Monday, January 10, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge

The theme for this month's Sketchbook Challenge theme is 'Highly Prized'. Many topics came to my mind when I began thinking about what I would do this month. I found it hard to settle on one thing.

Then, when I was at my Wednesday quilt group last week, my friend Cathy Miller (The Singing Quilter) asked us for some advice for quilting a large quilt she has made for her brother. We were at Carol T's home and I noticed a dried 'something' displayed in the room where we meet and thought it might be interesting as a jumping off point for Cathy's quilting lines.

That 'thing' just stayed in my mind and I HAD to get out the pens. It turns out it is a SeaFan Coral - and coral is definitely 'Highly Prized' as a major indicator of the ocean's health. Someone or something keeps drawing me to work with oceans (see my Blue Ocean, Turquoise Sea post!). The design also reminded me of a group of trees that I see from my front porch. I watch how they change through the seasons and right now they are bare and so very interesting against the sky. I have become very attached to these trees - they're in my neighbour's yard and I hope they never need to 'top' them.

I've been wanting to do a study of these trees so perhaps I will work on that this year too.

Back to the SeaFan is my sketchbook - I drew the design from memory - Carol's coral was definitely more detailed but I like the blank spaces in my design.

The design definitely called out to be stitched and I promised my Fibre Art Fridays students that I would try to create something with at least one of the 'scrape painted' samples we created before Christmas. I think this may be the cover for my nondescript 2011 planner. Fibre Art Fridays is a bi-weekly group that meets at Calico Cupboard Quilt shop - new members are welcome to join us. Complete class brochure for the shop is here.

First I traced the design on Golden Threads quilting paper. I decided the reverse image would position better on the fabric if it became my book cover so I turned it over. I can still see the traced lines for stitching. I layered the painted fabric, Hobbs heirloom batting and cotton fabric and free-motion stitched all the lines with invisible thread on the top and a coloured thread in the bobbin.

This is what the piece looks like after the thin paper is torn away - it's very easy to do! And what it looks like on the wrong side.

Next I chose a thick perle cotton for bobbin quilting. This is DMC size 5. I stitched from the wrong side - thick thread loaded in my bobbin. I have a second bobbin case for my Bernina 440 so don't hesitate to loosen that little bobbin screw. I stitched the first line, still with invisible thread on the top and realized that it was difficult to see which lines I had stitched. I changed to green King Tut thread and bobbin-quilted the outline and major lines within the SeaFan shape.

I switched to Rainbows thread (top and bobbin - back to my regular bobbin for this step) and stitched the remaining lines and some 'fill in' lines'.

I'm pleased with the results so far. The planner cover will have to wait for a day or two - a few other commitments are at the top of the list.

What are YOU doing in YOUR sketchbook?

1 comment:

Inspector Clouseau said...

Nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the blue Nav Bar located at the top of my site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.