Monday, October 31, 2016

#FALQ4TerryKnott--Finish #2 Whale of a Tail/Tale

Batik triangles fused to wool batting.
I have a finish to report! I started with this background.  I thought that our book club was going to read "Moby Dick." So that was the initial inspiration behind this piece. I wanted to make a background that had a little orange in it to signify danger as well as use a lot of different fabrics to symbolize chaos.

I took a workshop last spring from Larkin VanHorn.  She was disappointed that I didn't use her technique to make a background. So a little later in the class, I did use her technique which was to fuse fabrics either to a background fabric or better yet, directly to batting.

To class, I brought some waste triangles that were gifted to me from making HST's. It was time consuming to apply fusible to the back of all those triangles; but, it was fun to place the fabric, and hit it with an iron! Yes, I missed a few places; so I just added a little more of those waste triangles!

The beaded tail and embellished propulsion
Our granddaughter was over one day and she had a mermaid doll with her that had the best shaped tail. I asked if I could copy it and she said yes. I think she thought it was crazy of me to draw the doll's tail because the best part of the toy was the part above the tail!

I cut out the tail and appliquéd it to the background that I had free motion quilted with a variegated thread around the triangle shapes. When I use raw edge appliqué, I use fusible; but, this piece had enough stabilizer; so I appliquéd it as it was. I got to thinking about the power of a whale's tale. I contemplated ways to represent that and I thought back to Larkin's class. She uses a lot of beads in her work. I thought about Abbie Dick's embellished work at the Featured Artist Show. I got inspired to get out the beads and I used some gold ones that were my husbands' grandmother's stash as well as some other beads that came from my grandmother's stash.

Facing on
I liked how the beading turned out although the background is really too busy to catch the propulsion reference; but, that power is what is creating the chaos. I added some hand stitching to add to the propulsion and moved on to finishing the piece with a facing. At this point, it was finished; but, it didn't excite me.

This sea green background was my favorite.
I've wanted to make a background quilt to use as a mount for a smaller piece. So I looked at fabrics in my stash.  I tried the orange; I tried a dark blue and then I found the winner--this sea blue! JoJo suggested adding a few skinny strips a la Jean Wells. I had taken a class from her a year ago this month!

I decided I could carry out that "danger" theme using three skinny orange curved strips. Besides, this piece of blue is two strips about 7" wide x 24" long. I've had this piece in my stash since about 1996! It was time to use it UP!

The top
Jean's technique is fun! Measuring isn't involved. You cut, stitch, press and repeat! It took no time at all to create this top.

The back

And then I needed a back. I used two pieces of orange and the scraps from the top that were left after I cut the top to the size I wanted.

Quilting lines with the walking foot
Then it was on to the quilting. I did free motion quilt in the ditch around the piecing; but, then I got out the walking foot and went to town stitching lines. That was fun and again I didn't have to think too much about what I was doing. I liked the texture. I used a sulky rayon thread and an 80/20 batting.

Finished back
Figuring out what to use for the facing was a challenge because I didn't think I had enough of that blue fabric to use as a facing; but, with some math calculations--I was thankful, the math worked--I could use that fabric after all! I used a piece of orange for the sleeve. So the back was finished.

My message
All that was left was to stitch the whale tail to the background quilt. I had a time thinking of how to do that stitching. In the end, I decided to leave three edges loose so I just stitched the top of the mini quilt. It was challenging getting it on the background. Leaving the three edges loose, one could look at the back of the mini quilt. . .which was fine. . .BUT, what if, I put a message there instead?? So that was what I did!!

This is going to hang in my studio. Just knowing that the message is there makes me smile. No pattern was followed with this project!

The finished quilt
This is the finished little quilt. It is my second finish of the quarter. It took me about 22 hours to make. I used about a yard of fabric from my stash which brings my total for the year to 21 1/2 yards stitched! I purchased NOTHING in terms of supplies for this project. All the supplies I used were left from other projects or gifted. You know where the beads originated!

This is my second Finish-A-Long 2016 for quarter number 4. You can read my list here.


Janice Smith said...

Very cool! I loved reading about your process and design decisions. said...

Thanks, Janice! I played with a variety of new techniques to me on this project and it was fun!!!--Terry

She Quilts It said...

It looks fantastic! I have used the Jean Wells Keenan method of putting a small quilt against a larger background too. In this one, the 3 zingers of orange really add life to the background.

Luann Fischer said...

Thanks for the reminder to utilize the walking foot when quilting. I so often forget about it. said...

Thanks, Joanne. I think I would like to make another quilted background; but, this time, I would think more about how I was attaching it!!! Those orange zingers are my favorite part of the quilt!--Terry said...

Luanne, I rarely use the walking foot for quilting; but, in this instance it made the work super easy!--Terry

Monica said...

Wow, this turned out beautifully, Terry! I just watched the TQS show with the background quilts the other day. And here you've done it! It's a great piece -- love all the embellishments, the contrast... great finish! said...

Thanks, Monica! It was a fun process and I have plans to do a background quilt again. . .maybe even before this year ends!--Terry

Ella said...

Love the mermaid tail. Thanks for sharing your process! said...

Thanks for stopping by! It was a fun project and I REALLY appreciate the FAL!

Leanne said...

This is beautiful! Thank you for participating in the FAL, on behalf of the 2016 global FAL hosts. said...

Wow! Two visits from FAL hosts on one post! I feel so special!! Thank you for stopping by!