Living This Creative Life

I have two favorite quotes. The first one is by Emile Zola, "If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I would tell you that I came to live out loud". I don't know who the second one is by, but it goes like this, "If you're not living on the edge then you might as well jump". Both of these sentiments sum up my personal philosophy of this experience we call life on earth. Enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Have I mentioned..... That I Love to Machine Quilt

Hello Again,
Yes, two entries in one day - I'm excited. And sometimes when I'm excited, I over do it.
Here is a new piece I'm working on as a sample for a class I teach called "The Painted Quilt". It's a technique where you quilt first then paint afterward.
I've been doodling the tree in one incarnation or another since I was about ten years old. I've made three quilts with it so far, each one very different, even though they share this similar tree. But I love it none the less and it's a great design element.
For this technique, I begin with Prepared for Dying, white, cotton fabric. It is layered with batting and a backing fabric. Once it is layered, using a ruler and Hera marker, I mark the inner design rectangle as well as the inner and outer border lines. Then with a very fine .5mm mechanical pencil I lightly sketched the skeleton of the tree trunk and it's major limbs.
I began the quilting with a heavy 30 wt. brown cotton thread and stitched the tree trunk, roots and limbs, adding in lots of fine limbs that were not previously sketched. I kept all of the limbs inside the marked lines of the design rectangle.
Next I switched threads and stitched the first line marking the foreground near the base of the tree. I also added some tall grasses in this area and along the tree base. I used a dark yellow green thread in 30 wt.
Next, I switched to a 3o wt dark teal thread and stitched the horizon line and added some textural stitches in that area. This was followed by mountains stitched in a 30 wt. dark violet with a different textural stitch inside.
I switched back to the yellow green thread and stitched the lines around the design rectangle and the inner border. I then switched to a dark blue 30 wt. thread and stithed the lines for the outer border.
The circles in the inner border came next, stitched in a 40 wt. violet followed by the wavy cross hatch in the outer border stitched in a 40 wt. dark blue.
The final quilting was all of the tiny leaves and stems that fill in the branches of the tree. They were stitched in a fine, 60 wt. yellow green.
Stay tuned for the painting of this piece - it's a fabulous way to make a pictorial quilt with no applique!
Till next time,

1 comment:

Christa Irell said...

Stunning! You can draw and even write with a machine better than most people can draw with a pencil- absolutely amazing.
I love trees too, and I am so excited to see what you do with this next.
Thanks so much not only for sharing what you do but HOW you do it.
Not that the rest of us could pull it off like you do; it's fun to try though, and exciting to learn.
Heather, you ROCK!