Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Remembering the '70's

Here's the second painted piece which suggested a tree trunk to me. (See this post from 2 yrs ago for how I did it. I do take awhile to put my experiments to use, don't I?) For lack of a better name, I've called it Twisted Tree, although it doesn't look as twisted now that it is quilted. This one I did not do any thread painting on, just layered it with Thermore poly batting and quilted it with an Oliver Twist hand-dyed cotton thread. To give it more presence, I sewed it to crushed velvet which I then stretched and pinned to foam core board as in Balance Check. Rather than putting it in a metal frame, I bought a standard 10" x 20" wood frame and removed the glass. Click on any picture for a larger view and you may be able to see the texture in the velvet.

This little owl is what was giving me fits last week. The paint had left brown oblongs with two white dots over them which looked like an owl to me. But getting the outline shape right was another thing. I finally gave up on my memory of what a horned owl looked like and got out my bird book. I tried two different brown threads, each leaving too dark of an impression. I finally realized the owl should be more of a ghost image and used the same Oliver Twist I'd used to quilt the rest of it.

As for the crushed velvet...it is from 1970 when I bought quite a bit of it to make a skirt & vest for me and a dress for my mother. When we no longer wore those outfits, I snagged them for my stash of crazy quilt fabrics. After making a few blocks, I realized I was never going to make a crazy quilt but have kept the fabrics together for when I need something shiny or velvety. I planned to cut my background for this little quilt from the skirt, knowing that there'd be a nice wide piece in the front. What I didn't think about was just how short skirts were back in the 1970's - there was barely 18" of length to work with and I needed 21! So it was on to deconstructing Mom's dress. Even though both the front and back had seams running down the middle, there was just enough width and plenty of length.

I used a different tact in attaching the quilt to the velvet than I have in the past. Rather than finishing the edge of the quilt and attaching it to the base in one step, I satin stitched the quilt edge separately (after using Fray Block as in the previous post). Even when stabilizing the base fabric with Decor Bond, I've noticed a bit of pulling, and I definitely couldn't stabilize the velvet with a fusible interfacing. So with the quilt edge all nicely finished, I could spray a little 505 Spray baste on the back and center it on the velvet. Then all I needed to do was run a straight stitch along the inner edge of the satin stitching. It worked perfectly.

You can see that I'm trying to get braver about signing my work on the front. Since this piece was mounted to foam core, there's no actual label on the back of the fabric. All information is written on the foam core. I really needed to have something on the quilt itself. So I penned my initials and the date.

1 comment:

Connie Rose said...

This piece is simply gorgeous, Sheila! Good work!