Friday, April 18, 2008

Commisioned Work!

My dad is here visiting from Brazil. He was thrilled with a gift bag that I put his birthday present in, which had sunflowers. He makes trays and framed pictures using glass tiles, and adapts designs from cross-stitch patterns. I had a cross-stitch design of sunflowers which I then gave him. Just before he left to go visit my half brothers, he asked if I would make him a quilted wall hanging with sunflowers. He wasn't able to adapt the cross-stitch design and get what he wanted for doing something with the glass tiles.

I gave it some thought and decided to use some sunflowers fabric I had in my stash for sometime, waiting for an appropriate application. Having made one "convergence" at the retreat in AZ, I thought I'd try again. I played with "pebbles" for quilting the center and did minimal beading, after trying to embelish with buttons, larger beads, etc.

Learned a very important lesson. One must fuse raw edge applique before attempting to thread paint and thinking that longarm machine quilting will hold it down! NOT! Thankfully for zippered leaders, I took the whole thing off the longarm, and tried to do that work on a sit down machine, until I realized I should just fuse it first. I don't know why I was resisting that, because once I gave up trying to find alternatives, the fusing was easy, and everything else fell into place.

He hasn't seen it yet, and I hope he likes it and pays me handsomely for the project!! ;-) It's going to be a present for my aunt's 80th birthday. I need spending money for Paducah next week!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Lesson learned

I always prewash my fabrics, usually after I bring them home. Having heard that batiks are "ready to go," since they are boiled to get the wax out, I somehow didn't wash my batiks. Enter some batik fabric that I friend gave me, harvested from a garment. I thought it had been washed, and really liked the fabric. Used it to make the first block for the row robin I'm working on. At the end of the block making, I noticed that there is some blue color migrating to the light batik. Oh dear! So I wash the block and sure enough the water is running indigo. I used some Synthrapol, wash the remainder of the dress fabric, and think it's okay.

I finished the row, but am looking at the block and, to me, there is still some blue in the white areas, so I decide to make another. I pull another (Bali) batik from my stash, and this time I'm wiser and iron some white sheeting over it after wetting it. Sure enough it's also transferring color to the sheet. I rinse and rinse, and get the dye out of it before constructing my block. I'd hate to have a quilt spoiled due to my row! Here's the finished row, paper pieced, which I can do now, but a process I'm certainly not enamored with, unless I figure out something to do with all the little waste slivers. Paper piecing while very good for exacting patterns, is a bit wasteful for this fabric penny pincher! ;-)