Sunday, May 18, 2008

silhouette quilt

I had so many things I wanted to include in my last post, I didn't take the time to really document my process for doing the silhouette quilts. Since this is a project that I intend to try again, I need to make note of how I went about them, what went well, and what I would do different next time. This is an essential reason why I started this blog so I need to keep up with that stuff. I think I will, but I never will, remember how I made them. I go back and look at some things I've made in the past and I have no idea how I did them. I know this would happen with these silhouette quilts. So here we go.

First thing I did was take a side view photo of the kids. I turned them to B&W photos and printed them out on regular printer paper. I carefully drew around the profile with a black pen and then held it up to the window with another piece of paper on top and traced the whole profile outline. Then I used paper-backer fusible webbing and traced the outline one more time. I then ironed the fusible onto some black fabric and then very carefully, with very sharp small scissors cut out the silhouette. Everything up to this point is going good, looking good.

Here is where I have some concerns about my design. Because I wanted the silhouette to be set against a white background, I ironed/fused it to some linen. This is something I think I should not do again, it just made for too much unmanageable poofyness in the end. So anyway, I small zig-zagged very, very carefully all the way around the profile. I ironed more fusible to the back of the linen and then cut it out in a big oval. Then I ironed the big oval onto the blue and white striped linen.

For the cross stitch I found some letter designs somewhere on the internet (can't find that link) and I used something called waste canvas to help line up and count the stitches. It's basted to the linen and then I did the cross stitches and when it was all done I undid the basting and the waste fabric can be pulled out thread by thread. I love the way the cross stitch looks, but woo-boy does it take a long time to do. I ironed this onto some more fusible, cut it into a circle and ironed it onto the striped linen. Again with the bad poof.So it's all ironed down, and zig-zagged down and I make it into a quilt sandwich. Here is where I made another mistake that I think many quilters probably think about doing, but don't try because they know better. Before quilting, I attached the binding. It just makes, yet again, for a lot of extra, unwanted poof. I hand quilted it in moderately spaced lines, but if I did more I think the poof would have turned into wrinkles. In a last ditch effort to control the poof, I did the black running stitch around each of the white ovals. It looks good at least. So finally I think that it looks good, but I need to go about it much different next time for a smoother result. Too much fusible web makes the quilt too stiff. Lesson learned.

Here is what I'm working on right now. Another go at a color wheel quilt. Of course the original idea is from Last Minute Patchwork, but I didn't use that pattern. I wanted something smaller like a wall hanging, and frankly I thought that I had I better idea for the construction. I used a 9 degree wedge ruler. In my world, math has always been much better as theory than in practice. It should take 40 wedges to make a circle in theory, but in my quilt it took 41. So maybe my construction idea is not really better. I thought these would make great teachers gifts. Jim's trying to talk me out of that idea. It always comes back to the same question of whether people really appreciate handmade or not, so why invest the time if you're not sure?

Here is a perfect example. I'm at a garage sale this weekend and see this darling painting for $5. I pick it up to pay and the woman is like, "Oh that's an original, I had papers, but I can't find them." So you're selling it for $5? It's obviously hand painted on a hand stretched canvas. The frame and matting are all done beautifully and by hand. There was nowhere in your home, or that of a friend, or your adult children for this painting? Am I missing something here? It's not ugly, right? What is wrong with people? What kind of price is $5?

2 comments: said...

The silouhette idea is brilliant, A something to add to my to do list!

Dawn said...

I've missed you so, Jenna! And this post is so beautiful with the silouhette is so wonderful! And your color wheel quilt is magnificent.