Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"My Secret Garden" project...finished!

This quilt is for the Personal Apps exhibit at the upcoming Road 2 California quilt conference in Ontario, CA next month.

The exhibit is here described:

Personal Apps
An App is defined as an application, typically a small, specialized program downloaded onto mobile devices. Artists invited to participate in this exhibit have created small quilts that represents them as an individual. The quilts show an aspect of their life or their identity. Curated by Matt Reese and Stevii Graves. 

Each quilt is to be 36" X 36".

Gardening makes me so happy.....so I guess that is a major aspect of my life and identity.

Last summer's garden really gave me so much joy.

What follows is a pictorial chronology of my quilt's construction over the last month...

It started with my review of Sue Reno's DVD on surface design.  You can read about it in this post.
I knew I wanted some lacy clouds, so with Sue's guidance, I printed some, using acrylic paint mixed with fabric extender.

I printed up a bunch.

I also painted some flowers, both pre-made fabric flowers and fussy cut printed flowers from quilters' cottons.  

 I'm so glad Sue's DVD encouraged me to get out those paints!

Then I began my initial lay-out....

The finished quilt actually bears quite a resemblance to this!

The foreground and sky sections were appliqued over a muslin foundation first--then I started adding layers of clouds.  That vintage delicate doily was meant to be the sun...

After this sky area was settled, the garden was laid out the same way, with a few large swaths of green.

Then the layers of flowers went on.

This photo shows a few of the techniques I used for the garden.

I did most of the embellishment work by machine, though.  Those large three dimensional daisies are vintage appliques.

After some initial quilting in the sky, I decided the clouds needed more texture, so I got out my acrylic Titanium white and highlighted some of the subtle lines from the printing.

A layer of lace over that and the clouds were just right!

Then it was time to add some stars to the sky.  This was a 3 day hand-beading extravaganza.
But then...how to quilt that???

I would never have attempted this on anything but my Sweet 16 from Handi Quilter.  The large bed made moving the quilt around easy during the free-motion sewing.

And the open toed foot made it easy to see "where I was going".  Somehow it just worked.  I didn't break a single bead or needle.  I love that Sweet 16!

This velvet bird was a cherished gift from Maureen Greason.  I didn't want to poke holes in it sewing it down, so I glued a piece of wool felt to the back of it, and sewed that instead.

When the top was all done and quilted, it was time to attach the trim borders.  The ones on the right won, after much auditioning.

You just cannot over-measure at this step.  I really took my time with this.

Wearing this machine quilting glove on my left hand really helped me move the quilt along as I sewed on the trim.

After this step I trimmed the batting and backing and just folded it in so it met the edge of the trim.  Then I whipstitched the whole thing closed. 

Let's see, at 8 stitches per inch, 36 inches per side times four sides...that is 1152 stitches plus corners.  But it is better than having to do conventional binding! I used lots and lots of pins, chatting with my sister as this step is kind of boring.

So here it is done.....

 This detail shows my blue bird of happiness, and the silver bird coming down from the stars...

 Here are the flowers growing, straight out of my heart....

And the entire Secret Garden, revealed......