New art quilt – Bridge 2 – 2017.07.15

Bridge 2 on my art quilt (see previous posts for more information about this piece) is the Pattullo Bridge, opened in 1937.  This is a beautiful structure, with its graceful arched shape, intricate angled beams, and distinctive colors.  (I have not been able to determine if the bridge was painted orange and blue when it was built, or if these colors came later – but I love the colors!)  You can read more about the history of this bridge here.

My intention is to emphasize the shapes and colors of this bridge, not to produce a photo-realistic image.  So I used brighter colors, and simplified the structural details.

I used the same techniques as I did for Bridge 1 – see my previous post.   In the image below you can see the sheer interfacing overlay I used to position the pieces of the bridge (it is difficult to see the lines drawn on the overlay in this photo, but trust me, they are there).  In the second image, I flipped the overlay up and fused the pieces in place.

Then I stitched the detail lines, as follows:

  1. from the front, I stitched around the edges with black thread.
  2. this is how it looked from the back.
  3. then I cut the sheer interfacing apart and fused this part to the back, aligning it to the stitched outlines.  Then, still from the back, I stitched the detail lines.
  4. this is how it looks from the front.

 

Here is what it looks like at this point.

 

I have lots more stitching to do from the front.  I will be stitching the outlines and details again – either several times with regular weight thread, or once with heavier weight thread.  I have to do some experimenting first.

 

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    

 

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New art quilt – Bridge 1 – 2017.07.12

My newest art quilt is inspired by the photo below.  It was taken from Westminster Pier Park on the bank of the Fraser River in New Westminster BC.   In the foreground is the public art installation WOW Westminster.   In the distance are three bridges that cross the Fraser River.  My working title for this piece is ‘W and the 3 Bridges’.

 

I cropped the photo, and then used artistic license to rearrange some of the elements.  In my design below (which is a mirror image so I can use it to draw the pattern pieces on fusible web) you can see that I moved the foremost bridge upward so that it isn’t covering the bridge behind it.  I also enlarged the W and moved it down so it isn’t covering the bridge support columns.

  

 

I traced my design onto sheer fusible interfacing, to use as an overlay to ensure the correct placement of the water line, and to position the bridges.

First, I constructed and quilted the background (see previous post), and now I am starting to construct the bridges.  Here are the basic shapes of the three bridges pinned in place, and ready to be fused to the background.  I’m going to stitch the details of each bridge with black thread.

 

First up is Bridge 1, which is a railway bridge.  It was constructed in 1904, and originally had two decks to carry both rail traffic and automobile traffic.  Today it is used only for rail traffic.  You can read more about the history of the bridge here.

Below you can see the steps I used for Bridge 1.

  1. I used the sheer overlay to position the fused fabrics on the background, then fused them in place and stitched around the edges with black thread.
  2. I used black thread in the bobbin so I could see the outline of the bridge from the back.  Note that at this point, there is batting but no backing fabric.
  3. then I cut the sheer interfacing apart and fused this part to the back, aligning it to the stitched outlines.
  4. still from the back, I stitched the detail lines for Bridge 1
  5. the detail stitching looks good, but will need to be stitched again, possibly with thicker thread.  Later, after the other bridges are done, I will fuse on a backing, and then I will stitch the detail lines a second time from the front.

 

Come back in a couple of days to see what Bridge 2 looks like.

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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New art quilt – background – 2017.07.10

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.

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with:

Creations by Nina-Marie

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June was a busy month! – 2017.07.04

June was a very busy month!  It’s the beginning of July, and I just realized I haven’t posted since May 21st.

At the beginning of June, my husband and I spent a very enjoyable week in New York City.  I took lots of photos, and I’m sure some of them will provide inspiration for future art quilts.  Here are some of my favorite NYC memories.

 

We returned home from NYC, and the following week I traveled to Toronto for Quilt Canada, where I had two quilts accepted to the National Juried Show.   I’m thrilled to say that my quilt ‘Eclipse’ won the 2nd place award in the Modern category.  You can see all of the award-winning entries here.

 

We spent the next 3 days attending lectures and events, shopping in the merchant mall, meeting friends and, of course, viewing hundreds of gorgeous quilts!  Here are just a few of my favorites.

An Orange Orange, by Jennifer Dyck

Fungi, by Jan Hall

Kimono for a Eucalyptus, by Maggie Vanderweit

Nautical Composition Number 1, by Laura Piggott

Tryptically Urban, by Paula Jolly

 

In between all that travel (and an occasional stint at my day job), I was working on a commission portrait quilt.  I finished it a couple of days ago.  As with most of my portrait quilts, it started with a photo, from which I made a line drawing, then created the shapes with fused fabrics, and quilted it.  The finished size is 12 x 12 inches.

