Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mondrian Inspired Purse Design

The Modrian Inspired Design
Everything is glued, nothing yet stitched.

For a couple of months now I've been working on the FFF challenge 61, interpreting an artist's style.  I decided to go large.  Although I still want to finish it, I had so much fun making the first bag, I decided to try another one.  The bonus is that it is small enough to actually finish in a few days.  The first problem I encountered was the grosgrain moving all over the place even though it was glued.  I decided that was because the wool still has a lot of stretch and my even feed foot was not really feeding so evenly.

I used recycled wool jackets, skirts, and odd bits of wool that I felted in my washing machine and dryer.  It is really soft to the touch.  Felting seems to take out all the rough stuff.  I added grosgrain ribbon to cover the seams; wider grosgrain as the final edging. All was stitched down with zig-zag using polyester thread because I both wanted to cover up the grosgrain and add a sheen.  I first tried to use another stitch on my machine, but after many, many birds nest on the back side, I decided the zig-zag would have to do.  The lining is black satin: pocket on one side for my cell phone; pocket on the other for my charge card case.

Purse Full View
I had a lot of problems deciding how to do the strap.  My first, planned idea didn't work at all.  I tried 3 more before I did this one.  Not as elegant a joint as I would have liked, but it works rather well.  The handle attachment added a day and a half to the project.  Luckily, I have an ergonomic seam ripper. 

Purse, Flap Side
Finished, closed the body of the purse is ~ 7" x 9".  Under the flap, this side is gathered on both sides and bottom.  This allows the contents to settle easily and not disturb the ornamental design. 

Purse, Design Side
Not sure which is the real front or real back.  My preference at the moment is to put this side out. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Silk on Velvet Purse

The Art Piece

As I started this design, I had in mind that it eventually would become a purse.  I was given a gorgeous piece of burgundy velvet [my friend Alex bought it at an estate sale for 50cents], I had some tiny cones of silk yarn, some iridescent seed beads and an idea.  I had never done any couching before, but this silk begged to be put with this velvet.  The FFF challenge was " chiaroscuro".

I first put a piece of velvet and stabilized in a hoop.  I could not get that under the foot of my machine.  Then I stay stitched the velvet to the stabilizer.  That seem to keep the velvet in place.  Velvet seems to have a life of its own as it slides and frays all over the place.  As I began to couch the silk yarn to the velvet I loved the look.  It is lush!  I had absolutely no idea I was stitching the shape of an onion cut pole-to-pole; I just liked the shape.  It wasn't until I took a break for a dinner of my Oven Roasted Onion Soup, , that I realized after peeling and cutting over 4 pounds of onions, that shape was definitely in my mind.

After dinner I added the seed beads to bring out the dimensions of the velvet-polyester batting-satin layers.  The beads are dark, but just the right touch to fulfill the challenge.  Today I finished making this work of art into an Arty Purse.  I plan to use it New Years Eve at a wedding rehearsal dinner.

The Arty Purse Hanging on My Design Board

The Arty Purse Sitting on a Table

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Best Contrasts = Color + Texture

Try 6 = Adaptation of Try 3

Try 6 in Full Color

This is the beginning 9 Patch for the 'Dissappearing Nine Patch'.  I wanted to have the three large prints on the bottom + the corduroy for the squares that are not cut.  As you see, it didn't work.  I didn't like  the tiny flowers on dark blue print as an un-cut square.  What to do?  What to do?  The black and white photos really helped me a LOT.  Now I substituted dark blue denim for the dark blue print.  Everyone loves denim, so I think this will work.  I like to put things like this together and then leave them for a time while I work on something else.  Then when I return to the project, I can look at it with fresh eyes.

Off to work on a new cape design.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Picking the Best Contrasts

I had a plan in mind when I started cutting these squares.  However, it took a turn when I photographed and printed in black and white.  I often use black and white to check values.  This time it is forcing me to change my original plan for this comfort quilt.

Original Plan

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

Which option would you choose?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Scrappy Christmas Comfort Quilt

Scrappy Christmas Comfort Quilt

This year my guild is having a 6" square exchange at each Meeting.  It began in October with Christmas theme fabric.  After putting all my fabric through a wash-dry cycle, I cut my squares all down to 5.5" to eliminate variations in cutting.  Of course I had to add some more fabric.  However, once this is bound [by another guild member since it is painful for me to do handwork], I hope it will bring a little JOY to someone in need this holiday season.  The guild was told that there is a lot of extra need through the holiday season because of auto accidents, fires, and other tragedies.  It always give me a lot of JOY to be able to do this small thing.  I am hoping I can make one charity quilt a month.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fleece Backed Comfort Quilt

Fleece Backed Comfort Quilt
Because it is so very soft, I decided to try fleece as a quilt backing.  I had finished piecing a Christmas Comfort Quilt; now I was ready to quilt the layers together.  The more I fiddled with the fleece, the more I decided to try using it first on a piece of cheater fabric that I originally purchased to use as a quilt back.  Good choice!  I hated working with the fleece.  I got a LOT of loops on the back and thread breakage.  Making this quilt tidy was a big chore.

If you use fleece as a backing, what is the secret to avoid the problems I encountered?  Not sure I want to try this again.