Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tastes like Chicken

It was about this time last year that my I first visited with the fiber arts group that I am now a part of. My friend, Marilyn, had mentioned this group several times, and finally I decided to go see what they were all about. It was basically a group of ladies who showed up whenever, and worked on whatever...each doing her own thing, and yet each being creative! I went home so inspired!

That very day, I went to my stash and started pulling out UFOs. I had a bunch of orphaned 4-square blocks that didn't match anything or each other, so I sewed them all together. Then I grabbed a couple of boxes of Rit dye from the laundry room and started mixing and cooking!

I put this assembled quilt top into a brown dye bath. Meanwhile, I also mixed up a green bath...and threw in several fabrics from my stash. I wanted to make a frog, and I had no frog-appropriate fabrics...so I tried to create something. I was planning this quilt for my son, Kevin, who used the knickname "Toad" during his paintball career throughout high school!

Once the quilt top was dried, I pulled out some fabric paint and stencilled on the willow tree, moon, fleur de lis and the squirls (behind the dragonflies). I stencilled a bit of lattice design behind the frog (in brown) but determined that particular paint was too runny and thin for stencilling...it was bleeding...so I stopped.

I created a frog 'stamp' by stacking and glueing several frog-shaped foam cutouts onto a scrap of wooden flooring...I used this to stamp gold frogs in a checkerboard design across the bottom. And I put a tiny orange 'T' in one square...University of Tennessee is where Kevin is attending Pharmacy school, and orange is their color!

That was all the painting I did at that time. Then I worked on adding the frog.

The frog was drawn with pencil on the fabric that I dyed, then cut out and appliqued to the quilt. There is a couple of layers of flannel behind him, plus I ran a bit of yarn down his stripe (trapunto) to give it a bit of definition. The back toes ( and front 'thumb') were bias strips, added individually.

I'll show a close up of the frog's eye...it was a plastic alphabet 'bubble' sticker...the letter 'O'...and I colored a pupil on the backside of it with a black sharpie marker before using it. I made tiny bias strips of my fabric and sewed them on (by hand) to form the eyelids.

After the frog was applied, I layered this up (batting and backing) and loaded it up on my Handiquilter, to be quilted. I used various threads for the quilting...variegated brights in the center, variegated blues for the sky and water area, black for rocks, greens for leaves, gold around the fleur de lis and moon.

Then I made the dragonflies. Their bodies were little tubes of shiny polyester fabric, stuffed and wrapped and shaped and stitched...with beads as eyes. Their wings took weeks to make, and there were MANY *rejects* before settling on these! In the end, though, the wings I used were made from Angelina fibers that were fused into a 'sheet', then layered between black tulle, along with some gold threads, and stitched, then cut out. They were sewn to the bodies then the whole dragonflies were attached to the quilt...the wings were shaped to give a 3-D effect.

Next, I added a few colored seed beads...randomly...on the quilting lines in the dragonfly area. These are to imply tiny gnats or other bugs buzzing around in the night air!
I applied hot-fix crystals to the upper area to be the stars.

Lastly, I again painted...this time, inside some of the already quilted areas. I used acrylic paints...like Folk-Art and CeramCoats...to set off these areas, as the Dynaflow fabric paint was too intense and difficult to control, as I wanted a subtle coloring. The last part I did was the water, and I did use some Dynaflow, and it turned out more intense than I wanted, but HEY, whatcha gonna do? It wouldn't wash out.

So it was finished.

I sewed on the label on the back...

"Tastes Like Chicken"


heidi said...

hi Thris,
that is so lovely that I had to join the blogger community to be able to leave comment.
you are very gifted.

Nellie's Needles said...

This quilt is Fabulous! Now that is what's called a "dynamic creative process" ... an intuitive adventure.

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