Monday, January 20, 2020

Miss Peach

I think we had a hamster named Miss Peach once.  Anyway, it seemed a good name for the portrait I recently made on my longarm quilting machine.  Peach was not made in my normal slow way of designing.  Usually, I work on my vertical design wall and spend many days cutting, pinning, standing back to look, adjusting, studying, trimming, patching, changing my mind, and then finally, over several days, handstitching each piece onto the background, then quilting the three layers together. 
With the new method, I can bypass some of the steps, and get a quilt designed, and quilted in one day. I began with a backing fabric, batting, and part of a beautiful hand-dyed damask tablecloth - all pinned to my longarm frame.  I then chose some fabric prints that I thought 'went with' the background. 

I made an effort to limit the colors to only a few, and I included various size motifs.  I used one fabric for a contrasting background shape at the top.
I then began cutting shapes for the shoulders, neck and head, and then moved on to the features.  Instead of pinning, I just placed the shapes onto the background, and tried not to sneeze.
Here is Peach before she got hair.

With this method, I am designing horizontally, at about chest level.  This makes it impossible to stand back and squint at the composition, as I am used to doing.  To get a good look at what is happening, I have to climb up on a ladder and take a photo.
Peach looked a bit better with her hair added.

The next step is to carefully cover the entire design with tulle, and then quilt heavily over all in order to hold all the loose pieces in place.  I had a gauzy fabric from a dress, which I wanted to audition.

Nope. Too foggy!  So I went with a peach colored tulle, which is nearly transparent.  I pinned the tulle along the edges, and quilted all over.  Here she is after the quilting.

I took her off the machine, added a facing, and took a good look.  Oh, dear, she has a beard.  Normally, it wouldn't bother me to have flowers or polkadots or birds or any motif on the face, but this time, the random placement looked like either a beard or some bad scrapes on her chin.  Not despairing, I got out some paint and stamps, and set out to obscure the dark flowers. 
Here is the final version.

I may have gotten carried away with the stamping.
So, I think I will try this method again.  It is a huge timesaver.  When I do, I will take more time to study the composition before beginning the quilting. 
I'm still much more comfortable with my slow process, but sometimes, it's nice to be able to finish a project more quickly.  (And I still took the time to add a bit of hand stitching at the end!)

1 comment:

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