It’s been an interesting week. I took a great class from Cristina Arcenegui Bono from Spain – online of course. Gotta admit, I am getting tired of zoom, but sometimes it is so worth it to take teachers you would never be able to take otherwise. And it was worth it to take Cristina’s Pictorial Quilts class last Friday. If her name is not familiar to you, please click on her site and see the quilts she has made. Her pictorial quilts have ribboned at Houston and are just spectacular. I wanted to know how to do that!
Okay, now here’s the hard part – showing my work. It’s pretty bad. As a teacher myself, I know you can’t help it when a student doesn’t listen to what you said and has disastrous results. Hat in hand, head held down in shame – I am that student, sigh. I used water soluble products on a quilt that I was going to use water on…duh. So here we go:
The project she chose for us was adorable and fun. Now, let’s get a close-up of epicenter of the ugly I made:
I know, it kinda looks like the poor girl on the left soiled her dress and the middle girl on the right looks like she’s shedding dirt in her hair.
But I learned so much! For example, markers:
The fuzzy black marks on the left are Tombow’s and the ones on the right are Pigma Microns. I am not a hard-core surface designer and I don’t know my products well yet. This was a lesson learned – I much prefer the Microns. Cristina had recommendations on what markers to use and I forgot to use the ones she recommended.
Cristina also walked us through images – how to obtain them, choose them, resize them and alter them. It was great information and now I am confident I can find copyright-free images that I love and alter them to my liking.
And I love the look I got from going over the line three times as Cristina suggested – a big, fat, beefy line:
I used King Tut color 979, a brown/gray/black combo that I think gives a hand-drawn look.
Also, she had us trapunto the large girl. I love trapunto and I’m working on a new trapunto class, so it was fun to play with it on this piece:
Look at that lovely dimension! If you look at Cristina’s quilts, she uses trapunto to great effect. One thing that helps trapunto is quilting the dickens out of whatever space surrounds the trapunto:
I micro-stippled all around the girl to emphasize the trapunto. Cristina also had recommendations on batting choices and how to best achieve the trapunto.
Cristina had us color the figures and talked about the different kinds of pencils and markers and the different effects each had. I opted for a pastel look. That worked well as long as I didn’t spray the area to remove my blue wash out marker, a really dumb thing to do.
I’m on the fence as to whether that background quilting is a bit too much. I suspect that if I had the same piece with a little more subtle quilting, I would like it better.
I am amused in class when my students remark that my work seems to be perfect. Hah! When I take a class, I am frequently the comic relief student, the one who makes the fatal error, the one who forgot something major for the class, the one who spills something on her quilt or…..the one who sprays water on water soluble color.
I am fine with my rickety sample. Look how much I learned! I’m quite happy with the class. Cristina took us through all we needed to know about images, products, trapunto, coloring our piece and how to quilt it. She was generous with her knowledge and gave us many tips to make the process more successful.
On another front, I’ve been making prototypes of a thread catcher for my students in up-coming seminars. It’s been a journey, another case of not batting a thousand:
I know, I’m just flooding you with ugly! This is my beginning prototype, where I’m working out thread, motif and ways to handle the edge. I tried wool thread, nah; I tried a decorative stitch edge, too time consuming; I tried various motifs, still working on that one.
I made my own iron-on labels using my laser printer and a freezer paper stabilizer, printing directly upon fabric.
They stuck well to the back of the thread catcher.
Thread catcher in action. This idea came to me from Kay, a friend from American Sewing Guild. I thought it was a good idea. She says she got hers in a class 3 years ago and uses it all the time. The flannel really does do a good job of grabbing and keeping those threads. This one is 5″ square when folded.
I tried using grosgrain ribbon as binding but that too was very time consuming and fiddly.
This is my best start yet. I think I will run a triple stitch around the edge, run my wavy edge cutting blade around the perimeter to “pink” the edges, iron on a label, add a bit of velcro to keep it together and see what I think. They take longer than I thought they did, but I like the project and its usefulness. I’ve got more goodies for my goodie bag, keeping it secret for now. I am upping my game!
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