review: Dresden Carnival

Dresden Carnival

Dresden Carnival: 16 Modern Quilt Projects *Innovative Designs* by Marian B. Gallian and Yvette Marie Jones

Dresden plates are a classic and these designs play with the original idea in a variety of ways. Many but not all of these designs are floral – dresden plates lend themselves so well to floral motifs – and range from very traditional to more modern. This book includes pattern pieces (which could be copied or traced from the page) throughout as well as larger pieces in a perforated section (for easy removal) in the back.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the Capital Area District Library through the awesome MeLCat ILL system

art quilt WIP: progress report

My first art quilt project is coming along!

Art quilt WIP

Last I posted, I had gotten the background mostly together. I then finished that up, so I had a nice full-size main quilt top to work with. (I didn’t choose the size based on the size of my craft table, but it worked out to my advantage, as you can see). I then took a couple of photographs of some of my dolls and manipulated them using photo-editing software so that I could get an outline to work from for the general shape of the woman who’ll be sitting in the foreground of the quilt. I also used some free online apps to blow up the images so that they would print on multiple sheets of paper, which I then taped together and traced. In the photo above you can see that the head in the upper right is the print out, which has a lot more detail than I wanted for the final pattern. The traced (and somewhat altered to suit my whim) version is in the center. I also cut out the pieces of the body separately at this point, so I could monkey with the perspective and how it was laid out, and so I could really see how her limbs fit together (so my monkeying didn’t make her look wonky).

Art quilt WIP

At the same time, I was working on a dress for the figure. I knew that I wanted to do a modified version of a Dresden Plate, so that there would be a variety of fabrics and so that the pieces could radiate out from the center of her torso.

Art quilt WIP

I sewed the pieces together and pressed the seams all in one direction to help it sit flat.

Art quilt WIP

I fussy-cut this bird from some fabric and then cut a larger outline piece from a similar but not-quite-the-same orange fabric. Then I sewed around the edges to hold it all together. Note: I did not make the very center of the purple circle perfect. I knew that I was going to be covering it anyway, so I didn’t bother to be mega exact with all the tiny edges of the wedges.

Art quilt WIP

I cut out the body in one piece and then laid the purple circle over it, and outlined where I needed to cut to make it dress-shaped. I’m really pleased with the look of the garment.

Art quilt WIP

I also did some accent stitching on the dress to defined and add a little more oomph to the patchwork of the garment. I wasn’t super fastidious about the spacing of this stitching, and I like the more organic feel that creates.

Art quilt WIP

Here we are working on her head again. When I made my outline for her face, I decided to create some dimension on her hair by using layers and sections of smaller pieces, as well as with stitching (more to come on that later). So you can see that there are more sections of hair on the real thing than on the outline. I prefer to create a basic pattern/shape to go from, but to change it up and embellish it as I’m working with the actual fabric.

Art quilt WIP

And here she is on her backdrop. Not finished yet!

Art quilt WIP

Here’s some of that stitching I mentioned earlier. I wanted to create more dimension in her hair, and I did so by using separate pieces of cloth (locks of hair, sort of) and by free motion stitching within the hair sections. I used two shades of thread to add more texture and contrast. I have been reading up on thread painting, decorative stitching, and free motion stitching, but I haven’t tried it before this. For my first try, I’m quite pleased with it! It has just the effect I was going for.

There’s still more to do on this quilt, as there are a few elements I haven’t even started on yet, as well as finishing the other details on the figure. Then will come the actual quilting when I put it all together. I’m really having fun creating this project, and I hope that I can make it one of a series of art quilt pieces.