Tuesday, April 30, 2013

a very long time ago

A very long time ago, when I was just into my teens, I started an english piecing quilt.  It has travelled with me all these years (and there are quite a few) and gone through many incarnations, but I thought some of the pieces would be perfect for this.
Because I have just turned 50 (oops), I selected 50 hexagons to use in my piece.
Originally, this was how I intended to lay them out.  I spent a long time trying to arrange 50 pieces symmetrically, but I now know that that was impossible.
This is what I came up with.  I had a piece of satin with painted fusible on one side and a torn edge in the middle ready to do a landscape and I arranged the hexagons along the changeover between the two blues.  I wanted some little escapes to represent where my life is going and where it has been.
Of course, when I got down to piecing the hexagons, I came up on the same problem I have always had and that is that they are not all the same size, so instead of piecing them, I covered them with bridal tulle and sewed around them with my favourite god thread from the recycle depot.
You can see here the gold thread and how they don't all line up, but I just went with it.  I extended the lines beyond the hexagons to represent all the futures that might be.
Even my stitching wasn't perfect, but I went with that, too, as it went with the imperfect arrangement.
These fabrics are remnants of my past, they include fabric from my softball uniform, my school uniform, my favourite dress (that was when I WORE dresses, lol), the dresses my sister and I wore to my older sister's wedding, my first sewing assignment at school, my staggers jeans, my hessian bag I took everywhere and lots more.  I left the basting and papers in, too because they were full of history and meaning.  Originally, I intended to put a pin in each hexagon.  The pins were collected in my travelling days and are from all over the country, but I decided that was a bit too much.

This is a bit different from the type of thing I usually do, but finally I have done something with my oldest UFO!


Although the challenger gave us many wonderful examples of "remnants", my immediate impulse was to use leftover fabrics from other projects. Most quilters and fiber artists have an abundance of remnants in their fabric stash and it is always a challenge to use them in another project or maybe even give them away or toss them. This Tangled Textiles challenge seemed like a good opportunity to use the leftovers in a productive and perhaps creative way.

Many of these fabrics were left over from previous TT challenges. Many were digital prints on fabric, gelatin monoprints, or acrylic monoprints on fabric.

The leftovers were sewn together in strips in no particular order, the strips were joined to form a piece of fabric and then the piece was cut into various widths of approximately 18 inch long strips.

I had seen an interesting fiber art piece on the web which inspired me and for that I needed dark fabric interspersed throughout the strips. So I cut apart strips and inserted dark fabric of assorted colors and sizes and then began to arrange them on my design wall.

I arranged and rearranged for about a week and decided that my original inspiration was not working. I removed most of the dark areas and ended up with the work below. I had intended to make this piece in a rectangular format, however it ended up being square.



Although I brainstormed many ideas for Remnants, I knew I would go with the literal, having SO many remnants piled high in crates. Inspired by bolts of upholstery fabrics I used a few of my upholstery remnants to create this piece. My sketch to get me going...

Initial arrangement of remnants of course was changed many times before stitching.....

The hang-tags were made by fusing used coffee filters on both sides of fusible batting. then tied in place with embroidery thread. Rather than a literal price on each tag I experimented with a few of the stitches on my sewing machine.

Thanks for another fun challenge Brigitte!

Remnants- Beverly

I almost made it- finished, that is.  It's not quite done, but done enough to post a picture.

It was pretty easy for me to figure out what I was doing with this challenge.  What quilter doesn't have remnants stashed away in their studio?  I have plenty!  In fact, some of these are on their third iteration- anyone remember my Balance quilt?  The block was left over from that challenge, and the fabrics were left over from a quilt I made my daughter.

I have been admiring much of what I see in the modern quilt movement- the minimalist approach, the large areas of negative space, and the use of white or gray as a background.  I thought this would be an opportunity to try my hand at this esthetic, and see what I could come up with.

I managed to get all the background quilting done today, but I still need to quilt the block and add a binding.  Hopefully I'll get to that by the weekend, and then I'll post a picture of the totally finished quilt!

Here you can see a detail of the quilting I did on the white.  I like it, had fun doing it- but I think straight line quilting would have been more in keeping with the modern esthetic.

So there you have it- my still-in-progress Remnants.

bits and pieces

that's what my remnants challenge piece is made up of - the left over remains of previous projects. 

There were little bits from previous TT challenges - bits of the celebration fabric I printed for that challenge last year - bits of the background sky fabric used in the architecture piece.  In some cases the bits were too bright so the fabric was flipped over and the back was used.

I selected the brighter bits from my bags of scraps, and as we weren't having much of a spring at the time, I created my own - a nice bright yellow sun

and flowers reaching up to it
I had a lot of fun grabbing bits and piecing them together, creating as I went along.  Then the puzzle - how to piece these separate flowers and sun together into a single piece?  Add a bit here, trim off a bit there, slip this under, layer that over, and it was done!


the pieces all fit together.  Oh, but wait, I'm missing a bit of stem on the left.  More trimming, more piecing - now its ready.
some quilting -

ribbon candy

add a facing and label and it is done!
here comes spring
Here Comes Spring!
Thank you Brigitte, a great challenge!

(a few more progress shots can be seen on my blog)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ruby's Remnants

Since I have absolutely nothing to post about the challenge, I thought I Would amuse you with the following photo
These are what greeted me when I woke up this morning.  My puppy, Ruby likes to bring all her treasures up onto the bed and these are the remnants of this morning's foraging.  As you can see, she likes to chew and tends to leave a trail of mangled remnants everywhere she goes!
Now back to my challenge, which I haven't lifted a finger on!!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


aren't these a pretty, bright, spring-like bunch of remnants I'm working on?

Happy Quilting!