 

So that’s what I did in June.  I don’t have any travel scheduled for July or August, so I plan to spend a lot more time in my studio producing new work, and posting more frequently to my blog.

 

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

 

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A new dog portrait and a new exhibition – 2017.05.21

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a new dog portrait.  Here’s the original photo next to the finished quilted portrait.

  

 

Below are some of the photos I took as I was constructing this portrait.

I assemble the fused pieces on a small design board covered with parchment paper (so I can fuse the pieces together when I’m ready, and then later peel it off the parchment paper).  I also trace the major design lines onto another piece of parchment paper which I pin to the top of the design board.  As I position each piece or section, I flip up the top piece of parchment paper, then flip it back down to ensure everything is in the right position.

When I’m working on a specific section (such as the mouth in the photo below), I can assemble and fuse the pieces on top of the parchment.  When that section is complete, I move it into position under the top layer.

 

 

I do all the quilting on the dog before adding the final layer of batting and backing.  That way, I don’t have to be concerned about any messy thread ends on the back of my work, and I don’t have to bury the thread ends.  For Sitka, I quilted the dog through a thin layer of white eco-felt.  I use threads that are fairly close in color to the fabrics.

 

 

Then I added a layer of batting and the backing fabric, and quilted the green background.  This gives a dimensional quality to the dog – the background area surrounding the dog is flattened by the quilting, and the dog’s face and body are slightly raised.  The final step is to outline key areas of the dog’s head and body to add even more dimension.

On my Tips and Tutorials page, the first 3 items in the list are links to previous posts I’ve written about the techniques I use to create quilted portraits.  To see other pet portraits I’ve made, check out my Gallery page.

 

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If you live in the Vancouver area, I hope you will visit a new exhibition that includes two pieces of my work.   Here’s a link to an article in the local paper – with a photo of one of my pieces!

(in)finite: spiritual conversations in cloth
May 25 to June 4, 2017 – Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, BC
Opening reception: Saturday, May 27 from 5 to 7 pm

* * * * * * * * * * *

 

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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SAQA Auction donation – 2017.05.10

Each year, SAQA invites each of its members to create a small piece of art and donate it to the annual SAQA Benefit Auction.  The auction has a dual purpose – to increase the recognition of quilts as art and quilters as artists, and to raise funds to support SAQA’s exhibitions, publications, and education outreach activities.  Last year, over 350 quilts were donated and the auction raised almost $80,000.

You can see some of the 12 x 12 inch art quilts here.  Keep checking back because many more will be added in the next couple of months.

Here’s my entry for the auction, ‘Heron Reflected 2‘.  (If this looks familiar, that’s because I used the same photo in March for my donation to the SAQA Spotlight auction.)

 

In May 2015, while walking along the Fraser River, I spotted a Great Blue Heron perched on a tangle of roots (actually a log with roots attached, which had floated down the river and embedded itself in the riverbed).   I snapped a photo, and posted it on Instragram.

Heron with reflection

I was struck by the almost perfect reflection of the Heron in the very still water, and thought it would make a great subject for a quilt.  But I was not thrilled with the lack of color in my photo.  So I used a photo-editing app called Sketch Guru to add some fanciful colors.

I printed the enhanced photo twice – once on cotton sheeting and once on cotton sateen.  I was experimenting with the various inkjet fabrics I recently ordered from Dharma Trading Co.  The cotton sateen had more of a sheen, so I thought it would be more appropriate for water.  I layered the printed photo and machine quilted the water lines.

Then I ironed fusible web to the back of the cotton sheeting print and cut around the Heron and the roots (but not the reflection).  I fused this on top of the cotton sateen print, and stitched around the edges.  This made the Heron and roots appear more solid, and the reflection look more like a reflection.

I used shiny rayon thread for the water lines (on the right below).  I outlined the roots with gray and purple thread.  I outlined the Heron with purple thread, then again with yellow-orange thread to give him more presence (yellow-orange is the complimentary color of the Heron’s blue-violet, which means outlining him in this color gives the strongest contrast – subtle, yet effective).

 

Here’s a close-up of the outline stitching:

 

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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More Canada big quilt bee blocks – 2017.04.30

This week, I made another 4 blocks for Canada’s Big Quilt Bee.  I used a new-to-me technique.  I made 4 large log cabin blocks (approximately 13 to 15 inches square).  Then I stacked them on top of each other, and sliced through them all to cut them into quarters.

 

 

Then I mixed and matched the quarters, and sewed them back together to make 4 blocks.  For a couple of them, I had to add one or two strips of fabric to make the finished blocks the required size of 12.5 inches square.

 

 

Here are my four new blocks.

 

Here are the blocks I made previously.

 

 

You can read about Canada’s Big Quilt Bee here, and you can see many of the completed quilts on Instagram #bigquiltbee.  More than 600 quilts have been completed so far!

 

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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