Monday, March 14, 2011

Crazy Collage Experiment

I just finished a long project for my friend Tracey Brookshier, a pattern (with samples) that will be debuted at Spring Quilt Market!
The work involved sewing with strictly cottons, so when it was completed and mailed off, I wanted to play with my CQ fabrics, emphasis on the word play!!

When I was a very little girl my grandma used to set me up with all kinds of bits and interesting papers to make collages of in her playroom. I loved doing that and would get absorbed for hours. And it was that exact mindset that fueled my experiment with crazy quilt collage. Here is how it went...

The "blank page", 20" X 20".

I have this luscious floral printed pink charmeuse silk that I wanted to feature...also that rich cotton print on dark blue that Tracey had given me because she knew I loved it.

It was like fitting together a puzzle.

I pinned everything down, but left the edges raw, not turning them under.

Everything got stitched down with clear monofilament thread in a zig zag stitch.

I knew I wouldn't have time to hand embroider all those seams, plus I wanted to see how it would look with machine embroidery (one of the goals for this project being speed.)

I chose some Kreinik Soie Perlee thread (alas, now discontinued) for my machine feather stitching. It is silk and about a size #12 perle, and you can stitch with it using a size #110/18 topstitching needle. I like how it looks.
I left long enough thread tails at the beginning and ending of each seam that I could thread them into a hand sewing needle and bring them to the back of the piece, where I knotted them off. Good T.V. work in the evening.

Here is where I am now after two afternoons of work.
It's fun to take time off and just play, to see what happens.... ;-) Like these flowers finding their way around the center!

How's a girl supposed to get any work done around here?

I guess I will have to give up and give in to this today!


Pamela Kellogg said...

Allie, as always, your work is breathtaking! You know, I've thought about doing some machine stitching on my CQ's but I have to say, it's the handwork that I love so much. I enjoy the sewing machine part, but just not as much as the peaceful, "sit and stitch and be in my own little world" part.

Can't wait to see what you do next!

Sue Reno said...

You had me at the still my heart! I love those bits of vintage needlework--I think I have their twins here in my studio--but I particularly like watching them transformed in the hands of a master. Thanks for sharing the process.

Suztats said...

Beautiful, Allie! I love the laces, and the layers are all working wonderfully together.

Judy S. said...

Interesting how well the second doily fit into the first one. When you did the machine embroidery did you use a hoop or any kind of stabilizer? Looks great so far and can't wait to see what you do next. BTW, I love your book!

Rachel said...

It certainly looks very playful!

JoWynn Johns said...

What fun to watch!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing! I just love what you create!!! You make everything look so easy. Your new book is purchased and in my library waiting for me to take time to "play" and see what I can make following your instructions.

Barbara C said...

That's a really lovely way to feature a special doily. Nice work as always.

FredaB said...

You scared me for a minute. In the fourth picture you couldn't see the lace and I thought she has covered it all up.

Voila - next pic lace is back. I should have known you probably just removed it to sew. Foolish me that I would doubt you.

See you in 2 weeks - can hardly wait. This time next week I will be leaving for the airport.



FredaB said...

Pardon - this time in 2 weeks I will be lelaving for the airport. Dont' want to spend a week getting there.


Anna said...

Allie, what a charming piece! I love the color harmony that you've used. Everything you touch turns out stunning :)

NickiLee said...

Oh Allie, this is simply gorgeous! I went to a Quilt Show today and the very first vendor table I stopped at had your book. WEll... come to find out she had brought 8 to sell and it was the last one she had, So.... rather than wait for CT to buy it I HAD to have it today. OMG! Allie, it is by far one of the nicest books I own. Every page is wonderful as is every word and every stitch you shared with us. THANK YOU! Looking forward to meeting you soon.

xl pharmacy said...

I did the same experiments a few years ago without any results,..