There's an outside chance here that my journal partner, Judi and I are pushing each other more than we realize. The partnering was to help us really go through with the commitment, i.e., it's easy not to do something if you're not accountable to someone else. But neither of us wants to let the other down. We're certainly not in any kind of competition here, yet I sense we may be putting a little more effort into this because we are sharing the results with each other each month. Does that make sense?
I've always been impressed with Judi's artistic sensibilities and design work, yet when I opened the e-mail with her May journal quilt pictures attached, I was stunned. Here is her description of the process:
"I decided to make the dandelion leaves out of ultra suede. Thought I would try stitching in the veins before I cut out the leaves. With the fusible ironed on the back and the freezer paper pattern ironed onto the fusible paper it worked well stitching in the veins. Afterwards I cut out the leaves and pealed the paper off the back.
Next I auditioned background fabric and found one that I especially liked the sky part. I layered the background and quilted it...I tried doing the lines with the regular foot on the machine and the feed dogs and quilting foot in place. Actually worked quilt well on the wavy lines until I tried to do a circle. My stitches are quite even. For the ground portion of the background I did a variegated zigzag.
When the back ground was done I set it aside and pulled out the water soluble embroidery fabric. Drew the dandelion head on the soluble fabric and placed the dandelion head leaves between 2 sheets then, stretched in a hoop and started to stitch first the brown seeds in the center, then the white fluff starting with the outside ring and working in. When done I placed the puff in water for the soluble to soak off. There were a few places that the stitching didn't connect but I knew this could be fixed when attached to the top. I used the Esterita Austin's fusible web for attaching the puff to the quilt. At the same time I ironed on the leaves and stems. Went around the puff with more stitching and fixed the few areas that were too holey. Stitched on the leaves with smoke nylon thread. Then I made the yellow flower by stitching right on the top. Did a fancy leaf design in green around the edge...trimmed to a 16th of an inch and zigzagged around the edge in a darker shade of green to finish up."
By the way, that background fabric is one of her own hand-dyes. When we were dyeing together, she always made these wild colorful textured pieces while I was carefully making more conservative evenly textured ones. I loved her stuff and still do!