Well, here we are at post #50. I never thought when I started this blog, that I’d be at posting #50. With this milestone, I decided to post a project that was the theme of my blog when I started it – Charity Quilting. Since then it has evolved to a forum for us to share quilting experiences with each other.
I recently joined our local quilt guild and one of the projects they are working on is the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. http://alzquilts.org/ I decided it would be an interesting challenge to add a quilt to our guild’s collection that will be mailed in soon. This organization sells/auctions quilts donated to fund research for a cure for this disease. I have many friends and co-workers who have loved ones affected by this disease.
The biggest challenge for me was making a quilt smaller than 9″ x 12″. I’m usually a big scale kind of gal. I was sitting on my back porch when my rhododendron bush was in full bloom and thought it would make a lovely art quilt. Not ever having attempted an art quilt before, I wasn’t sure where to start, so I jumped in with both feet and made up my own rules as I went along…thus Rhododendron in Bloom was born.
I grabbed my camera and took a ton of photos. Found my favorite “bloom” and went to work with Photoshop. I used the photo transfer fabric that you can run through your ink jet printer for the applique. I then used fusible interfacing for all the pieces. I drew my own vase pattern, to which my artistic daughter gave the comment “lame”, but when she found out it wasn’t a dimensional drawing and only an outline for applique, she let it pass. I had to keep cutting off the vase to make the whole thing fit into the size of the background.
Then the quilt sat for a couple weeks on my ironing board. I couldn’t decide on the background colors. I had some nice wood fabric that I thought would make a nice table for the vase to sit on. My daughter helped with the color choices and I finally dove into the project. Once it was quilted, I decided the wood fabric would make a nice “picture frame” for the binding.
I had originally wanted to do some thread painting on the flower, but the layout of the blooms didn’t really lend itself well to that (plus I’d never done it before, only watched it being done). I just jumped in with my BSR foot on my Bernina 440 (the 830 had the embroidery unit attached and I was too lazy to disassemble it). I went with my favorite King Tut threads for each of the colors. I did the easy swirl quilting that I do on every quilt I do first on the table and vase. Then when I started the bloom itself, I just started free motion quilting. The stitches were really small (which I liked) and the overall affect was interesting. Then I realized the BSR was turned off and that was my own free motion stitching. I decided to keep at it and left the BSR off for the blooms and the leaves.
Here’s the finished quilt. Love the bright colors and hope it will sell to aid research for this organization.
Here’s a close up of the bloom quilting that was done without the BSR. For once I didn’t just do my usual swirls. I need lots of practice with other “shapes” though.
Just to put myself out there, I took a photo of the back of the quilt which was interesting. I used matching colors for the front on the back to show some contrast. I also learned a new technique called “fast finish triangles” for the “hanging”. It is the method this organization prefers.
Here’s the back photo. Only one small thread nest at the beginning of the leaves…so of course my perfectionism wanted to kick in, but I ignored it.
We are helping to move my in-laws out of a house they’ve been in for 25 years in the next month to six weeks, so I’m afraid my massive week of quilting on the frame will have to wait until later. It will make it that more fun.
I went with a couple friends to a quilt show on Friday and came home with more fabric and a few more fun projects to finish. I made a small purse this weekend in addition to the AAQI quilt posted here. It is so rewarding to get projects finished. Helps me get back to the grind this week.
Until next time, happy sewing & quilting!