One day last summer I bought a piece of rusty wrought iron decorative something or other. I had no plan for it. None. It hung out in my garage all winter - although why I decided to keep a rusty piece of metal indoors still puzzles me a bit. Until one morning on my way out for work I saw it and realized I could use it to rust fabric. This is something I had never done before (at least not intentionally) so I went for it. It pretty easy. Mix water and vinegar and put some fabric in it - I used a ziploc bag. Then lay the fabric over the rusty stuff and walk away. I checked it the next day and Voila! a beautiful piece of rusty fabric. And so of course I made more and now I look for rusty things everywhere - which is not weird at all!
So here it my first piece in what will undoubtedly be a series of rusty stuff.
Dimensions 24 1/2" by 42"
The base piece is a combination of the rusted fabric, hand dyed brown and blue grey, a snow dye that I loved and didn't want to cut up (so that worked out) and a piece of shibori dyed fabric that didn't entirely work the way I had planned. But it was perfect for this piece. After I had quilted the base with both straight lines and some free motion quilting that were drawn based on the shape of the fence, I added the blue sheer fabric.
The blue overlay was made by photographing the fence and enlarging the shape until it was the size I wanted for the sheer layer. This took a while and I used some large pieces of plain newsprint that I had to trace the design in the final size. Then I measured very carefully to the fence posts would be straight up on the quilt and pinned the newsprint to the base quilt over a layer of sheer fabric. I free motion quilted the fence, carefully tore away the newsprint and then trimmed the excess fabric away to leave only the fence shape. It was a bit tedious but I think the end result was worth it.
Here is a close up of the snow dyed fabric and how the sheer allows you to see the texture and rust that lies below it. As always, I wish I was a better photographer and it looks better up close, but I think you get the idea anyway.
I like the way the shibori adds a little movement to the burgundy piece of fabric. I free motioned the burgundy and dark brown and straight line quilted the other sections. I will say that after a few false starts and some bonding with my seam ripper, the rusted section went from free motion outline to straight line quilting with a walking foot. The rust, although adds great texture and interest, can really be a pain to free motion quilt.
I am so happy with this quilt and I named it "Open the Gate" because I feel like I have opened up the summer to a myriad of possibilities instead of working within the box of preparing for a show. I now can go anywhere I want with my art. I plan to make it a summer of traveling.
Thanks for stopping by the blog. As always, I welcome any comments. For now I am going for a walk to look for some rusty stuff! See you soon.