My Fall Frolic quilt is continuing to take shape, slowly but slowly. This past weekend I worked on the witches.
I came up with their robe-shapes and cut those out freehand, and then half-traced half-sketched some Blythe heads for the witches’ heads.
These paper templates are really more to keep me in line while I’m free cutting – it keeps everything in scale – and isn’t a 100% pattern that I’ll follow for sure.
These witches are on a much smaller scale than most things I’ve done before, so the pieces are itty bitty. I kept having to cut them down to be the right size.
Because these pieces are so small, I decided to hand stitch them all in place.
As tedious a task as this could be, I actually really enjoy it! The early morning sun kept my work desk well-lit and I knocked out both faces in not very much time. I don’t know what it is about working with tiny things that is so satisfying for me.
Last week I got a start on cutting out a zillion leaves for my Fall Frolic quilt, and this weekend I continued working on those trees.
I want to provide a background for the trees themselves, since I’m not planning on showing any exposed branches. I didn’t want the edges of this background to show as distinct from the leaves that will go over top, though, so I used my leaf templates to cut out leaf shapes along the edges of the background pieces.
These pieces may very well end up completely covered, but I just wanted to be sure that the foliage seemed solid underneath the individual leaf pieces.
I also started working on the foreground, with this cauldron and flames. I started working on the witches as well, but didn’t get too far yet. Next weekend I hope to get those complete!
It has been pretty busy in CraftyTown lately – I have a lot of things on the work table (and still trying to find a good replacement work table).
I am getting SO CLOSE to finishing this project! I really cannot wait to be done with it. My brain has already moved on to my next project.
I’m actually working on the binding!
I chose a gold fabric for the binding since I feel like it adds a ‘gold frame’ feel to the piece. Since the quilt is inspired by a grand Renaissance painting, it seems to fit. I am so happy to be in the home stretch of this project. I’m hoping that this coming weekend I can make the time to completely finish this project.
I’m making more slow but steady progress hand-quilting my current art quilt WIP. It’s really slow going, but I’m getting there!
As I stitch, I keep asking myself what I was thinking making such a large piece. A learning experience for sure!
I started re-listening to the Harry Potter books for the thousandth time and that is helping the time pass more quickly while I’m stitching. I opted for the Stephen Frye version this time, as I’ve listened to it fewer times than the Jim Dale edition.
Some of the quilting I’m doing is also decorative, but some is just functional to keep everything together. As usual I’m making decisions about what to do as I go along, which is working well for me. I like to have a basic plan in my head but also the flexibility to make changes to that plan on the fly. This is how making art works for me – do you find the same is true for you?
I am making more progress on the seemingly endless process of making my latest art quilt.
After sewing on all the moths, I decided to tack their wings so they don’t flop around so much. I was on the fence about this but went with my gut, which said that they should not be floppy.
I also spent some time thinking about how I wanted to quilt this piece, and came to the conclusion that hand quilting is the way to go. It will probably take me forever, but I’ve got to go with what feels right. Right now I’m stitching in the ditch, and will add some other quilting when that’s done.
As usually happens when I’m in the home stretch of a big project, I’m getting serious ants in the pants to start the next one. Must wait until this one is complete!
After last week’s playing around, I decided on placement for the moths and started sewing them on.
I decided to do this by hand, so that I could get a less uniform look to the stitching. (Also, lifting the presser foot a billionty times for each of these did not sound like fun.) I am super pleased with the result!
I don’t do much hand sewing very often, but I find it really in-the-zone-putting when I do make time for it. Note to self: do more hand-stitching! I watched a ton of Jane AKA maidensuit‘s videos about Blythe stuff while I did this stitching and the time flew by. I also got inspired to make the skirts that I posted about on Monday!
I used a variety of freehand stitch patterns to sew these moths on, and I pretty much stuck to just sewing on their bodies (thoraxes? thoraces? thesauri?) and then adding the antennae. I may decide to do some more stitching on the wings, especially of some of the larger ones that want to flop around more – I’m still considering what I want to do with that.
I finally made some more time for my art quilt project this past weekend! It seems like I spend about 90% of my art quilt time thinking about/wishing I was working on it, and only 10% actually getting to work on it. It’s been a busy season and there’s just too many things to do for the number of non-work hours I have in the day.
My idea for this part of the quilt is to have moths flying at the figure, approaching her from the direction of the moon. I did some preliminary placement of the moths this weekend, though I’m not totally wed to this placement yet.
I may play around with it some more before I start sewing them on.
I’ve been so inspired to create some new designs for Blythe lately! I suddenly realized the other day that it’s almost the end of the summer and I can look forward to fall arriving soon.
I think these thoughts of autumn are what have me thinking about sweaters. It’s certainly not the humid, hot weather we’ve been having! I set out to design a sweater with ribbing and I sort of winged it at first on this first draft.
I like how it turned out, but not 100%. After finishing up this first draft, I decided that I’d rather make the sweater a pullover (over the body, not over the head, since Blythe’s noggin is so large proportionally), and I want to construct the ribs differently than I did the first time. I’m already working on the next draft, but I’d love to know what YOU think! What things are you looking for in your Blythe sweaters?
I started in on the trees on my current art quilt WIP this week.
I picked out a grey fabric with a texture that reminded me a little bit of tree bark. These trees are inspired by Michigan’s White Pine trees, the bark of which often appears more grey than brown. I free-handed a paper pattern roughly the right shape and size and cut out a few trunks.
I also cut out a few freehand so that not every one was the same. I played with the placement a bit until I had a satisfactory spread of trees. As I will be adding some branches and foliage I didn’t want them too close together – but I do want to give the look of an overlapping forest, so I didn’t want too much space between, either. I chose to use seven trees as that number is commonly thought of as lucky and because an odd number pleases the eye.
I pinned all the tree pieces and then sewed each trunk down individually. I left a bit of room for the edges to fray a little and included the already frayed edge of the fabric at the base of each tree. I’m happy with how it looks so far – looking forward to adding the rest of the trees soon!
My ever-so-slow-but-steady progress on my current art quilt WIP continues.
There is land on the right side of the piece, where white pine trees will be growing. I selected some brown fabrics from my stash and decided on how wide the land section should be. Then I cut diagonals so I had lengthy triangular sections which I then alternated and pieced together to make a large-ish rectangular piece.
I cut the edge that juts out into the water and then pinned it down on the main background. Since the moon worked well without fusible interfacing, I did that again this time and it was just fine. I stitched all along the edge of the land piece and then went around it again another time for that sketch-ish look I also used on the moon.
I also stitched along some of the seam lines within the land piece so that the piece is attached to the background throughout. These seam line accents also add to the look of the land. I am currently debating doing some additional (non-seam-line) stitching in the land, but I haven’t decided what I want to do yet. Next come the trees!