This week I wanted to finish my Sewcial Bee Sampler in time for the end of summer, but when I sat down to do it I just wasn't feeling it. Too much structure, maybe. Instead I just wanted to play, so I made this:
This is a large pillow, about 20 inches square, that was made from a hand-dyed panel that I bought at a quilt show sometime last year. It was fun to make! The photo above is stuffed with quilt batting until I get a pillow form, so here is a flatter picture of it pinned to the design wall:
I almost like it better flat! Hmmm. . .
Since I was playing, I did try a couple of new things. When I layered the panel with batting and backing, I used two layers of batting. (Yes, it's poly. It was left over from long ago. Finally used up that last piece!) First I stitched the circle, then I folded the panel back and trimmed away the second layer:
This made the "earth" part of the panel really stand out, and I really love the effect. Sort of a super-simple trapunto without having to stuff anything or densely quilt areas. I had thought that I would just keep it unstitched, but there was too much area there for it to be unquilted. Plus, some texture really enhanced it, don't you think?
For this part, I used some green thread and just kind of followed the swirls of the marbling on the fabric. This kind of suggests the Earth, but doesn't copy the continents or anything, which I really couldn't do, after all. Plus this part was really thick and couldn't take any dense quilting. It does feel really cool, though. Lots of deep texture!
The second experiment that I tried on this piece was using two threads in the needle. I used a blue and a variegated yellow Aurifil and simply threaded both threads through the same needle:
It actually worked great. The picture is a little fuzzy, but I used the weird extra spool pin that came with the machine to hold the second spool. I was worried that the thread was too thick and would get hung up or that it would twist and break, but none of that happened. Honestly, the worst part was burying the three threads instead of two.
I used the twin threads for the "rays" that emanate from the Earth section. It's hard to see in the pictures, but sometimes the yellow is on top and sometimes the blue is more prominent. It makes for some nice variations around the piece. I spaced the rays pretty roughly, starting by stitching the corners and then just estimating the distances in between stitching lines. I think they turned out okay.
I've been calling this piece "One World," partly because it kind of reminds me of the very famous picture "Earthrise," taken by an Apollo astronaut. I did get a *tiny* bit emotional when I stopped to think about things, and not to get political at all, but we really could use some unity, couldn't we? I did have the Bob Marley song in my head the whole time, though, so that was all right.
So that was my playtime for this week! I really enjoyed this, mainly because I went into it with very few expectations and therefore very low stress. I was pretty sure from the beginning that it was going to be a pillow, so no disappointment there. Pretty sure one of my girls is going to make off with this when they come to visit next week, too.
Have a wonderful weekend, and I hope everyone makes it to school for the first day. Friends in Texas, I truly pray for your safety. Hope Harvey peters out before it gets to you.
Sharing at Finished or Not Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and crazymomquilts.