Monday, May 25, 2015

Cut the Fence and Fly Away

Obsessed with my rusty wrought iron decorative metal, I have completed another quilt from rusted fabric.  This one really brings me back to my randomness.

Dimensions 12 " X 32"
This quilt started with a single piece of fabric that had been rusted on my decorative piece of metal.  I then cut it and arranged it on a  piece of white muslin that been covered with Mistyfuse.  I butted the edges together and simply zigzagged the edges.  Super easy.  

 I added some hand dyed brown bird silhouettes and fused them into place with some Mistyfuse.  Then I dug through my collection of vintage mother of pearl buttons and added some of those to keep the rusty, vintage theme going.  Plus, who doesn't love buttons?!


I love the texture and the bleed you get from the rust.  It's the same piece of metal but it makes something different each time I use it.  As you will see in the upcoming quilt pieces.  I have already started arranging my next piece.  I am so inspired by the rust that I am having a constant creative flow of ideas of what to do next.  Don't you just love when that happens?


One more quick peek at this piece and I am off to other things. The title of this quilt was inspired by my daughter.  She graduated college about a year ago and went off on an adventure.  Every time I talk to her I am so happy to hear about how much she loves her life and her new discoveries.  

Thanks for stopping by the blog and feel free to leave a comment.  Please be sure your email is in the comment so I can reply.  



Sunday, May 17, 2015

Open The Gate

After a couple of years of participating in a local craft fair, I found myself not looking forward to the process of preparing for another summer of producing quantities of small saleable items.  I missed my art quilting for sake of making art and creating from my imagination.  And so the opportunity presented itself and I have once again changed direction in my artistic journey.

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.