Friday, July 29, 2011

Quilting on Commission Piece Continues

Today I finished quilting the leaves, stems and berry. The quilted berry is shown at right.

Now I begin the background areas. These will be closely quilted to let the motifs stand out. The large areas of the background allows more rhythmical movement than in quilting the motifs. While I like the results of close quilting, I get impatient at this stage to see the final product. But there are many more steps before it is completed.

This quilting is accomplished by hand guiding the fabric sandwich through the sewing machine. It is a bit like drawing with the pencil held stable, and moving the paper under the pencil.

After the hand-guided machine quilting is completed, I will add hand stitching and that brings another element of detail and interest. Here I can play with small bits of color and additional texture that a machine cannot do. I planned some of the hand stitching today as I sat in the dentist chair waiting for procedures to begin.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Quilting Underway for Commission Piece

I have been quilting for several days at this point. The leaves are outlined and the veins put in. Always feels good to get the outlining of the motifs done. Then I can begin removing some of the basting lines. That starts revealing what the piece will look like when finished.

The photo shows one of the leaves. Some of the basting remains.

Tomorrow I will be working on the stems and berry. Then comes the background. That always takes a lot of time, but really adds punch to the piece by allowing the lesser quilted motifs to stand out from the more heavily quilted background areas.

As said before, I really love what the quilting adds. It takes on a sculptural feel once the quilt lines are laid in giving dimension and adding life to the work.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Trapunto for the Commission

The Kousa Dogwood commission piece continues.

I love to add the additional dimension of extra padding behind a few key elements in the design. It adds to the sculptural aspects and highlights key elements in the design.

In fabric, this padding process is called "trapunto".

Here are a couple of photos of the process. The first photo is of the back of the largest most forward leaf. You can see the basting threads and the lines of the leaf and the veins in the leaf.
The stitch lines serve several purposes, some decorative, some for stability of construction. The challenge is to make sure that lines that are needed for stability also serve the design as well.

The second photo is of the back of the berry after I removed the basting stitches and cut away the extra padding that was around the berry.

My next steps are to complete the trapunto process for the leaf and then I will do the two step basting process for the entire quilt. That is both equally necessary and unexciting to do.