Friday, December 17, 2010

A finished quilt and an anniversary!!!

First of all, today marks my 2 year anniversary of blogging.  As I said on this day last year, I have truly enjoyed the people that I have met along the way, as well as the wonderful art that I have seen.  Thank you all for adding so much richness to my life!!!!

A special thanks to Anita  for her encouragement to try to write a blog and to my husband, Michael, for his continuing support of my art and my online journal!!!

Now, to celebrate this anniversary, I am getting to tell you about a completed project….the first that I have had in quite a while!!!

I am co-chair of our Guild’s upcoming show entitled “Hot Threads, Cool Quilts” and we had issued a challenge to our group to make a quilt that was 24x30, designed to hang vertically, with an “off-the-surface” embellishment of some sort, that somehow referenced our show theme.

WOW…..how many different ideas did I come up with!!!!  We set the challenge about 2 weeks before my husband and I left for our epic 7 weeks in Italy so the theme was much in my mind as I wandered thru the beautiful Italian country and cities.   Basically everything that I saw could be somehow combined into a Hot/Cool combination.  I think that I about drove my husband crazy!!!!

But then it happened…….. while in Rome we developed two daily habits.  My husband would always stop each morning for a cup of hot espresso and we would  go down the street to the local Gelateria every night to have our cup of cold, heavenly delight.    And look at those cute spoons that they serve it with!!!!_B190935

So, my mind started planning…..my friends and myself started collecting spoons and the quilt was in progress!!!!!

When I finally had a few minutes to work on the quilt, I began by planning the borders of the project as those had to be big enough to hold the spoons.  Once I had determined the interior size, I started drawing boxes and rectangles that would fit within the piece.  This is how the original version looked, although I made changes to the size of the pieces in later versions…..

PB190937-1I then started looking thru photos of Rome and started selecting ones that I would like to use in the piece.  This was almost the hardest part as I had 1,510 photos of this beautiful city.

Once selected, I would open a copy in Photoshop, crop it to the size that it needed to be, use a contrast layer to deepen the photo and then apply a color mask to change the colors of the photos.  I tried to keep the photos in the cool range of colors….mostly blues, greens and purples.

I printed the photos onto paper, cut them out and taped them to the pattern to see how it was going to look……

_C101080

After adjusting a few color combinations, I printed the photos on fabric and started the tedious job of piecing it together.  I tried to find groups that could be pieced together with only straight seams, but ended up with a few seams that had to be partially sewn first and then finished when other parts were added.

At this point I realized that somewhere between the original design and the 2 other versions, I had managed to mess up the dimensions of the piece so that it was going to be about 1-1/2 inches too long!!!! 

OK…don’t panic….this is just a design opportunity!!!  So I played with the borders until I came to an arrangement that I liked.

I had decided to quilt small spoons in three of the borders and hang the actual spoons like a fringe on the bottom.  I was having trouble evenly spacing the designs on the border, so I got a  length of adding machine tape (remember, I am an Accountant, so I have LOTS of the stuff), cut it the length of the border and then folded it again and again until I had a good spacing for the spoons.  It was then VERY easy to draw the properly spaced quilting patterns…..

_C131089 After quilting the piece, the final step was to attach the spoon fringe to the bottom of the piece.  I found a large safety pin, heated the point in a flame and used it to burn a hole in each of the spoons.  To attach them, I first added a seed bead, the spoon and topped it off with another seed bead. 

Here is the finished product…..

_C141090 

I am very pleased with this piece that fulfills the challenge as well as provides my husband and I of a fun reminder of our wonderful month in Rome!!!!!

As important, it marks a return to the studio for me…..an event that I hope continues into the upcoming year!!!!

4 comments:

Joyce said...

What a unique quilt and a wonderful souvenier of your trip.

Anita said...

This is a wonderful piece! Is it only by coincidence that the gellato spoons look like shovels? :)

Kay said...

Very clever!

maggi said...

The spoon fringe is just such a brilliant idea. Glad you have found your mojo.

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