‘Wildfire’ almost finished – 2016.05.21

‘Wildfire’ is almost finished.  I will have to do some quilting near the top and bottom, but I’m going to leave it on my design wall for a few days while I decide if it needs any more flames.

Wildfire - almost finished

As I said last week, I’m sewing the flames without fusing them first – just pinning them in place, then straight-stitching close to the edges.

But for the tree, I wanted to finish the edges because if they fray, it will really show against the lighter background.  I discovered Terry Grant’s fusing method and thought I would try it for the tree.

I couldn’t find any Liquid Thread in the local stores, so I ordered some online.   While waiting for it to arrive, I decided to try using what I had on hand, which was Fray Check.  (Then I ran out of Fray Check, so I had to wait until the Liquid Thread arrived.  The Fray Check didn’t fuse as well as the Liquid Thread, but it is a fair substitute in an emergency.)

I didn’t dilute the Liquid Thread because I didn’t have another container with a fine tip, and I didn’t want to wait.  I will definitely get a smaller container and dilute the Liquid Thread next time.

I used parchment paper instead of a teflon ironing sheet when pressing with a hot iron to fuse the Liquid Thread – that worked fine.

 applying Liquid Thread to edges of tree  parchment paper for pressing Liquid Thread edges

 

I trimmed the edges of the tree, cutting through the fused Liquid Thread.  Then I fused the tree in place, and straight-stitched around the edges.  I like this technique and will definitely use it again.

tree trimmed after edges sealed  tree stitched around edges

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Creations by Nina-Marie    Confessions of a Fabric Addict

 

 

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Playing with fire – 2016.05.15

I’m making progress on my ‘Wildfire’ tree quilt.

Last week I had sewn all of the background fire fabrics in place, except one.  I decided to take Janet’s advice and use the smoky gray-pink fabric.

Now I’m adding the smaller flames.  I’m cutting the flames freehand, using my rotary cutter to cut curvy shapes.  I’m continuing to sew the flames without fusing them first – just pinning them in place, then straight-stitching close to the edges.  So far it seems to be working just fine, and if some of the edges fray a little, it will just look like fire sparks.

In the photo below, the ground and the tree are pinned in place.  I’m going to add lots more flames.  Then I’ll stitch the ground and tree in place, and probably add a few more flames in front of the tree.  I’m not sure if I’m going to add any more background trees like I had in one of the photos last week.

sewing the flames in place

 

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Creations by Nina-Marie    Confessions of a Fabric Addict

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Making fire – 2016.05.08

The working title of my latest Tree quilt is ‘Wildfire’.   I’ve made a lot of progress on it.  I decided I was happy with the fabrics I showed in my last post, so I started cutting the background fabrics into flame shapes where they overlapped.   Then I positioned the tree and some of the additional flame shapes to make sure all the colors worked together.  The only fabric I’m not sure about is the pinky-purple one just below the purple sky fabric.  I may decide to change that one.

auditioning fabric 4   background fire   positioning flames

 

My standard method for joining the fabrics would be to use fusible web.  Since most of these fabrics are batiks, and therefore not subject to fraying, I decided to just cut them into the flames shapes, then stitch the edges.  (At this point, I’ve layered the back and batting, and I’m stitching through all the layers.)   I just pinned the flame shapes in place – no fusing or glue.  I figured since I will be adding additional flames later, I could cover up any mistakes.  But actually, it worked pretty well – and saved a lot of time.  I used this neon variegated rayon thread to edge stitch the flames.

stitching flames   IMG_8114

 

Now, I’m debating about that second from the top fabric.  In the first photo below, I have 3 possible fabrics, with the original pinky-purple one in the middle.  While I was looking through my stash to see if I had any other possible fabrics, I found the striped fabric.  The colors are good, and it would make the whole composition more abstract, but I don’t think it’s right.  At this point, I’m just dithering, so I’m going to stop now, and decide later which fabric to use.

transition fabric options  transition with stripes

 

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Creations by Nina-Marie    Confessions of a Fabric Addict

 

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Learning to make fire – 2016.05.05

I’ve been auditioning fabrics for my newest Tree quilt.  The theme is a forest fire.  I’ve long wanted to make a quilt featuring fire, and I’m working on a Tree series, so it made sense to put the two together.

Wildfire fabricsMy intent is an abstract interpretation of a forest fire, but with the impression of fire and flames – hot and glowing.  My fabric choices will be important to achieve the effect I want.  These are some of the fabrics I started with.  I’ve been looking at images of fire and I’m drawn to the ones with some dark pink in the flames, along with orange and yellow.  I picked the gray-green for the smoky sky behind the fire.

As you will see below, almost immediately, I changed my mind about most of my initial fabric picks.

 

FP pressed to back of tree fabricOne main tree, and possibly some background tree trunks will be in black fabrics.  I cut the main tree shape from freezer paper and pressed it to the back of a black print fabric.  I trimmed the fabric close to the edge of the freezer paper.  I left a little extra around the edges because I’m not sure if I’m going to fuse, glue it, or just stitch it to the background.

 

 

I pinned the tree to the design wall, then auditioned various background fabrics by slipping them behind the tree.  I remembered that I had set aside some fabrics a few months ago just for this project, so tried a few of them.   I cut brighter fabrics into flame shapes and positioned them around the trees.

auditioning fabric 1  auditioning fabric 2  auditioning fabric 2a  auditioning fabric 3 

 

The background fabrics all seemed too dark and too red.  A little research on the internet shows that fire is actually more yellow than red.

