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Fused quilt w/ thread painting -Silkie

Fused quilt w/ thread painting -Silkie

Old 06-19-2011, 05:24 PM
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I made this quilt ("Reflections") by fusing and thread painting.
In a nutshell, this is how I did it.
1. I took a photo and reduced it to 8 colors in Photoshop. I used this photo to help select my fabrics and my fabric shapes. I also placed and acetate (clear wrapping paper or "sheet protectors" ) and traced the forms of the various colors of the 8-color photo 8"x10".
2. I also printed the original photo (full color range) 8"x10" and used this photo for the thread painting.
3. Although I respect the LQS's, I ordered a full bolt of steam a seam lite (any type--stitch witchery, regular steam a seam, etc. would also work I believe). Having lots of the fusable there when you need it is worth it's weight in gold.
3. I had a number of fabrics that I thought i MIGHT need handy. I would review my purchases and select some fabric that I thought would work well. From that selection, I would fuse about 12" by 22" (half of a third yard). Fusing a bunch at a time makes it more efficient.

4. I taped up tissue paper (I had purchased a whole roll of that from Papermart.com ...lots of paper! )on the wall. I made a grid on the tissue paper with yellow marker to correspond to the grid made from the 8-color photo - (fr step 1). This helps me draw the image and enlarge it easier.
5. Once the image is enlarged on the wall, and the 8 colors have been rendered, I would take more tissue paper and trace with a black Sharpey one color form at a time, i.e. the black/blue form of the nose. (I would complete the cutout of the fused fabric, and pin it in place before going on to tracing the next form) This is where you need to think, "I'm not making a jig saw puzzle, because it is not likely to fit together exactly." So if the edge was going to be the finished/dominant edge, I used a solid line, but if the edge was going to be buried under a more detailed edge (lots of "squiggles") of a different fabric, then I dotted that line, and made a broad, general form there - it's going to be overlapped and get covered up anyway by a more detailed piece.
6. I would cut of the fabric from this tracing, it's stiff because it's been fused. Then I would pin it in place on the large tissue paper drawing on the wall.
7. After all the colors have been cut out, I would fuse then to muslin.
8. Generally a quilt must have three layers. My quilt was made from a)layers of fabric described above, b) a muslin as batting (plain muslin) and...well, when I started thread painting, the tension wasn't perfect and the back started looking, 'not so good.' First I started picking out the stitches, and soon realized that this action just wasn't going to work and that print fabric backing was just going to be a $10/yard extra batting. I continued the thread painting, and didn't worry about it.
9. To thread paint, I used 30 or 40 wt rayon thread, dropped the feed dogs, and primarily used a zig zag stitch. When thread painting, it is important to think like a painter, and start with the areas that are further away (if doing a landscape do the background hills, THEN the house, THEN the man. With mine, first the dog's undercoat, moving on to the hairs that fly with the wind).
10. When I was sure that the thread painting was completed I pinned new backing fabric in place. Since some areas were thick with fabric, I worried about quilting over them. So before I started, from my quilt top/actual image, I took clear acetate ( I used a roll of clear wrapping paper used for making gift baskets.) and drew where I thought the quilting should go and with a red Sharpey, I also drew the areas to avoid. I perfected this a number of times. Note: it's not tightly quilted, the top is stiff, and there isn't a lot of quilting required to keep it from shifting. It's not going anywhere. I quilted this FROM THE BACK!!! I pinned the acetate to the back, and stitched through it. There was so much thread painting that the quilting on the front is not at all noticeable. I quilted this with invisible thread.

There were times early on that it just did not look like the dog, and perseverance was required. I like the finished product, and am now working on a 66" square of my doberman. That's a big dog!!!
Give this a try!
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:29 PM
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I love your quilt. I know that it was a labor of love, something this detailed and labor-intensive always is.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:44 PM
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Wow! Amazing work, you have my respect.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Maia B
Wow! Amazing work, you have my respect.
Amen!!!
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:05 PM
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Beautiful, and your method was so very well described. Thank you for sharing your work with us.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:08 PM
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Great job
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:25 PM
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Outstanding! Inspiring!!
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:45 PM
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art true art
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:46 PM
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WOW!! Your quilt is awesome!! :D:D:D
Thank you for detailing how you made it :D
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:47 PM
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wow! absolutely beautiful.
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