Eureka! My Final Four in Art Reveal

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Today is the final Four in Art reveal and, firstly, I would like to say thank you to all the Four in Art members. Sewing along with you in these Art Quilt challenges has been an inspiration and an education and I wish you all well with your future projects :)

Our theme for this year is ‘Light’ and the sub-theme for this quarter is ‘Illumination’. Our aim, as always, is: “…to break out of the usual gridded experience and try a new concept, free of structure or preconception, moving the boundaries of our own skills forward in both concept and technique”.

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Although I chose ‘Illumination’ as the sub-theme, I had no idea what to make. I kept thinking about illuminated letters, but that didn’t seem to me to have much to do with this year’s main theme of ‘Light’.

Then I considered light bulbs and that, circuitously (no pun intended), led me to consider light bulb moments and eventually to ponder on Archimedes, who was taking a bath when he realised that a body submerged in water displaces its own volume and ‘took to the streets naked, so excited by his discovery that he had forgotten to dress, crying “Eureka!” (Greek“εὕρηκαheúrēka!”, meaning “I have found [it]!”‘ (Wikipedia). Or so the story goes.

This brought me back to the possibility of an illuminated letter – E for Eureka – illustrating a light bulb moment or a moment of illumination.

Once I had the image in my mind of an elegant golden letter with a lightbulb and a person in a bath, I came to the practical problem of how to actually sew that into a quilt. My go-to would ordinarily be appliqué but I’m not keen on raw edge appliqué and I thought if I tried to needle-turn a metallic fabric to appliqué a gilded letter with both thick and very thin strokes it would, most likely, end up a terrible mess! And then I had a small eureka moment myself when I realised I could use paint in place of tiny/awkward appliqué pieces! So I investigated fabric paints and luckily came upon Pebeo Setacolor Opaque fabric paints.

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Details of how I painted the letter can be found in my ‘Time and Tide’ post.

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I’m considering making some more of these as an occasional long-term project and, one day, turning them into an ‘Unexpected Alphabet Quilt’…

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Please visit the other members of Four in Art and see their interpretations of our Final theme.

Bette Ayers   Camilla Cathro   Catherine Chisholm

Elizabeth Eastmond   Nancy Myers   Rachel Riley   Simone Bradford

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Janine @ Rainbow Hare

Time and Tide…

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Time and tide waits for no man…

Have you tried something new this month and linked  up with Fiona at Celtic Thistle Stitches?

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I have been trying out Pebeo Setacolor Opaque fabric paints. I came upon this after googling in search of gold fabric paint for a project which must remain secret for a little while. I found the gold very easy to work with and I was delighted with the results. The line below is 1/4″ wide and I’m sure it would have have taken me much longer to applique and would have been much more cumbersome.

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In case you are tempted to try it out, here is a quick ‘how to’.

  1. Iron a piece of freezer paper onto the back of your fabric.
  2. Either paint freehand or draw an outline (I used a Frixon pen) and fill carefully with paint. You may need several layers. The gold, above, was one layer but the photo of the white, below, was also taken after one layer, which was disappointing.
  3. When the paint is dry, remove the freezer paper and iron the BACK of your fabric for 5 minutes.

5. Layer your piece with wadding and backing fabric to make a ‘quilt sandwich’.

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6. Quilt as desired, as they say! I sewed around the outline of my shapes and then quilted straight lines in the background.

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The ‘Time and Tide’ block, unfortunately, didn’t go so well as the gold and purple one. I found the colours seemed less opaque and painting over them resulted in a more textured effect than I wanted (perhaps something that a softer brush might help). Also, the presser foot kept sticking on the painted areas and I’m not sure if that was because the paint was thicker (more layers) or whether it was the fabric or thread. I wonder if a teflon foot might help as I imagine it’s quite similar to sewing vinyl, which I’ve never tried… I certainly think there are a lot of possibilities for integrating this into quilts, though, and the colours, which are water based, are mixable and can also be be mixed with a special paint to give a pearlised effect so there many exciting possibilities I have yet to attempt :)

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I am linking this post with Fiona at Celtic Thistle Stitches for New to Me in 2017

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

Stained Glass and Shadows

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Today is this year’s third Four in Art reveal. Our theme for this year is ‘Light’ and the sub-theme for this quarter is ‘Stained Glass Shadows’. Our aim, as always, is: “…to break out of the usual gridded experience and try a new concept, free of structure or preconception, moving the boundaries of our own skills forward in both concept and technique”.

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My offering for this quarter is, I’m afraid, something of a fail – hence the and in my title…

I did think this was a wonderful challenge and I had some quite elaborate plans for interpreting this theme (perhaps one day I will make that quilt!) but after a month filled with one funeral (and an extraordinary amount of related activity), much cleaning and house sorting and many guests the deadline drew nearer and nearer without a stitch being stitched. Finally, yesterday morning I found myself home alone and with the the thought that having ‘something’ to post would be better than having nothing to post, I set to making something as simple as possible as fast as possible.

Before I embarked on this, I held a piece of the shot cotton up to the window and I felt sure it cast a coloured shadow…

But when it was finished, I tried to get a stained glass shadow effect and no colour was to be seen. I tried painting the back of the ‘glass’ fabrics with mod podge but, perhaps not unpredictably, it didn’t help…

Having no time to add a quilted ‘shadow’ or try anything else, I am posting it it anyway and taking the Edison/light bulb view. I have learnt one of the many ways not to make a shadow-casting stained glass window from fabric.

Please visit the other members of Four in Art and see their interpretations of this quarter’s theme.

Bette Ayers   Camilla Cathro   Catherine Chisholm

Elizabeth Eastmond   Nancy Myers   Rachel Riley   Simone Bradford

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

I’m linking this post with Kathy’s Kwilts and More for this weeks TGIFF