I have finally gotten around to washing out the wax from the hand dyed fat quarters I made at Malka Dubrawsky’s class at QuiltCon in 2013!
Malka taught a full day workshop teaching wax resist dyeing. You can see some of the beautiful pieces she creates on her website: A Stitch in Dye. All the information on creating your own hand dyed fabrics are available in her book.
These are just a few of the fabrics that I dyed that day.
Can you guess what was used to make the designs?
silicon barbecue brush
The rest of the fat quarters are in the wash. I’ll post these once they have all been prepared.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines Inspiration as:
A breathing in or infusion of some idea, purpose, etc. into the mind; the suggestion, awakening, or creation of some feeling or impulse, esp. of an exalted kind
“inspiration, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2014. Web. 13 October 2014.
This sketch drawn by my 7 year old niece was the inspiration for my Whimsy quilt. I knew immediately that I would use it in a quilt. I loved the design, it was fun and playful. With a minimum of lines a flower was suggested by a spiral in a circle. Triangle shapes became leaves. I loved the curlicues sprouting from the hearts, they were so whimsical.
The sketch suggested many design opportunities. Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s book 15 Minutes of Play: Improvisational Quilts, gave me many ideas to use in making the quilt.
I had a lot of scraps and this book gave me the inspiration to use them. Sorting through the scrap bins (yes plural!), I separated my scraps into reds, greens, and black/white piles. Using Victoria’s instructions I began to create pieces of fabric in each colour way. I enjoyed the process of playing with scraps, creating new and interesting pieces to work with. Once I had the centre portion completed, I auditioned fabric for the background. I had an idea of what fabric I wanted, but my first few choices didn’t really work.
Some of the background fabrics were too close in colour to some of the elements and they disappeared into the background. Some fabrics overpowered the design. In the end I found a polka dot piece that seemed just right. It was colourful but with a white background, the centre portion stood out.
I added more black and white pieces in each of the corners and bound it in black. The entire quilt was free motion quilted. I really like this quilt, it is a different look for me. It was challenging to work outside of my comfort zone.
The original sketch is still pinned to my design wall and inspiring me. There are more ideas to extract from this sketch: more creativity, more quilts!
The Canadian Quilter’s Association has asked award winning quilters to donate a small quilted piece to their themed show: “It’s Time for Colour“. 40 pieces will travel across Canada and be displayed in local venues from January 2015 to May 2015, ending in Lethbridge, Alberta for Quilt Canada in June 2015. Everyone will have the opportunity to purchase these beautiful 12” x 16” quilt hangings for $200.00 each (plus tax). The proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Wish Foundation.
You can sign up at the CQA blog to get more information and view some of the other pieces that will be included in this show. The quilters who are participating will be blogging about their inspiration and techniques for their submissions.
My piece, Chrysalis Awakening is improvisationally pieced using a “wonky curves” method. My first step was to select some fabrics. I pulled the small print (Kaffe Fassette, I think) and then fabrics to pick up on the colours of the print. I knew I wanted to create a flower and a leaf.
I taught a tutorial at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild on piecing circles. One of the techniques I demonstrated was piecing ‘wonky circles’. I really enjoyed making the samples and thought I could use this technique to create a colourful flower for my design.
In this process you layer 4 fabrics right side up with edges aligned. A quarter circle is cut out of one corner of the stack. The fabrics are shuffled and stitched. You continue in this manner until the four blocks are completed. I originally saw this technique on The Quilting Edge Blog written by a very talented quilter Marianne. She has a great Wonky Curves tutorial that explains the process. For this quilt, I made the shapes very curvy to look like a flower.
Every flower needs a leaf, so a selection of green fabrics were pieced to create the leaf. I layered batting, backing and machine quilted it to create a three-dimensional leaf.
The completed leaf was inserted into a beautiful piece of cotton ombre. The colours of the fabric change from red to purple.
The flower was appliquéd to the background.
A surprise is hidden underneath the leaf.
The finished piece!
I love that there is a little surprise hiding behind the leaf. There are three flowers left and three other stages in the life cycle of a butterfly. I am going to have fun creating three more quilts to illustrate the other stages – look for the surprises!