Wikipedia says: ‘The dominant color in a flame changes with temperature. . . . . Near the ground, where most burning is occurring, the fire is white, the hottest color possible for organic material in general, or yellow. Above the yellow region, the color changes to orange, which is cooler, then red, which is cooler still. Above the red region, combustion no longer occurs, and the uncombusted carbon particles are visible as black smoke.’

Then I remembered all my fabrics with metallic accents.  (When I was making this quilt a couple of years ago, I pulled all the metallic fabrics out of my stash and put them in a separate drawer.   I haven’t touched them since.)  But it occurred to me they would be great for fire.  This seems closer to the impression I want.

auditioning fabric 4

 

And this is what my cutting table looked like during this process.  But I’m having fun!

pile of fabrics 2  pile of fabrics

 

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative projects to inspire you.

   Esther’s Blog   Sew Fresh Quilts

 

 

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Another change in direction – 2016.05.04

I hate it when I forget to follow my own advice!

In all my workshop handouts, the final section is about Selecting fabrics.  This is what it says:

  • Value is more important than color – if all your fabrics are the same value, from a distance your design will be almost invisible.  You need a wide range of light to dark fabrics for an effective design – unless you’re going for a low volume look, in which case you want similar values.
  • Pin your fabrics to a design wall and view them from a distance to ensure you have good value differences
  • Optional – take a photo of your fabrics on the design wall, and convert it to black & white.  This will show the difference in your values.
  • Use the design wall to evaluate your decisions re value, color, composition
  • Make all design decisions before starting construction [Now is the time to experiment with different fabric choices; it’s much easier to change a fabric now than after you have started fusing and/or sewing.] 

I’m not sure why, but with my two recent attempts with the Riley Blake solids, I totally forgot to pay attention to value.

TV test pattern 1Not enough value

Jessica made a great suggestion on my last post, which I will definitely consider. “Maybe the problem is that they’re just too thin after sewing, so the graphic effect of the black & white is getting lost? What would happen if you used somewhat wider strips, and maybe sewed some of them together, but offset to break apart the original pattern? Would that go somewhere interesting?”

But I’m putting this whole project away for now.  I’ll let my subconscious work on it, and maybe I’ll come up with a workable concept before the May 31 deadline.

 

Right now, I’m going to start a new project with lots of value contrast.  It will be the fourth quilt in my current Tree Series.   The theme is a forest fire.  (The timing seems a little weird given the Fort McMurray wildfire, but it’s a theme I’ve been planning for at least a year.)

Here are some of the fabrics I’ve picked out.  I think I have enough value contrast, but you can bet I’ll be following all of my own advice as I put this one together!

Wildfire fabrics    Wildfire fabrics value

 

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative projects to inspire you.

   Esther’s Blog   Sew Fresh Quilts

 

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A change in direction – 2016.05.01

I started working on my improv idea for the MQG challenge but I’m not happy with the results.  I had this idea about cutting the black & white sashing fabric into thin strips, off-grain, to diminish the very linear, geometric lines and make them look more abstract.

RB SS and solids  strips

 

I inserted the skinny strips between wider pieces of the solid colors.  I sewed a few pieces together, but I just wasn’t satisfied with the results.   I’m not sure if I tried to use too many colors – perhaps a more restricted palette?  Or maybe I don’t have enough contrast – I could try adding some very light fabrics, or perhaps some black?  I tried putting them on my dark gray design wall, and then on my light gray design wall.

design wall 1 design wall 2 design wall 3

 

In any case, the whole process was starting to feel forced, rather than creative.  So now I’m going in a completely different direction.  A design loosely based on an old-fashioned TV test pattern, like this one.

 

Here’s where it is so far.  It’s just pinned to the dark gray design wall.  I still need to add the background with some more bars of color, and perhaps a TV screen shape as a border.

TV test pattern 1

 

And I now think I see what the problem is – not enough value contrast in the fat quarter package of Riley Blake fabrics that I bought online.  But since the rules require that only Riley Blake solids can be used with the feature fabric, I’m limited in my options.  I did order some solid black from another online source, which may help.  I’m going to set this aside until the black arrives, and then re-assess.

 

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Creations by Nina-Marie    Confessions of a Fabric Addict

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In the mood for Improv – 2016.04.27

In December, the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG) announced a new fabric challenge.  I signed up for the free black & white Sashing Stash fabric, which I received in March.  The rules require that only Riley Blake solids can be used with the feature fabric.  I didn’t know exactly what I was going to for this challenge, but I wanted to get a variety of colors in the solid fabrics.  It was a little challenging to find a good selection of Riley Blake solids, but eventually I found a fat quarter pack at Cotton Capers Online.  Here’s my fabric, waiting for me to be inspired.

RB SS and solids

Because the Sashing Stash fabric is so geometrical, my first thought was to make a quilt with lots of straight lines.  But I found that just wasn’t appealing to me – I was in the mood for Improv.   I have a couple of ideas and I’m going to start experimenting – working without a pattern, because that the nature of improv!

 

But first, I warmed up my improv skills by making some blocks for this month’s Vancouver MQG block lotto challenge The block is called ‘X Marks the Improv’ and was designed by Debbie of A Quilters’ Table.   It’s a fun and quick block to make – the last one took less than 15 minutes – and a great way to use up all the scraps I’ve been saving.

X marks the Improv

I’ve made 4 blocks so far, and may make more, but right now I want to start working on my ideas for the Riley Blake challenge.  Check back soon to see what I come up with.

 

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative projects to inspire you.

   Esther’s Blog   Sew Fresh Quilts

 

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