Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Licensed to Cut Loose--post 4

Progress at the end of the fifth week
Work has continued on the butterfly which I affectionately call "Buggy." At the end of the fifth week, I had filled most of the top area of the wings with various fabrics. I also worked on the base of the butterfly. While I worked, I kept in mind Miss K's comment that the butterfly has dark colors in it. I pulled brown and dark purple scrap bits and placed them in the lower section. Miss K was right about adding some dark fabrics within the butterfly wings. 

I cut the purple print batik chunk apart that is primarily placed in the lower section of the butterfly. Originally, I had planned to place a few "flowers" of that print in that area. However, I liked the overall effect so I cut more shapes instead! 

In Martha's scraps was a print of circles on a green background. There was a tiny amount of those scraps. You can see the two of the three pieces in the lower part of the photo. However, I wanted to use it because adding more green to that section would mesh better with the purple flowers. I thought about Miss K comment that butterflies are translucent and shimmery. I remembered that I had saved the leftovers from the girls' workout tops

The green stretch fabric has a shimmer. I placed a few small pieces under the brown section and next to the batik flowers. I stepped back to view the pieces. I liked 
Some of the collage with the green fabrics
what I saw. I cut apart some of the dots and added the pieces to that open section. Slowly, I filled in the space.

Next, I moved to filling the lower edge of the butterfly. I had a small amount of red batik triangles that I added to outer edge of the butterfly. These were "trimmings" from making a half square triangle on the corner of a square. I don't even remember what piecing project it was! I placed a few red batik triangles in the outer edge. 

While I liked the design, it felt too clunky when I filled in the spaces with a dark fabric. I auditioned two different dark fabrics instead of one. I tried leaving the spaces and imagining what it would look like if background fabric surrounded the shapes.  

I took a break and tried a different approach with the pieces. I used the same black fabric as was in the outer edge of the butterfly wing. I oriented the
First attempt at the section
pieces differently. I liked the direction it was going.  I cut more triangles of the black geometric print. I ran out of pins so I took some time to glue the pieces.

I liked the addition of the red triangles around the outer edge. I barely found enough red scraps to fill in the available spaces. When I looked at the piece, I thought that if I could find another chunk of the red I would be able to carry it through the top section of the butterfly.

Only the black geometric fabric was yardage. All the other fabrics in this project are small scraps. Many of Martha's scraps are in this project along with scraps that I had saved. I looked in my red bag of scraps that I had taken to the class. I found another couple of triangles a couple tiny scraps of the same fabric! I also uncovered a couple red batik strips that might work.

I cut the diamond shapes of the red batik into two triangles. Originally, I thought the diamond shape would transition well in the lowest and longest section of the wing. I learned the triangle shape was the better looking option. I tried various arrangements over several days. Then, I tried continuing the red triangles along one edge and filling in the spaces with the black geometric fabric. I liked that approach best!

Beginning of the shape that stayed
At the end of the sixth week, I had filled in most of the sections. I made some great progress. What I like about this project is being able to use so many bits! 

The other surprise I found was that this project has grown on me. I am liking what I am creating. Instead of it being an "exercise" to practice the technique, it has become playtime to audition and place the pieces.

Of course, the small bits that I have to work with translate to small pieces. There are thousands of shapes in this top with thousands left to put in place before it is at the finish line! I'm okay with more to go as every project I work on is a journey!

I have found it helpful to take a photo of the piece often and especially before I glue the pieces to look for balance. Because I use Susan Carlson's technique of leaving the edges of the pieces free and trying to place a small amount of clue on the piece, if I want to make a change later, it isn't too difficult. 

When the top is complete, she glues all the edges before layering, basting and quilting the piece. I am planning to do the same. Although, I am a long way from that step!
Progress at the end of the sixth week


Janice Smith said...

Oh! my gracious goodness!!! Buggy is coming along great. He looks fantastic. I can’t wait to see him/her when completed. Amazing! said...

Janice, Thank you so much for you kind comment about "Buggy." I can't wait to see him completed either. . .now if I just had some incite as to the next steps. . . .!!!!! I'm amazed that I'm this far! Thanks for stopping by!

Rebecca Grace said...

This is FABULOUS, Terry! I have a friend who does a lot of work with this technique, or with something similar. It's fascinating. Is this butterfly your first time working this way with collage appliqué? It looks incredible! said...

Thank you Rebecca! This is my first project. . .although, a granddaughter used this technique to construct her mermaid which she started after I had the class where I started this project.