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Archive for May 2009

You may remember my first foray into Fabric Collage/Landscape quilting.  I have realized that I never posted a finished photo.

Winter Sunrise of Bayne's Sound facing south from HMCS Quadra

Winter Sunrise of Bayne's Sound facing south from HMCS Quadra

I am now venturing again into this technique that will definitely get your creative juices flowing. And mine are certainly doing that. I’ve taken a break from the Anniversary Quilt, and decided to start working on “The Quadra Quilt”.

A little history. I am an Officer in the Canadian Navy, in the Cadet Instructors Cadre component. In a nut shell we are specifically trained to work with youth in the Canadian Cadet Program, in my case, the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets. One of the aspects of the Cadet experience is attending a Summer Training Centre. I was also a cadet in my youth, and attended HMCS Quadra. I also served for four summers aboard as an Officer.

Okay, now a little history on the making of this quilt. While attending my second or third summer, I wanted to make a quilt about the life at Quadra. I started putting my ideas down on paper, and even played a little with EQ5 (which is what I had at the time).

Quadra Memories Quilt Design in progress

Quadra Memories Quilt Design in progress

Maybe I’ll go back and work on this project, but I feel my skills are not significant enough to tackle this project.

About a year ago, I started thinking of a quilt for a dear friend of my husband and I. I wanted to make her a quilt to commemorate her service at HMCS Quadra. She also started as a cadet, and served to become Commanding Officer. Her tenure as Commanding Officer is now over.

The design(s).

I originally thought that having T-shirts from the different Trades (courses) would be a very nifty quilt. Wasn’t sure what else I was going to do. I sat with a pad of paper and a pencil, and started to sketch. There were certain elements I knew I wanted:

  • An aerial view of HMCS Quadra (fabric collage/landscape technique); one, two, three, four
  • Years of service (1980 – 2008)
  • The Ships Crest
  • Trades (Two Week General Training, Boatswain, Music, Sail, Gunnery, Marine Engineering, Shipwright)
  • Quotes/Sayings: “Good Morning, Quadra!”, “I pressed on taking fresh trouble for granted.”

But how to get it all together.

Design Sketch 1

Design Sketch 1

Design Sketch 2

Design Sketch 2

I eventually decided that I could make it “Quadra” like without duplicating (ship’s badge), or using items (trade badges, t-shirts) that are of Quadra. To be honest, I started to realize my skills were going to become a factor, so I started to employ the KISS principle, with the following sketch the final draft (maybe) of the project. There are elements missing, at this point, because one, I do not draw well, and two, they are not needed at this stage in the design.

Design Sketch 3 - possibly final

Design Sketch 3 - possibly final

And now for the process.  I decided I was going to document the process of this quilt. It will incorporate several techniques I have not used, or at least I have very little experience in doing.

My supply/equipment list:

  • Fabric – to represent landscape elements/colour

    Fabric colour palette to begin with

    Fabric colour palette to begin with

  • Image/photo supplied by Google Earth
  • HMCS Quadra from Google Earth

    HMCS Quadra from Google Earth

  • Ships Crest
HMCS Quadra Ship's Crest

HMCS Quadra Ship's Crest

  • Glue stick – washable, non-acid
  • Toothpicks
  • Foundation fabric – muslin
  • Scissors
  • Damp cloth (for wiping off sticky fingers from the glue)

I cut the foundation piece a little larger than twice the size of the image I printed off. The idea behind fabric collage/landscape is a representation of a photo/image, not an accurate duplication. I found several photos of HMCS Quadra, which were not quite the angles I was looking for. The image I decided to use as a guide was actually from Google Earth. It is a neat application, as you can rotate your view, to get something close to what you want.  I chose to use the blue/green fabric for the water, using creative license… the “green” from the satellite image just does not work well for me.

Then its time to start placing the elements of the design. I started with a large size of fabric to represent the water, and then snipped around the edges so it would not be a straight edge. Then it was time to “shred” the fabric. It is difficult to describe this process… except just cutting the fabric in thin strips, which are angular, jagged. The strips do not have to be very long, somewhere between ½” – 2” is what I was using. We cannot blend fabric like we can with paint; smaller pieces work better to blend the colour of the fabric together.

Fabric before shredding

Fabric before shredding

Shredded Fabric

Shredded Fabric

The pieces are applied to using a bit of glue from the glue stick and the toothpick. To help with shading and blending, I have also used the “wrong” side of the fabric. I have added strips on the large piece of water fabric, to give the area dimension.

