Monthly Archives: March 2018

Bastet 💚🐾🐾

All of us who know and love Cheryl Sleboda were saddened by the news of her goodbye to Bastet, the “Dutchess of Mean.” I wish I had met Bastet before she left for the Rainbow Bridge because photos certainly suggest a kitty with an awesome amount of cattitude!

As always, these pieces begin with a great photo:

First decision, the background. I wanted one which would not distract from the beautiful face…and included something to stand in for her favorite quilt, on which she sits in the photo. I turned to Janine’s Uppercase Volume 2 collection…and asked her which quilty fabric she thought would be best (there are a few color ways). So far, so good…

Now for my somewhat challenging subject. I had many terrific pre-MistyFused scraps of Carol Eaton’s hand-dyed fabrics, but Bastet had SO many colors running through her fur. Hmm. Better to sketch/ink the entire image into a piece of white Radiance and then let the threads do the work.

Ready for (lots of) stitching! While I am most certainly an Aurifil gal, here I turned to my trove of Superior Threads’ glossy polyesters…Magnifico and Twist…to try and capture some of the subtle shading of the fur (and that inimitable “go ahead, make my day” expression ;)!).

Of course the background ripples like crazy once the center subject is quilted! For the background, my black Aurifil stitched lots of lines around the dots…sort of a slalom pattern ⛷:

I loved creating this tribute to a special girl!

Heart of the Home 💜🌈

As my quilter name would imply, I am in love with bright color! Most of my work involves animal portraiture, but I really enjoy playing with other themes. Because I am a homebody, Jamie Fingal’s “Heart of the Home” project speaks to me on a very profound level. Creating a piece for a family transitioning out of homelessness to a real home -does it get any better?Here is the link for more info:

http://thehousequiltproject.blogspot.com/p/heart-of-home.html

For this series, I decided to play with a stack of (very colorful) fat quarters from the very talented folks atModern Quilt Studio…this collection is called “Dot Crazy”.

Next step- and always my favorite- was to consult my Aurifil thread chart and assemble a box of threads that would perfectly complement the fabric. Luckily the spectrum of shades is so broad, I never have a problem doing this :).

I then applied fusible web to all (MistyFuse is my favorite for its lightweight hand and its repositionable nature). I work backwards, and first cut backing and batting to fit my pieces (generally an inch wider and longer to allow for shrinkage from quilting). I am then ready to begin creating!

For my home scenes, I decided first on the “sky” and “ground,” and overlap them slightly to create a background. I like to rely upon the rule of thirds and aim for 2/3 sky, 1/3 ground (cut in a gentle curve so that you’ll have rolling hills!). It is definitely easier to use the quieter prints for these background components, allowing the busier patterns to lend character to the smaller elements.

Next, decision : house or apartment building? I did use a ruler for these shapes…then put it aside for tree trunks, flowers, suns and moons, and so on. Since these pieces are MY interpretation of home, each must include a cat … photos of my black cat provides the perfect traceable outline :)…provided below in case you’d like to use it.

Look carefully at your fabric and you will likely spot opportunities to fussy-cut small elements for your scenes (in this case, a line of circles gave me the idea for a footpath).

Time to quilt! Sometimes I followed the fabric’s pattern, sometimes stitched in a counterpoint (such as my rectangular “bricks” on this dotted house).

To finish, I stitched a zigzag edge, then stitched some inexpensive piping that matched the thread to give the pieces a more finished look.

I must say, my studio is looking quite colorful at this point ;).

Please consider joining in the fun and brightening some special new homes!

MATERIALS:

-a box of bright Aurifil 50wt

-a stack of FUN fat quarters

-squares of backing fabric, 1” larger than planned

finished size

-square of batting, same size as backing

-lightweight fusible web

-pressing sheet

-sharp small scissors for small pieces

-optional: if using multiple top thread colors, clear

monofilament for your bobbin