Don’t Poke the Bear

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Yesterday, February 1st was the first Reveal date for The Endeavourers, our new art quilt group, and our theme for this quarter was ‘Nature’. My full post for the quilt I made for this challenge, including both my thoughts and the making process, can be found on The Endeavourers blog so I am just posting a summary here.

It is called ‘Don’t Poke the Bear’ and uses the bear (which I hope looks like the world) to represent  Nature and is based on the idea that if you poke a bear, or cause sufficient disturbance to the natural balance of the environment, it can be expected to roar and fight back.

IMG_2343The tear is for the suffering and loss of individuals, species and habitats that is occurring in the interim and with a special sadness for the state of the oceans, which are filling with plastics at a shocking and unsustainable rate. A particular inspiration for this aspect of my quilt was the short video below, which is the saddest I have ever seen.

http://www.chrisjordan.com/gallery/albatross-trailer/#trailer

I felt very reluctant to contribute such a sad quilt and blog post to our first art quilt reveal, which is an exciting and joyful event, but my hope is that perhaps by making this quilt and sharing the video I will add a small voice to all those who are campaigning for a dramatic reduction in the use of unnecessary, and especially disposable single use plastics.

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I hope that you will visit my fellow Endeavourers. Their response to the Nature theme has been amazing and you can find a wonderful variety of beautiful, inspiring and uplifting art quilts on our group blog.

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

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