Beginning the process

Beginning the process

To get a nice blend between the fabrics, I used a door peeper. If something didn’t look right, I’d add another piece, until it did.  At times the lighter blue/green/yellow fabric was just to glaring. When you look at paintings, you do not view it from a few inches away. A peeper allows you to be close to the project, but still view it from a distance.

Taking Shape

Taking Shape

Closeup of process

Closeup of process

As I progress with this project, I’ll explain the different processes I’ll be doing. I know you are going to ask… “How are you going to hold all those little bits of fabric down”? I’m sorry, but you’ll just have to wait until I get to that part to explain it.

I can’t describe the feelings I have about this project. I am so elated right now, I’ll admit. As I mentioned to the recipient’s husband, the feelings are from several aspects, the reason for the project, the recipient, the Quadra experience, and I think the ability to be creative, and just let it happen.

I’m very happy with my choices so far, and how this piece is coming along. I’ll be posting my progress, can’t promise how often that will be, but be sure to check back, and feel free to leave a comment.

How have you stretched your creative mind, and what was your result?

-Alice

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I first introduced the Anniversary Quilt in my post on Colour Value.   I knew that this quilt would come together quickly.  And I knew the challenge for this quilt would be the pieced setting triangles.   With the help and advice of some of my quilting friends online and in person, I worked through the challenge.

The challenge was the bias edges that would be on the edges of the top.  Putting my design on point, caused the setting triangles to have the bias edges on the outside, instead of nicely stitched into the body of the quilt top.   I used foundation (paper) piecing, to piece all the triangles, and used my Easy Angle ruler to cut the angles as needed.  I had very little waste, which I am quite happy about.

As I was piecing the main units, I was starting to wonder if 50 units was going to be too many.  I laid out the blocks I had, on the bed on point.  I left to go get the camera, and was distracted for a moment or two, and when I came back… well this is what I found.

tazzie-helping

I realized that the blocks were going to be enough… and this is going to be a large quilt!  This past weekend, I was able to devote an entire day to stitching.  I’m scheduled to go back to work next week, and wasn’t sure, when I’d get time to work on it.  Sunday was a very productive day.

tazzie-checking-things-outjpg

Half done!   You would think that I would bring the camera in with me, and take the photo.  I’m sure she knows when I’m taking photos.   Tuesday and Wednesday I was able to work on the other half.  It’s nice to have the time to work on it.  I really didn’t think I would get this much done in so few days.

two-halves-make-a-whole

I wanted to take a photo of the progress, and laid out both halves on the bed to take a photo.  Didn’t know if I’d get more done or not.  As it was, I did.  I really wasn’t sure about the orange/pink, and the background fabrics, but the more I work with this quilt, the more I’m liking it.   I am very fond of the burgundy and the pink (which will be in the second border).

I had to measure the quilt top, to add the first border, and laid it out on my bed to do so.  I also wanted to see how the small border would look.

tazzie-helping-with-the-border

And no, I didn’t have the camera before Tazzie checked the progress.  I actually went to get the camera and the green border fabric.   The hair on her leg (right hind quarter) is really starting to come back in.

I’m hoping to have the last green border pieces added tonight, then it is off to figure out the pieced border. I had a different experience when measuring the borders.  Typically I measure down the centre of the quilt, then cut the border to that length.  Find the centre of the quilt top, and the border strip, line them up, pin, pin the ends, and ease in as required.  As I was about to pin the border, I noticed there was an excess of 3″ on one end.  I double checked the centre.  Check.  Double checked the length of the border strip.  Check.  Double checked the quilt top. Check.  It just wasn’t matching up.  There was no way I could ease in 3″ of fabric on either end of the quilt.   So I measured the edge of the quilt top.  It is actually smaller than the centre.   I was so concerned with the bias stretching on the edges, and the paper piecing helped stabilize it, that there was some stretch in the centre of the quilt.  I’m hoping that the borders will help ease the fabric back into shape.

I really don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to add a pieced border.  Well, I did, but I’m questioning my motives now!  LOL.  To be honest this quilt did go together quite quickly, so I’m actually not grumbling about the pieced border.

The quilting on the other hand, although I know I’m a ways a way from that, will cause me some grumbling.

-Alice


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