Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cranes at Sunset : 3CS Journal Quilt for July

Here is the completed Cranes at Sunset Journal Quilt. Without actually measuring, I can tell you it is slightly smaller than a fat-quarter. It is essentially a whole-cloth quilt.

It could also count for the Sketchbook Challenge whose theme for July is Element. This captures the elements of Air and Fire.

Here's a detail shot of the stitching and cranes.

Here's how I made it from start to finish :

One of my self-imposed requirements for the 3CS Journal Quilt Challenge is that I have to use some of my own hand-dyed fabric. This sunset piece is from a weekend Skye Dyes workshop I took with Mickey Lawlor in 2008 (or so). This piece has been a long time in the gestation phase!

I knew I wanted cranes flying in their typical formation, because it would fit so nicely in the bright area of the sunset. We do see cranes in Wisconsin. ;-) This picture shows the "used" freezer paper stencil I made to get the birds on there. I thought the stenciled birds would look sharper and cleaner than birds stuck on with fusible applique. These are just a little too small to futz with fusible. A little black fabric paint worked marvelously through the stencil. Frankly, I was surprised and delighted at how easy it was. I knew I only had one shot at it. The freezer paper can be lightly ironed to the fabric so it stays in place and prevents leaks. Works great!

Here are the results at the stenciled stage :

Since this is a whole-cloth quilt, there was no piecing to be done. I made my quilt sandwich. This time I used a recycled mattress pad for the batting. My preferred batt is Hobbs 80/20. I love the antique look it lends to quilts. However, if it hangs in a wall-hanging, sometimes it can sag after a while. So I wanted to use a poly batt, and this is what I had at hand this weekend. It seems to have worked out fine.

The next step was to choose free-motion quilting patterns. So I sat down with Leah Day's 365 Days of Free-Motion Quilting and studied the patterns. Ever since I discovered Leah's project, I've always meant to sit down and practice each pattern as she posted them, but that never really happened ... This worked out well, though : Having a project in mind, and being able to find the designs that would work.

When I found designs I liked, I practiced them on paper before going to the sewing machine. There were some of the possibilities for the setting sun (hot) areas. I was going for the shape and motion to echo the flying birds.

You can see what I wound up stitching is not exactly like Leah's patterns, however, it was still a great inspiration to look through her pattern library. Check it out!

Here's the swirling spiral pattern I used for the dark part of the sky. I thought it had a moodier feel, so I went with this one. Again, the actual pattern as stitched in my little quilt is not perfectly the same as Leah's model, but again, it was great inspiration. Thank you, Leah, for doing your Free Motion Quilting Project!

This afternoon I finished up the binding, with sweat running down my face, and my back. We don't have air conditioning, so I'm really glad it's finished, and I can go to a cooler part of the house to blog about it!


Vicki W said...

Michele, it's beautiful!

Karen S said...

This is gorgeous. I really like that you used flying cranes -- a very cool idea. I also love the way you used the quilting with the colors in the background.

Trillian said...