Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Process - WannaBees Group Quilt

The WannaBees are working on a group quilt for our guild show in September. We chose an undersea theme, and Ben carefully cut up our beautiful background fabric so that the blocks would piece back together roughly along the colorwash of the fabric (i.e., the darker fabric is in the bottom of the quilt, or the "deeper" water).

Then we had our field trip to Intown Quilter, and chose a second fabric that we would all incorporate into our blocks.

Ben and I chose to do the deep water blocks. He is creating an incredible octopus and treasure chest. I chose jellyfish, although I have a sneaking suspicion that that's not really where they live.

I started with my background. There were several mistakes that made this block turn out the way it did, and the first one was forgetting to drop my feed dogs while I was stitching this seaweed-y plant. I kept getting the bottom thread pulled through, and finally figured out why. But then I decided I liked the more variegated look of the purple pulling through the green, and the slightly fuzzy or feathery look it created, so I left it. Either that or I'm just lazy, but let's go with that first one.

I machine appliqued the unifying fabric with a circle design to make a coral look. I used a similar technique for the green with a different filler design.

Next I made some plants out of Tyvek.  (This is what Priority Mail envelopes are made out of.  You can buy it, but I save them when I get them for use on small projects like this one.  It's a green thang!)  I painted it with a palette of green and yellow tempera. Then I cut my basic shapes out and put it under a little heat by hovering my iron over them to make them puff up and curl around the edges.  I appliqued these down with a leaf vein design.

Initially I was going to make my jellyfish out of the Tyvek as well.  I thought the rounded, bubbly surface would be beautiful.  I painted some pieces with orange and red.  Unfortunately, they didn't have the transparency and lightness that I needed.

Luckily Ben and Kristin from Fiber on a Whim suggested metallic organza for my jellyfish.

I decided to quilt before going any further.  My next mistake was doing some beautiful machine quilting that I really like with a gorgeous variegated thread...and then realizing I hadn't put the back on.  Arrrghhh!  When I put the back on and tried to add some more quilting, I started getting a lot of thread breakage and tension issues.  

Today my machine is going to camp with the service guy.  Hopefully when I get it back tomorrow I will be able to do some light quilting and finish adding my jellyfish and some beading.  It all has to be done by our next bee group meeting!  Hurry hurry hurry!

When was the last time you got your machine serviced?

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