A class challenge: we chose partners, and we each picked a personal colour scheme; we made two postcard sized quilts (4 x 6 inches), one in our own colour scheme and one in that of our trading partner; we gave our partner the postcard we made in her colour scheme, and received one in our colours in return. It was a fun exercise in working in colours we might not normally choose, and in working on a small scale.
My colour scheme was greens and browns (nature colours). My partner’s colours were drawn from a piece of fabric she gave me to use. It was a lovely fabric that had graduated colours along its width, from yellow to a lovely blue. It was kind of cruel of her to leave it to me to cut into this pretty fabric – I swear I was practically hyperventilating for the first couple of cuts. You know how that is, don’t you? Fabric so lovely that it’s almost impossible to cut into. Well, perhaps the solution to that dilemma is to make your friends cut it up for you!
After pondering for a long time what to do with that lovely fabric, I decided to make an off-centred four patch with each rectangle a different shade picked from the graduated colours. Then I dug out a ball of sari silk off-cuts and found some strips that were the right colours to coordinate.
The four patch was first backed with a piece of batting. The silk strips were stitched down using a couple of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine. I love the way the silk coordinates with the colours in the fabric. The strips look a little like ribbon. It still didn’t look quite finished to me, so I added some hand stitching in a simple running stitch in embroidery cotton, and a little curve of seed beads to break up all of the straight lines. To finish off the postcard, I backed it with a piece of Vilene heavy interfacing, and stitched twice around with a satin stitch in four different coordinating thread colours. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. I like the combination of the messy silk edges with the more controlled looking design.
I’m afraid that I got a bit lazy when I made the postcard in my own colours. Rather than trying to create something artistic, I decided to use it as a way to practice some thin strip and curved piecing. I used a method that I learned from an episode of The Quilt Show (episode 711) from guest quilter Rosalie Dace.
Once the top was pieced, I backed it with some batting and backing fabric, and quilted it using various programmed stitches from my sewing machine, playing around a little bit with the stitch settings just for fun.
Here is the postcard that my trading partner made for me in my colours. She was much more artistic in her work than I was, and I just love it. The tree trunk and grass are thread-painted, and the fabric leaves are embellished with stitching as well. It has a very three-dimensional look to it that isn’t really captured by the photo.
In my next post I’ll show you how I made a page for my art quilt book to hold the postcards.