Saturday, December 8, 2007

Unbeading the Fans....And Some Trapunto

I almost got one of the whole fans beaded before I decided I just didn't like the look. I had wanted the fans to stand out on their own as one of the dominant elements from the beginning, and the beads just made them blend in too much. Plus, I couldn't get those size 8s perfectly spaced and straight, which meant what was noticeable was the crookedness of them. Unacceptable!

So out they came.

I ended up treating the fans in a way that had been lurking in the back of my mind since the very beginning of this project. But before I show you what I did, let's go back to the beginning for one last review of how this whole thing evolved.
But just for the record, in looking over my pictures I realized it was June of 2006, not 2005. Somehow that makes me feel better!

Old-time readers will remember how I snuck taking this picture while deep in the aisles of Powell's Books in Portland. I didn't want to buy the whole book, so....I engaged in some espionage. I do enough business with Powell's that my conscience doesn't feel too badly...
The colors and lay-out here look familiar, don't they? I wanted my quilt to be a contemporary take on very traditional crazy quilting.

Here is an early lay-out. I went through several.

What a technical nightmare this was. Getting this all square and straight has been a battle all the way along.

This was as far as I got at John Campbell.
The fans have never been consistent in size, which is a constant source of irritation...but when you piece on the fly in a workshop setting it is hard to be focused and accurate. That's my excuse, anyways. I even used newsprint for my foundation piecing of the fans, as I had run out of muslin. That felt very old-timey and fun at the time, but it meant the fans were pretty floppy when the newprint was torn off.

So let's fast forward to this morning. The quilt has had a few surgeries along the way, mostly to get that inner tan border to straighten up a little. Elements have been added, stitching and beading completed...but the fans were still too insubstantial and were not "featured" quite like I wanted.
Hey, what about raising them up off the surface of the quilt, just a little? And the "H" too? The parts that aren't beaded could be stuffed trapunto-style instead...

The interfacing behind the H was ready made for trapunto.

Nothing to it...three layers of batting used here.

For the fans it was a simple matter of cutting the batting layers to size, and fusing the interfacing over the layers....

...like that.

So what is the end result?

It hangs better..the blades aren't floppy anymore...they're not too busy with the beads....this is going to have to do it!

From here comes all the technical finishing...those border blocks need to be straightened up after the quilt top is blocked...then the false back goes on, being closely basted over my usual drapery lining "batting", the pretty back constructed and tacked on with beads; then I have to figure out the binding....(and maybe bead it)....there's a lot to go, but this is definitely a big stage completed!

14 comments :

Vicki W said...

Perfect solution!

threadspider said...

What an exercise in problem solving this labour of love is. I sense you enjoy both the problems and the labour. : )

Marty52 said...

I think you have found the perfect solution. The trapunto emphasizes what you want to stand out, without compromising everything else. This has been quite a journey for you, Allie. Thanks for taking us along.

Kate said...

Allie, this quilt is beautiful. You've done a wonderful job capturing the traditional style crazy quilt. And all that beading, just amazing.

atet said...

I feel like I'm at a fireworks show. With every reveal I just want to say "oooh" how pretty and gasp my breath!

Susan said...

I can't believe you came to a stopping point! It's absolutely wonderful, and Harold would be so proud to have this memorial.

Charlene said...

An arduous task with admirable results! Beautiful...

verobirdie said...

So interesting to see how you process, and to see that you enjoy it so much along the way.
The result is gorgeous!

Rian said...

Wow! What an achievement! Colossal! Allie, you need to write a book. Seriously.

I can see why you didn't like the crooked beads. That would bother me, too. What if you strung the beads and then glued them on? Or would that not be kosher?

Debra Spincic said...

Just beautiful!

sandra wyman said...

This is beautiful - what a wonderful way to memorialise someone. Thanks for sharing your work processes especially the trapunto

JoWynn Johns said...

The trapunto elements just pop right out. It's amazing! What a marvelous emphasis they give. Perfect!

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Kay said...

I like the trapunto idea, and the fans definitely do stand out.

corina said...

I did not know what is going to be when you started with the "H", but now I am impressed!