various construction techniques for this quilt right up through the fourth of July, I think!

This time I will focus on the lettering. I put phrases from our national anthem on this quilt. The phrases I used are:

"...Rockets Red Glare
Bombs Bursting In Air
Gave Proof Through The Night
That Our Flag Was Still There..."

I have had several people ask how I did this, so here is what I did:

I used a purchased lettering guide for the letters, and then used oil paint stick to create the letters through the lettering guide on the fabric. I used a few different colors of oil paint stick successively to get the appearance I was after.

I then machine quilted around each letter to make them pop out a bit. I had to plan out the spacing and location of the letters to make sure they fit and get the staggered line appearance I wanted. The upper photo shows the finised letters, and the lower one shows the lettering in progress, the lettering template and some of the oil paint sticks. I liked the results I got and plan to use this technique again when I do letters on a quilt. I have not liked the results I got from other techniques as much as I like this, and it didn't seem that hard to do.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bombs bursting in air!

Since we're getting close to the fourth of July I thought I would show how I made the fireworks on my Anthem Story piece. This quilt is about the story of how our National Anthem was written. I needed to show the "bombs bursting in air", and wanted them to add something dramatic to the border area.

The "bombs" were made using a combination of Angelina fibers and "specialty" fabric I purchased at Joanne's. The Angelina fibers were layed out in a mat and then pressed to make a flat, 8" x 8" piece. I used white, gold and blue Angelina fibers. After the flat layer is made I cut out curved shaped in different lengths.

Next I used a fabric that I found in Joanne's in the bridal fabric area. The label says "specialty fabric". It is loosely woven, does not fray, and has a lot of shininess to it. I purchased it in red, blue and gold. I used the red to make a large circle as the background for the bomb. I cut curved shapes from the gold and blue specialty fabric, similar to the Angelina shapes.

I then started laying the shapes on the red circle to depict something like a firework. I cut new shapes as I went along to give me the appearance I wanted. Some pieces need more curve than others, depending on where they were on the bomb.

I used a glue stick and pins to temporarily adhere these to the quilt, and then used free motion quilting stitches to permanently attach them. I found that taupe thread blended well with all three colors.

This really gave me the look I wanted for this piece and helped fill out the border, which was looking pretty "blah" before this.