Friday, January 27, 2012
a small finish
a long time ago - in other words, i really can't remember, but it was no later than 2005 - i saw a technique for making watercolor quilts that intrigued me. i'm pretty sure it was in a book i no longer have. anyway, the method was really pretty simple: you picked three floral prints (large, medium, and small) in similar colors, and one solid that matched the background of the prints. then you diced your florals up into 2.5" squares and sorted the squares into piles based on how much of the square was floral vs background. after that, you arranged your pieces on a piece of grid-marked interfacing into the shape you wanted (say, a heart or a wreath). after you ironed all your pieces into place, you stitched your vertical and horizontal seams. easy peasy. and it turns out a really pretty effect.
so, i read this in a book and decided to try it. i remember trekking down to joann and trying to find fabrics. i was pleased to find three florals in shades of blue and periwinkle on a yellow background. i even found a pale yellow solid to match, though i was less pleased with this because it was kind of thin. i went home, cut my fabrics, arranged my pieces for a heart shape, and sewed them onto the grid. i even added a border to make it a bit larger. and then i stuffed all of the pieces - the top, the remaining fabrics, the rest of the gridded interfacing - into a bag. and they sat, ignored, for ages.
over a year ago when saf helped me clean out my sewing room, we found this and added it to the UFO pile, where it stayed until last week. when i was pulling my UFOs to take to the HMQG meeting, i saw the watercolor heart and decided it was the perfect valentine's day gift for my mom! before the meeting i cut backing and batting and strips for the binding. at the meeting, liz helped me spray baste.
earlier this week i loaded up my machine with pale yellow thread, then on my lunch break on a day i worked from home i spent a half hour free motion quilting it. this time i tried a looping swirl, and i quilted around the heart and in its center, leaving the floral heart shape unquilted. later that night, i prepared the binding and stitched by machine to the front then turned and handstitched the binding to the back. viola! a lovely present for my mom!