Monday, November 25, 2013

Side Bars!

Miami Blues - Adding the sides

The center 1/3 of this piece was laying in my UFO pile when I decided I wanted to finish something for the QOTW "Blues" challenge. I pulled this out and measured it. Luckily it was just about the right height but needed sides and a side design to go with the quilt.

I found more of the navy blue velveteen fabric used for some of the buildings in my stash and sewed pieces on for the sides and bottom. I had also used this in strips around the city and reflection, so it helped to tie things together.

The side design had to tie in with Miami, so palm trees seemed a natural. I used home decor sample fabrics for the palm trees, with some of the "specialty" gauzy fabric as well.  I also remember lots of  causeways over water in Florida, so I added some stitching to suggest that behind the palms.

I finished it by sandwiching and quilting the whole thing. The center had already been quilted, so it "pouf-ed out" a bit with the second layer of batting behind it. I liked that look and only did light stitching to prevent sagging in that area.  No one liked a sagging city, after all.  I met my deadline and got another city scape for my series completed. Its a nice feeling!  Now for my next project...

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Monday, November 18, 2013


Lately I've been posting about how I made my Miami Blues art quilt. As I described last time,  I started with a quilted 12" x 12" city scape. That piece is the main focal point of the quilt to the left.  
The 12" x 12"  "mini" was in my pile of small quilts waiting to be finished or incorporated into something larger. 

I wanted this to be part of my city scape series, but thought it needed to have a bit more to it. So what to do? What to do???? How about adding a reflection????

I didn't have any more of the background fabric used for the sky, so I found a denim print in my stash that I used for the reflection background. I cut building shapes from the same fabric I used for the "mini" or other fabric that looked pretty close.  I wasn't worried about making it exactly the same since it is a reflection and therefore is expected to be distorted. Just a suggestion of the same shapes, size and color would suffice.

Once I got the reflected buildings in place I covered them with strips of a loosely woven fabric I get at Joanne's called "specialty fabric". It is in the bridal fabric area. I have purchased pieces of this in just about every color they carry. It has a sparkling quality, does not fray, and is semi-transparent. I have found many uses for it in my art quilts and find it often is a good substitute for Angelina fibers, but is much easier to use. I have included a close up of this fabric below. 

I was satisfied with the appearance of the reflection and of all the features on this quilt, that is the one most commented on. 

So I added a bit of border stripping and it was not about 23" x 15". I wasn't really sure if that was all I wanted to do, so back to the UFO pile to wait for further inspiration. 

Next post - adding side bars....

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Monday, November 11, 2013

It All Start As A 12" x 12" Mini....

My last post showed the finished "Miami Blues" piece I recently completed, which is 24" x 36".   This quilt was built around a 95% completed 12" x 12" mini city scape. About a year or more ago Deborah Stanley gave me a hand dyed piece of home decor fabric that had a lot of interesting shapes on it. Deborah had laid it on some metal work and then painted it. The intricate shapes in the metal work showed up very subtly in the fabric after drying. I loved the look of the swirls and semi-organic forms and wanted to emphasize them by quilting around them. The photo below shows a detail of the quilting and the shapes in this fabric.

I have been working on a series of city scapes and decided to use this fabric as the sky for a small city scape. I had a photo of the Miami sky line from a trip I made there and used that as my basis for building placement and shape. I wanted to keep the buildings relatively low so I didn't cover up the sky.  I stitched the buildings down and then quilted around the swirls. The fabrics used for the buildings include cotton, velveteens and organza's.  The center of the photo below shows the initial city scape that I made. 

I added some embroidery stitches to the buildings to make it more interesting to look at and these photos show some of those details. You can also see the sky stitching in the top photo. 

After completing the embroidery work I put it in my box of UFO's, edges unfinished. I guess I was waiting for a better idea to come along.  My next post will describe the next steps I took - the  reflection area. 

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Miami Blues!!!

QOTW had a challenge to create a piece based on the theme "The Blues". The piece had to be 24" x 36" and landscape oriented. It was due the second Saturday in September. My schedule was pretty hectic this spring and summer and I wasn't really planning to make an art quilt for this challenge due to lack of time. But, I was talking to some art quilting friends at the Long Beach festival in August and started to feel bad about not supporting the group. I knew I had started an art quilt already with blue in it and decided to try to finish it out for this challenge. Fortunately I was able to get it done in time and here it is.

I call it "Miami Blues" because it is based on a photo I took of the Miami skyline from a cruise ship. I will post more about the process I used to make it in the future. In the meantime, I hope you are having a wonderful day and as always, thank you for visiting my blog!