Posts Tagged ‘Raw Edge Applique’

I just finished a busy week teaching youngsters at a summer camp. Yes, a distraction from my artwork, but I like watching them grow up.  And it helps to ground me to the families in my community and feel a part of it.

The week before that, I participated in a Plein Air contest. Luckily it wasn’t a juried entry, as I am primarily a studio artist. I do like participating  — this was the 3rd year. Working outside heightens your senses, and makes you feel very THERE. I’m happy with one of my pieces, and only medium-satisfied with the other two.  I’ll include pictures of all three. Of course it is a logistical challenge working with fabric outdoors. For one of them I took along our marine battery and inverter and my iron. That way I could fuse down the pieces as I composed.  It actually worked fairly well. The first one, Museum Path, was done on a breezy day, and I was constantly chasing bits of fabric.  I was trying to pin them down, which really didn’t work very well. I had to add all the details: light poles, the bench etc. later in my studio.

Also I upgraded to a paying WordPress account. You aren’t supposed to see any ads.

Is it worth it? And — feed back please — do you see ads??


I bought this hand painted fabric, from Indonesia, at Ladyfingers Sewing Studio in Oley, PA.  I was enamored with the colors and design. So far I’ve made one piece from it, plus a couple of fancy Hot Spots (pot holders that I make to sell.)

malasian-batik-1 malasian-batik-entire

Indonesian hand painted art cloth

Indonesian hand painted art cloth

I was attending a lecture by Quilter Lisa H. Calle at Ladyfingers, which mostly dealt with using rulers for machine quilting. I did buy a couple of them, and ordered a machine foot that is used with rulers, but I’m not sure this method will work for me very well.  Something in me prefers a quirky, asymmetrical look for machine quilting.  But still – I have to give it a try.

While there I met Laura A Cunningham, a fellow art quilter from Mifflintown. She told me to check out Cynthia England, who won best in show in Houston (International Quilt Festival) this year for her quilt “Capetown Reflections.”. I’ve never been attracted to constructing an art quilt using piecing. I find raw edge applique much more immediate.

But I checked out Cynthia England’s method — watched her video on her website, and decided to give it a try.

And – guess what –I liked it! Granted I didn’t make the best use of her complicated piecing method, as I was using entirely the art cloth, except for the white area with the tree drawing. But it did give me some practice with the method, and a bit more texture in the piece.

little-red-maple-detail-smaller the-little-red-maple-17-5-x-16-5-smaller

Plus, her use of freezer paper for the shape elements of a design could work better for construction raw edge applique.  I currently use tracing paper to trace the shape of each element in my cartoon (full scale drawing of my design). But the freezer paper sticks, slightly, to the surface of the fabric, allowing a more accurate cut out of the desired shape.

Is this going to be a change in direction for me? It’s too early to tell. Having tried only one art quilt using it, I’m not sure yet.

In my relatively isolated rural setting, I am grateful to artists’ websites and You Tube postings, and other ways of learning what other are doing. It helps to keep me in touch.

Hot Spot (hot pad) quilted on whole cloth.

Hot Spot (hot pad) quilted on whole cloth.

art-cloth-hot-spot-2 art-cloth-hot-spot-1

Today I am giving a presentation to a group of traditional quilters entitled “A Tantalizing Introduction to Art Quilts.” It includes the story of how art quilts came about and a hands-on taste of the raw edge applique method. I knew I had to prepare this, including materials for 50 people to work, before January and the 30 for 30 art challenge. So I did, pulling down my favorite art quilt books, reading, scanning pictures, boning up.

But all the same yesterday was very much taken up with final preparations, and loading up the car.  So today’s offering is a little piece that serves as the sample of the method I use.

I do hope to figure out how to put the whole presentation on line, through this blog or my website.  But until then, here is my (humble and untitled) sample.

I did also start work on a bigger piece yesterday.  I hope to finish it this afternoon, and have a proper posting for tomorrow.

finished piece

I am one of only a few Art Quilters in the traditional quilting group, Quiltessence Quilters, so I was so pleased that our guest speaker this month was an Art Quilter. Her name is Joyce Hughes, and she is an original voice. She is in her 7th year of art quilting, only a little longer than myself. As a child she hated to sew – felt the sewing machine was her enemy. Her sisters and mother were accomplished quilters, and the comparison didn’t encourage her! As an adult she decided with some friends to make tee shirt quilts as gifts. None of the group even owned a sewing machine. Joyce researched what to do on line, and just got started, borrowing her mothers Bernina.  Her first quilt was for her daughter’s boyfriend, who enthusiastically encouraged her. Only when his quilt turned out well did her daughter relinquish some tee shirts for her own quilt. She went on to develop her own methods: fussy cutting and fusing elements of fabrics, such as flowers, and organizing her compositions. Her first piece, One Sweet Day, ended up with a viewers choice award in a quilt show in Lancaster. She showed us many of her pieces over the years, always full of color and exuberance.  When she began teaching she started up utilize fabric panels to encourage her students to enhance them with stitching. Naturally the resulting piece cannot be called completely original, but she has achieved some stunning results by rearranging the elements and stitching. You can decide for yourself – see Panel Play on her website.

Cheers, Joyce! I was so glad to have met you.