Mosaic Quilting Part 2

Well, this has proved much more challenging than I had imagined. Laying the pieces out and ironing them into place was fiddly but enjoyable, I like the creativity of laying out the little pieces, thinking about how the light would play on this scene.

Cutting the batting and backing fabric and attaching it to the interfacing, all very easy and straight forward. In large part the ease of this step was due to 505 basting spray, if you have not tried this yet you are missing out. It is brilliant! It allows you to re-position your pieces for about 15 min after spraying them and then keeps the fabric glued together for 2-4 months or until you wash them. Amazing stuff!

The misery did not start until I tried add some machine stitching. Then either the little pieces of fabric that I had so carefully placed either fell off or folded over to get stitched in half. What a mess! :o( To cap it all off, while intently trying to flatten each piece of fabric as the machine foot went over them I failed to notice the centre of the piece was starting to balloon and warp away from the batting.

What would I do differently next time?

  • I would use wonderweb for the backing not interfacing (I think wonderweb will be more “sticky”)
  • Although Terri Stegmiller does not recommend it I would be tempted to iron the wonderweb onto the fabric pieces before cutting them into fragments, although this will need more wonderweb than Terri’s method, I think it will hold the edges of the fragments down better making them less likely to fold over or detach.
  • Stitch from the centre of the quilt outwards. I did plan to do that on this quilt but got carried away stitching the wavy lines for the sea : embarrassed : 

This is what it currently looks like…

All is not lost, I will persevere and hope to resurrect this piece into something beautiful.

P.S. I have had a really fun idea for a small felted Xmas gift that makes me chuckle whenever I think of it, I will make a prototype this weekend and share the results with you next week.

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Mosaic Quilting

I recently attended a machine embroidery workshop and made this fish which I love to bits.

I reached this stage a few weeks ago and have been mulling over what to do with it. I could add some wool backing and a pin to turn it into a nice brooch? But it has taken over 4 hours to get to this stage, to sell a brooch for £40 would be a stretch. Or I could incorporate it into an underwater scene? I have been toying with the idea of creating a felt background for it and wondering how best to attach it but last week I read a post on mosaic quilting on Terri Stegmiller’s blog, a technique that involves attaching small pieces of fabric to wonderweb sheet and quilting onto batting. I plan to create an underwater quilted back drop and then appliqué my fish on the top.

I made a start on it last night, I am using a piece of fusible interfacing… It’s very fiddly but I think it is coming along nicely.

Planning for The Beach

It’s alright, I haven’t lost my few remaining marbles, sunbathing on British beaches in November really isn’t my cup of tea. I will leave that sort of activity to much hardier souls. The Beach, is a new felt picture I have been mulling over for several months, it is a piece that is quite emotional for me so I want to get it right. About 18 months ago Mr TB lost his mother (Bev) after a long battle with cancer, it was tough for everyone, but especially him being on the other side of the world (he is a Kiwi and most of his family still live there). One of my abiding memories of Bev is that she loved walking and would take their dog, Josie, to the local beach in Otaki almost every day, Josie loved it, always finding the most enormous branch to proudly carry along the beach and into the surf. Ever since I started working with felt, I have had this idea that I would like to depict this idyllic seaside scene in a painting for my father in law as a reminder of those happy times. We are flying back to NZ in Dec so I had better get a move on!

Finally, after much ruminating I have started sketching out some ideas in water colour, what do you think? Do you have a favourite?

Mr TB has already suggested that I choose another silhouette for the dog, although this is a typical Josie pose, head down, tail wagging in that “play with me” posture dog’s have (she always wants you to throw these enormous tree trunks that I can barely lift) I can see his point, it isn’t immediately recognisable as a dog.

Exciting News!

Yesterday I was offered a sales table at my work’s annual Xmas market / fair. I am so excited, this is the first time I have tried to sell my work face to face, I have been bouncing around like a child on Xmas eve! At first I was worried that I would not have enough items, but looking around I realise I have loads of very saleable felt and willow goods that I have made, it is just that most of them need final details or care labels. I spent most of last night stitching care labels onto toys, scarves and hats so I had about 20 items ready to go.

This morning I sprayed 5 willow sculptures with wood preservative, they will take a few days to dry but are also good to go. This afternoon I have been mounting textile art onto mountboards and canvases and putting the pieces on mountboard into cellophane envelopes, that’s another 20 pieces ready to go. I am amazed by my own nervous energy, there are things that have been sitting in “nearly finished” piles for months that are suddenly finding their way to the finished pile. It is amazingly cathartic to see so many pieces finally complete.

I also found time today to repeat the wet felting of my stags at sunset picture that I have been needle-felting recently, the black is much more black now and repeating the wet felting has removed the fuzziness and tiny holes you get from needle-felting. I just need to decide how to hang it now…

One of the pictures I mounted was the sea hollies wall hanging, I think it looks great mounted on a canvas slightly smaller than the felt, giving the impression that it is floating away from the wall.

And I even managed to finish felting a handbag:

The Big Knit

Unfortunately I only found out about this today and the deadline for submitting the mini hats is Oct 31st! So I have been furiously crocheting since I got home this evening and have managed to produce 2 little hats.

What’s the Big Knit all about? Innocent (the smoothie people) will pay 25p to Age UK for every cute little hat sold on their bottles of smoothie. The principle behind the idea is that hundreds of our elderly die needlessly from hypothermia every winter and a wooly hat is one way to keep warm. Obviously these little hats are just a symbol (too small to fit on a human head) but the funds raised will be used to buy equipment such as hot water bottles and human-sized hats for our older folk to use. If you are interested here is more info here with patterns and an address where to send the completed hats to.

Here are my 2 offerings, a little owl and a turtle:

I have stitched a Teri Berry Creations care label inside each hat in the hope that whoever buys them finds this blog. If it was you, please leave a comment I would love to find out where my little critters have found a new home. :o)

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