Sunday, February 19, 2006

Barbara's Composition

I'm designing my Winter Madonna and I've decided to work in circles as well as in white. The central image is transferred onto a round doily and surrounded by a traditional applique design called Cesar's Crown. I've used the challenge fabric in every other section of the crown.

I'm using another traditional applique pattern in the smaller circles called Wheel of Lilies. The Madonna also carries lilies in the central image, and is surrounded by them in one of the smaller ones. Two of the darker circles also have the Wheel of Lilies applique (actually ironed on) but the contrast isn't sharp and I may do those over.

The whole composition is pinned to a pieced background on which I've arrange vintage hankies. One of these is beige, and I may coffee-stain the white ones to increase the contrast.

I've imagined this as a round piece, so I may re-position the hankies and cut the whole thing into a circle. I'll have to back it with Peltex if I go that route.

And here's a piece that I designed at the same time, I've got plans for this one which also involve Madonnas.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Top is Done!

Pieced Top
Here is the pieced top ready for embellishing!

I finished this today and will let it "rest" while I scurry around and make some Lesson Quilts for the training lessons I start on Friday for the position. Having to return to beginning level quilts and think about each step so I can write the directions is an interesting process. I can't believe I have been on "automatic" for so long!

This one I will also have to think about---not exactly sure how I will do the embellishments. Just let me not get carried away!

More Blocks Added

Here are a few progress photos (and an experiment with writing on photos!)

Almost Done with Piecing
Almost done with the borders--should measure about 40" square when done

Side Border Blocks
Side border Blocks

Shiny Fabric
Shiny Fabric in the Blocks

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Debra's Winter Madonna Takes Shape

The Winter Madonna is due the middle of March. It has some specific guidelines to follow: use some of the glittery white jersey knit from Barbara and give the piece a wintery feeling.

Winter in Houston is not icy and even though that is the standard fare for most of the country, I chose to concentrate on the winter foliage and the glittery fabrics of the holidays. I wanted the overcast grey sky, silvery nights and the blue mantle of the Madonna juxtaposed against the rich reds, greens and blacks of ballgowns and bedecked homes.

A new source for inspiration was the Dover Publication called Elegant Floral Designs, a collection of permission free designs of black flowers and lace motifs. Each page features captivating flowers in stark black that can be printed any size. I decided to transfer them to fabric and use them like Victorian cutouts. They determined the direction of this piece---a crazy quilt.

I downloaded the images into my photo program and arranged them for sizes. I printed them onto transparency plastic thinking I would do gel medium transfers but that idea proved to be fruitless. So, I used the transparencies as originals and copied the designs directly to fabric with my printer. The images came out great!

This is one of the transparencies pinned to my design wall.

This is one of the printed fabric sheets.

Central Madonna
This is the central Madonna figure with a bit of a Art Noveau look.

Madonna Blocks
6 of the Crazy quilt blocks

Flower Blocks
Closeup View of the Motif in the block

I will do some more crazy quilt blocks for the outside border and mainly machine stitch embellishments before beading the piece.