Monday, June 17, 2019

Appliqué Landscape

Another appliqué experiment - this time inspired by pottery.
I made up the process as I went along, and began with a quick freehand drawing using smooth, simple shapes. I numbered and labeled each piece before cutting the paper along the draw lines.
I used each paper piece as a template, cutting the fabric about 1/8" larger on all sides. I did this because I wanted about an 1/8" of foundation fabric to show between my appliqué shapes, reminiscent of the dark ceramic base of my inspiration. I experimented a bit with different colors in the landscape, ultimately keeping the hills a single green and swapping the lightest coral for one closer to the darker coral.

After pinning in place, making sure each piece overlapped evenly with its neighbors, I basted all the pieces down.
I used needle-turn appliqué and 50 or 80 weight, whichever I had on hand, of Aurifil thread to stitch the pieces down. This was a bit fiddly because of the overlapping pieces. Here it is about half finished.
After appliquéing, I removed the basting stitches. I like how the landscape looks, simply framed, but now I wonder if it would be improved with quilting. There is a slight wave to the fabrics that is bugging me a little bit, even with a few layers of batting added behind it. If I quilted it, I could mount it on top of the mat, rather than behind it. What do you think?

Monday, June 3, 2019

Midmod Improv Appliqué Pillow

Okay, so I'm just going to say up front that I am so excited about this pillow. I think it is the coolest thing I have made in a long time, and the technique has so many possibilities, my mind is whirring with what to make next.

Like the pillow I made recently, this is improv appliqué, meaning I cut all the shapes by eye, without templates. I riffed off the square in a square design but added a mid century modern twist with the rounded edges. It turned out just as I intended.

The pillow gave me a chance to try matchstick quilting over appliqué, and I'm happy with the result. The texture is great, and it doesn't overwhelm the design underneath, possibly because I used bold colors. I finally used Living Coral, the Pantone color of the year. Nice.

I will say this 16 x 24 piece took forever, as it is all hand appliquéd, needle turn, using my favorite Aurifil 80 weight thread. The matchstick quilting isn't quick either. But it was all worth it to me. I really love this. Having said that, the bit I enjoy is the making, rather than the owning. If you'd like a chance to add this functional art to your home, it is available for sale in my etsy shop. I doubt I'll make another, so this is a one of a kind piece!