Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Projects Abound

Since finishing the Illuminated Grove quilt, I found myself a little out of sorts with the quilting projects. There were no particular projects looming on the horizon. Sure, I had vague notions of finishing another quilt I started in classes in November, or the original quilt I started for the competition. But, there was no real impetus.

Have I mentioned that I work better under a deadline?

So it was that I found myself, at the beginning of this month, dumping out all my scraps to do . . . SOMETHING . . . with. But what?

First, I found that these scraps would need sorting. Some of them were long and thin, and would be ideal for weaving. Some of them were large enough to be pieced into another quilt someday. Perhaps a crazy quilt? And some, oh some were tiny and gorgeous. They couldn't be salvaged as pieces of anything; there wasn't enough room for even a basic seam allowance. These scraps I decided would be great for some fabric collage.

The problem with this process was that, by the time I made it through the sorting, I was exhausted. My lofty ambitions of finding something to do with all of my scraps were dashed. But, over the course of the next week, I assembled some collage sandwiches. Here's the process:

1. Pull out some water-soluble stabilizer. Place a layer a little bigger than the collage you want to make on the table.

2. Place scrappy bits of fabric on top of stabilizer. These bits can include small pieces of fabric, yarn, thread, etc. I like to collect the tangled mess of unraveled fabric that gets cut off quilt fabric when it comes out of the dryer. I suppose you could throw in the dryer lint, too, if that made you happy. Personally, I don't like the look of it. Anyway, arrange these happy scraps in a way that pleases you. I like to add some Angelina fibers to the top for a shiny look, if it seems appropriate.

3. Unless it's the look you're going for, make sure that you don't see any table showing through the middle of your collage to avoid holes in the collage.

4. Cover with another layer of stabilizer and pin the heck out of the sandwich. (You can see some of the pictures of collage sandwiches I have yet to complete.)

5. Go to your sewing machine and free-motion stitch the heck out of the sandwich. You want to keep the stitching very close together and all over; these stitches are what's going to end up holding the collage together.

6. Once you've finished stitching, go to your sink and rinse out the stabilizer. Lay flat to dry.

These are some of the collages I did finish. In the meantime, projects have arisen. More on that later!

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