Archive for the ‘irregular’ Category

To Fuse Or Sew? That Is The Question

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

This is recent experimentation with fusing my signature wandering fabric strips to black background. (sample size shown c. 6″)

While in the US recently I bought a brand of fusing /bonding material I hadn’t used before, partly because the veisoflex I’d been using didn’t seem to be anywhere around where I was.  So I bought some Steam a Seam 2., its different, and I really like it.  I haven’t done a lot of fusing in the past, but I did think it might be a way to go with the new smaller works I am doing.  These smaller works I posted previously have been sewn, then fused to a backing before being  sewn down onto the base fabric.  One thing I thought was that strips of fabric fused down might be quicker than sewing inserted strips.  Wrong –  really, small strip by small strip it is a bit fiddly, or, if you back a piece of each fabric you’re going to use, even jsut 2″ x 10″, and cut pieces from that, then you have bits left which you need to keep using to get the best value from your materials, right?  And I am pretty nifty with the sewn strips.   So that’s one thing I have to work out.

Below is a pic of strips pieced, ie sewn, into background fabric (a section of  pre-quilted “Ebb&Flow 15″   as it happens) 

 

And this third pic is a side-by side comparison –  sewn on the left, with fused on the right.   The fused piece is a very flat looking surface by comparison.  In a bed quilt there would be too much movement of the quilt for it to be a viable technique, it wouldn’t last.  On the wall though, it would, and for some kind of background it could be just the thing;  though, as I say, hardly ‘quicker.’  This afternoon I have fused sheer to plain as a substitute for stencilling some sand ripples – light ridges vs dark hollows – its very promising indeed and I have been doing some hand stitch over the top of that, and as quilters would say, ‘ the hand’ is fine. I had thought there might be a stickiness or resistance on the needle, but no.  Pics of all that when it’s a bit further along.

Facing irregular shaped quilts

Friday, June 15th, 2007

I have made quite a few irregular shaped pieces in the years since around 1992-3, many of which can be found in the gallery pages of my website, www.alisonschwabe.com
In the past couple of days, on the Quiltart list there have been questions about doing this, and various answers given, and since I sent the original questioner this jpg, I thought I should post my version for anyone else who is interested in trying irregular shapes but intimidated by the finishing.
There are lots of ways any shape can be finished, and even look ‘unfinished’ if that goes with the integrity of the work, but irregular shapes can be tricky if you are looking for a really neat ‘properly finished’ edge, as many who are currently entering pieces in the experimental areas of quilt shows are feeling they need to achieve. (the Quilt Police loom large here) If the outline of the quilt is not too convoluted a binding will probably work OK. But if you have lots of pointy bits this one really works well. Granted a bagged back is popular, and probably perfect for small things, but I have noticed that bag-backed large quilts are often just that – ‘baggy’. This method always works for me, and despite the several diagrams is not at all difficult; if you can face an armhole or neckline of a garment, you can do this easily. Note point #8 – faced pointy bits do tend to curl a little allowing the facing to roll forward and be seen from the front, even other less shaped areas will tend to do this too. Even if you use some of the same fabric as used on the front, this looks sloppy and incompetent. So use the instructions in point #7 around the whole, and #8 where you get to a tricky point shape. Then complete by sewing the edge of the facing down.
I teach workshops taking this all further, including how to get some seriously non-straight shaping along the top edge. Some steps need to be taken in the pre-quilting construction stages to ensure these hang easily and conventionally, also that they fold for transportation, if these things are an issue with your work. To me it sometimes feels disappointing to see exciting shapes along the sides and bottom of a quilt hanging from a straight edge along the top. I think that if that person had known how, he/she might have chosen to make the top shaped, too. .. or maybe not, of course.

There’s Nothing New Under The Sun

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

In the Auckland Museum my first stop was the gallery featuring New Zealand design and finely crafted objects of all kinds including several textile numbers, among which is this gorgeous 1964 silk two- piece culotte cocktail suit, by designer Colin Cole. It was not made clear whether the fabric design was his, or not.

Anyone who has been paying attention to developments in contemporary quilt design will recognise this pattern in the fabric as having been done over and over, I wouldn’t say done to death but it has become a modern quilting classic, which I attribute to the development of freehand rotary cutting and piecing methods mostly – as well as being a totally natural way to divide a square by curved non-intersecting lines. Although many quilt artists have totally abandoned any suggestion of repeat or block design in their desire to avoid anything to do with the traditional quilting world, I have always found it fascinating to explore the nontraditional within structures of repeat blocks and units.

Several of my quilts built of blocks in this design including John and Sue’s Quilt, Mary and Joyce’s Quilt, Diamantina, Spinifex, and Tidal Shallows 1 & 2 can be found in the gallery pages of my website, www.alisonschwabe.com
The colours I really love.

commercials, hand dyeds, and hand-dyed-look-alikes

Friday, July 21st, 2006


They are all here, in this quilt, Bushfire 4 , 2000.
This large irregular shaped quilt is designed to express the fightening speed and intensity of bush fires experienced by one part or another of Australia every summer. It is another good example of how I mix hand dyed fabrics and commercially printed ones. Some commercial fabrics now look like hand dyed, so they fall into a “look-alikes” category.

and PS – although these two quilts I have posted today are in hot fiery colours, I do work with other colours and neutrals ! a large variety of which are on my website, www.alisonschwabe.com Posted by Picasa

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