Monday, November 21, 2016

Appliqué Table Runner

This project has certainly been in the works for a long time (Instagram tells me I started is this past spring). I decided to take my time with it, which I think is the best way to approach needle turn appliqué. A variation on my MarimeFaux wall hanging, this 20" x 51" table runner uses a slightly different template but the same folding, cutting, and appliqué technique. The method is a cross between cutting paper dolls and Hawaiian appliqué, and its one I’d like to continue to explore.

Instead of the high contrast black and white solids, in this variation I played with fabrics that blur the boundaries between appliqué and background. It's a trick I used in improv piecing, and I think its so interesting in this application.

Once the appliqué was complete, the project stalled for a while as I tried out different quilting patterns. I settled on a free motion figure eights, as you can see. If I had it to do again, I think the modern design and fabric would be better complimented by simple, matchstick quilting.

I enjoyed the process of making this quilt, from the template creation, to folding and cutting, and appliqué. The quilting went quickly on the machine, but the facing did take some time. I think it is more tedious than binding, but some quilts really demand one.

I think I’ll experiment more with this technique, perhaps on a smaller scale.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Adventures in Indigo Shibori

I recently had the pleasure of taking a class with Kim Eichler-Messmer, author of Modern Color, on indigo shibori fabric dyeing. It was just a delight. Kim, a professor at the Kansas City Art Institute, also teaches private classes at KC Textile Studio. If you have the opportunity to take a class, do it!
We learned to make two different types of indigo dye vats, as well as the shirbori technique, including itajime, arashi, and machine sewn. This traditional Japanese dyeing method, which uses  uses clamps, string, and stitching to create resist patterns, creates truly endless design possibilities. I tried a bit of everything, which is the fun of this sort of class.
machine sewn
machine sewn

Indigo dyeing is certainly simple enough to do at home, albeit a bit messy. I hope an outdoor indigo party with crafty friends is in my future.