Thursday, March 15, 2007

My "Trouble" quilt wins first place at CQG show

I guess persistence pays off sometimes. This little pink quilt named Something Girly got a first place ribbon in the Small Wall Hanging- Mixed/Other category! This year the first place quilts received gift certificates from sponsors, and all the ribbon winners won gifts of fabric. Many thanks to my sponsor, Wish Upon A Quilt in Raleigh, for sponsoring a lovely $50 gift certificate for my category! I also was delighted to receive a third place ribbon for Dave and Emily's White Wedding Quilt. Also, two of my "customer" quilts received special ribbons, which made me very happy.

So, what went wrong during the making of Something Girly? Just about everything. The instructions for this cutaway/shadow trapunto technique are from Karen McTavish's book The Secrets of Elemental Quilting, as are the center and corner trapunto designs. I somehow made an error in marking the outer border of the quilt, which I did not realize until it was on the machine. I drew part of the outer border in by hand without tracing. If you look at the outer border, you can tell that it is not exactly lined up right. Then, I snipped the top when I was trimming the batting from the white trapuntoed areas. I had already successfully trimmed the hearts and corner sections with nary a snip. But I got a cut of about an inch when doing the last side border. I thought I had successfully fixed this before proceeding, but while doing my tight quilting around the trapunto, it split apart again. After finishing my quilting, I rinsed the quilt in the bathtub to remove the markings and water-soluble thread, and laid it out to dry overnight. The next day, there were mysterious yellow marks all over the white trapunto area! What in the world? Either the markings, the red felt under layer, or the backing fabric must have bled. I tried four times to get the yellow out, even resorting to scrubbing with a toothbrush using Clorox bleach pen. Still there. At this point, I knew that I couldn't put the quilt in the show as it was. And you know what? I really did not like the quilt. It was so sweet in its pink and white state that I felt like sticking my finger down my throat when I looked at it.

So....time to embellish! I had previously done this with some trapunto samples, and they looked pretty good.

Here is a picture of a twelve-inch sample named "Spring Greens." It was made with a sheer batiste top, white batting trimmed away for the center flower, lime green felt and regular batting and backing. On this one I had a problem with the cotton batting leaking out of the center trapunto area after washing. I had not followed Karen McTavish's directions to use Quilters Dream Poly for the trapunto. So, I stitched around the edges of the center flower, then used Tsukineko inks and colored pencils to color in the quilted motifs. Since I was fooling around with new techniques on this little sample, I got out my Angelina fibers for sparkle and also played with my Bejeweler and added Swarovski crystals. The binding is just a ribbon trim over a white organza ribbon.

So, I spent three days coloring in the flowers, vines, and swirls I had quilted into the areas around the trapunto on Something Girly. To disguise the yellow marks on the trapunto, I added a wash of lavender over it, then started inking in the rows of flowers between the trapunto. It was looking so pretty! Then, the wash from the white areas started bleeding into the pink areas, making my ink spread out into big bright blobs. Not good! I went out and purchased some acrylic paint in pale pinks and ivory, and painted around the edge of the flowers to hide the ink bleed. Finally, I added Swarovski crystals to the centers of the flowers. I used both Prismacolor and Crayola colored pencils to color in the quilted areas that I wanted to be paler than the Tsukineko inks.

Results: a very different quilt, leaving viewers wondering how I did it, and getting high marks for innovation at the show! One friend thought that I had used a batik for the background fabric.

Congratulations to the Capital Quilters Guild for a great show.

On a side note, all nine of my fabric postcards were sold for the Breast Cancer fund... and two of them were sold twice! The cards were to be displayed thoughout the show, with a viewer's choice vote at the end. People who purchased the cards would have them mailed after the show. Somehow there was a mixup, and show chairman Brenda called me Tuesday to ask if I would duplicate two of my postcards. So, I looked at my pictures and tried my best to make something similar. I really hate doing the same thing twice, so they are not quite the same. One of them was made at the Melody Crust workshop using her stencil, so I had to make a stencil out of freezer paper. Here are the originals and the duplicates:

1 comment:

Jeff said...

You are an artist! I am amazed at the work you are doing. I cannot sew a button on my shirt. You can turn hairy shower curtains into your wardrobe. I think most of the genes and chromosones went to the first kids, and the later offspring must have gotten the leftover genetic goo that's much harder to work with. Keep up the great work!