Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pieces of Friendship

I worked diligently and have completed the six pieces I wanted to create. Here they are, along with some labels I created for the back. Last night I stitched on the labels and added Rapunzel's hair coming out of the tower (hence no posting last night) . I'll get a photo of the Rapunzel block before I send them all off to Pat Winter for the Pieces of Friendship exchange--it was raining this morning and too dark for pix.

Number 4 is wool, pieced like a traditional crazy quilt but without seams. I used felted wool fabrics and wool felt. I stitched each piece to a felt base with tacking stitches and then added a line of herringbone wherever two patches meet. I overlayed this with meandering feather stitch, leaf stitches, and beads, all in greens to make a leafy bower for the bird on the brad. Yes, it's a scrapbooking brad but it's cloth covered (looks like ribbon). A couple of glass leaves and seed-bead flowers finished it off. Fibers used were silk floss, overdyed Medici wool, and perle cotton. The beads were unknown leftovers in a baggie from a kit.

This piece incorporates my original idea, that mostly went by the wayside. I purchased some pink fairytale toile that I planned to color and use as the center for my pieces. Most of the motifs, however, were too large. This is Rapunzel's Tower and it just fit. I laid the cotton fabric on a felt underpiece (I used a thick dark gray felt for all of my center "interfacing's" on all of the pieces) and then put the felt pieces over the top. I used pink perle #8 to tack each piece in place, covering the edges of the muslin. I had a hard time finding a harmonious seam treatment and ended up stitching coral stitch over each seam using gray perle. I used the same gray perle to buttonhole the outer edge.

My last piece was, again, an early idea. Last year at the EGA's GLR seminar (this year's is going on now), I found a small baggie of inspiration. It has some turquoise crystals, some silks, yellow metallic, a baggie of mixed beads, silk ribbons. I don't remember the designer but she had specifically created these baggies to inspire (wouldn't that be fun?)

I added a few more odds and ends (silk threads) and then pretty much set it aside. I found it as I began this project and decided to do a piece with it. Here's my jumble of threads, ribbons, beads and the beginning of my piece. Spring is bursting forth here and I wanted to capture that. The dark blue-green wool seemed to set off the thread and ribbon colors. The pink blob in the center is the center of my focus flower.

I like layering in my pieces. I began this one with a meandering stem stitch line creating a heart in each corner. You can't see it in the final design but I know it's there.

I've added a chain stitch outline, stems and leaves using two different variegated greens and begun adding layers of flowers. The pink wool blob has been satin stitched over with red silk for my flower center. Each chain in the chain-stitch outline gets a stem and each stem gets a flower (many also get leaves). The threads are all silk and the flowers are lazy daisy, cast on stitch, bullion stitch, oyster stitch, and sometimes straight stitch. I've begun adding colonial knot flower centers and accents using the yellow metallic thread.

And here's the finished piece. I couched loops of ribbon for the petals (that's one long piece of variegated ribbon). Then I added piles of beads around the center, further anchoring the petals.

This was really fun to do and experiment with and it went quite quickly because of that.

My last photo is a shot of the ribbons I made as tags. I used a letter printer that looks like on of those old office date stamps only bigger with dye ink on ribbon. I put some Fray-Check on the cut edges and let it all dry for 24 hours.

I need to work on my EGA chapter's Indiana State Day project next, but I can't seem to find it right now. I'm sure it's nearby. The thing is, right now I'm really into playing with wool and felt and not quite feeling like buckling down to counted thread. I know once I get going on it, I'll quickly get into the swing of things and have fun. It's a gorgeous design.


Lelia said...

I love your pieces!

jenny2write said...

I love your pieces and I love the idea of a pieces of friendship quilt or hanging.

Not being a stitcher myself I know I'll never participate but if I were a stitcher I think I'd get my friends together to make a quilt and raffle it and give the money to a good cause, one which builds up links between people.