Sunday, August 22, 2010

"High Summer"..Ready for Seam Embroidery

Oh, this has been fun!!!!
I finished the stitching on the central landscape image and then I got to piece and assemble the borders that go around it.
You all know how much I love crazy piecing...

Here's the work area when there was one more border strip to go.

If you could see the rest of the sewing room--and the whole house, for that matter--it looks like a bomb went off. Tomorrow I will clean it all up.
The stitched scene has been stretched and fused over Fast 2 Fuse craft batting. I've never done this before but it worked great: keeps the fabric flat, gives a nice edge, and you can still add more stitching by sewing right through it if you have to after it is mounted (which I did.)

The scene needed a few more flowers added so that it could hold its own better up against the borders.

It was great to use some thicker threads and warm colors at last.

To see how much importance the photo behind the stitching truly has, have a couple close-up looks...

It's amazing how the eye blends everything together.

It was a little tricky deciding what to stitch and what to leave as bare photo. But everything was aimed at maintaining a believable perspective of depth.

Because this central scene really needs to dominate the quilt, the borders had to be kept tightly under control. No warm colors, an all white inner border to really offset the center, and values carefully managed as well.
But I did have all the leeway in the world when it came to the weaves, textures, and fiber content in the border fabrics. This is one place crazy quilting comes into its own, I believe. Heavily quilted quilts just can't showcase this essential element of great fabric, IMHO.

Above is an example.
The borders have everything from burlap to felted wool to embroidered cotton batiste in them, as well as heavily woven silk jaquards, hand dyed cotton and silk, velvet, and even some hand crocheted lace....

It also took some extra work to make everything as square and straight as possible (my weak link)...but this isn't too bad.

Now to embroider all those seams in the borders.
My touch must be very light....again, nothing must distract from the central image. But this is a crazy quilt, after all, and those seams must be covered! I'm looking forward to it...

As a reminder, this quilt, which is 18" X 20", will be auctioned off at Quilt Festival in Houston this November. It is part of the Celebrity Mini Quilt Silent Auction with proceeds to benefit the International Quilt Association's fine work in promoting excellence and education in quilting. So if you'll be at Quilt Market or Quilt Festival, stop by and say hi to "High Summer"....and if you are so inclined, put in a bid!

19 comments :

Debra said...

Truly a wonderful piece! One of your best! I'll be looking at it in Houston!

Lisa said...

Loving this! Gorgeous piecing around the central image. Adding the extra embroidery on the central piece really brought it to life! Can't wait to see this progress!

Gerry Krueger said...

Allie I am in total awe...this piece is incredible..the borders are just the touch... I have to try this with one of my cottage photos...Oh for more hours in the day...

Gerry Krueger

Suztats said...

Oh, my! This is beautiful! I am interested in seeing how you embellish this fabric frame.

Cathy K said...

This is sooo beautiful, Allie. And I really think you must have a special talent to really know what and where to stitch on a photo to enhance certain areas and leave others alone. Blending the depth perceptions - you are a master. I betcha this is one of the top fundraisers at Houston! In the meantime, I cannot wait to see you finish it up. Hugs, Cathy

Conni said...

OH MAH! IZ JUS MAGNIFISENT! LUV TEH CONTRAST TWEEN TEH INNR AN OUTR BORDERSEZ!

Patricia said...

This piece is just amazing. The borders are perfect. I can't wait to see the seam stitching.
Pat
Patricia Rose-A Potpourri.
www.patriciarose-apotpourri.com
www.patriciarose-apotpourriof.blogspot.com

Rachel said...

I like the way the shades and tones flow around the border - well done!

Maureen said...

Oh, so pretty!! I was so hoping you'd bring it with you to CT in April.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

I wish I could be there to see it up close! This one is a beauty.

Vicki W said...

It's looking beautiful!

Balwearie said...

Very elegant -- I love the way you did the "mat".

Plays with Needles said...

Oh boy! I feel like I got to eat dessert first!

You have indeed nailed the depth of field in this landscape. And I have no doubt that if I wrapped myself in that pieced border, I would bloom from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. It's wonderfully done.

"Houston, all systems are go."

I wonder what will become of that white frame....??

Judy S. said...

Fabulous, Allie. I too would love to see it in person, so thanks for the close-up shots. It's wonderful.

Summerset said...

Just beautiful - the frame work draws the eye into the photo. The little knot work flowers are just what I thought you'd do. Excellent addition of color and texture.

Barbara C said...

I really love the double border. The white border underscores the photographic feel of the central image, and the green border reminds us it's a crazy quilt. Very nice!

black bear cabin said...

absolutely beautiful...and i love all those rich greens in the border! cant wait to see this one completed!

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Kathy said...

The stitching on the photo is just breathtaking. I am so glad you included the close up photos.