I’m working on the background for a new art quilt, and decided to try some techniques that are new to me. I decided to make the sky and water portions from strips of fabric cut freehand with a rotary cutter – but no ruler, and sewn with raw edges – no fusible web. I just ironed the strips to a piece of batting, overlapping them and stitched along the edges.
I liked the look, but the fabrics frayed more than I had hoped. If I had used batiks or more tightly woven fabrics, that would have been less of a problem, but I selected the fabrics by color and pattern, not by weave. (I’m particularly pleased with the plaid and flower fabrics for sky, and touchs of purple.)
I considered adding more strips, possibly with fusible web to control the fraying. Then I remembered that bias-cut edges don’t fray! So, for the sky portion I cut smaller pieces as ‘clouds’, cutting the fabrics diagonally so the edges were on the bias. I positioned them to cover the worst of the fraying and used a bit of glue to hold them in place. Then I added a lot more wavy horizontal stitching lines.
And for the water portion, I added ‘waves’ cut on the bias.
I’m much happier now with my background. I also had to remind myself that it’s just the background. When I add the foreground elements, they will cover a lot of the background and draw the attention of the viewer.
If you check back later this week, I’ll have added the foreground elements to this art quilt.
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