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Thread: I NEED HELP From the wonderful ladies on the Forum

  1. #1
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    I NEED HELP From the wonderful ladies on the Forum

    About three years ago I made a "watercolor" wall hanging of the crosses on Mount Calvary. It was my first and it was sure not very good.

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    Then I thought I would try to make one for my church.

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    This is how it turned out.

    Here is the problem. One of the couples in our church lost their sister about a year ago. She came to me and asked if I could do a wall hanging out of her sisters clothes that she could give to another sister as a gift. I had thought about doing one with a garden and a fence with a gate. Then put her sisters picture in the sky. When I received the material scraps of clothing, they were nightgowns out of stretchie knit material, silky materials that frey terribly when they are cut. I had told them that I used cotton material to make my squares. It took them about 8 months to give me the clothes scraps (they were pieces cut very uneven and included the buttons and necklines plus pillow cases). They were brought just before Halloween. I work full time and told them I had a lot of gifts to make for CHRISTmas and they said they were not in a hurry.

    Now for the real problem. The materials are very plain (bland) in color, some are stripes, some are polka dots, some are cartoon characters and some are just solid bland colors. I am just having a terrible time finding what I can create with these. HELP!!!

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    They want it to be about 30 x 30 and they want to frame it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    Okay, you know it is going to be a wall hanging, that helps because you know that there won't be a lot of hugging, pulling, washing, etc. I would put a stabilizer on the stretchy stuff and go for it. You might also check your stash and add just a bit of fabric that would help in organizing the the picture a tad better. And you can tell them that you added some fabric to highlight the family's contribution fabrics plus letting them know that you added just a few fabrics to put your signature quilting fabrics. Just a thought. Lay it out and move it about and go for it. It is actually the fabric of the loved one that they want to pass through the family and that is the important thing. Go for it, Twinkie!!! And please share it with us when you are finished.
    Busy in Ohio

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    First off, use a lightweight fusible stabilizer on the back of the stretchy, slippery, light weight fabrics. That will keep them (stable), keep them from fraying and stretching as you work with them. Then ( throw out your preconceived vision and look at the fabrics with ( new eyes) they are lovely and can be used for any number of lovely wall hanging type quilt blocks. With ( fresh eyes visit google images, flickr, pinterest and look at * memory quilts* and quilted wall hangings. You will find new inspiration and possibly the perfect idea for your quilt. I think your biggest problem is you had a preconceived notion of what you were going to do then when the fabrics arrived they were not what you envisioned- so, you need to just table the first plan & move on. Even check the pictures category here on the board- search memory quilts. There are many to help inspire you
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
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    Just a thought to add to the other suggestions, maybe a scanned photo of the deceased on fabric as the center of the wall hanging, then somehow working the fabrics in around it. Maybe nine patches resembling crosses? In any case, wishing you good luck with it. By the way, I like the first one of the three crosses on Calvary just as much as the one for the Church. I would love it on my wall.

  5. #5
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    Thank you ladies so much. I guess I just don't have enough confidence in my ability. I will do some searching on the net to find if I see any layouts that catch my eye. I like the idea of the stabilizer also. Thanks again.

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    I saw within the last few months a quilt made out of someone's clothes. I believe one patch was of gathered fabric, one of lace over fabric, one made with tucks, one with gathers and sewed like a child's fine dress (I can't remember the method, brain freeze). I would consider the cross or perhaps her initial. You could always embroider her name and dates. Hope this helps.

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    See if you can find a relatively large "Eeyore" square/fabric and frame it with the scraps. If you want, add a thin black stripe between the "Eeyore" and the scraps and between each row of scraps that frame it. If you have enough scraps, then sew them together and use them for finding.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  8. #8
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    I would never do a quilt for someone who chose their own fabric! It's a recipe for disaster in my opinion.

  9. #9
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    I did several of these about 5 years ago for a friend. They wanted several small quilts and also had specific pockets, etc. that they wanted incorporated. I used light fusible on a lot of the material, (even some of the cottons) as they were thin. I did not have a specific pattern that they wanted, so I used a 9 patch and it worked really well. I probably would not take on such a project again, but they were pleased with the results.

  10. #10
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    Betty Boop, thanks for your comment. Did they give you a free run with the project? My friends want a "scenery" layout.
    Last edited by twinkie; 12-29-2014 at 05:39 AM.

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    There was a beautiful Apple Core quilt on this board recently. That's the first that comes to mind. Or the traditional ones -log cabin, etc. Have to say, I'm with you with those fabrics being ugly. You will probably need to look at these from a distance. They say no fabric is ugly if cut small enough (LOL) I really think you may have to use a constant fabric of you own to give it some 'pop'. Good luck, and sorry to say, I'm glad it's not me.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Kath12's Avatar
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    Looking at the fabrics and keeping in mind what your friends want for the design, perhaps you could piece together the fabric and use it as a background and then applique your scene on top of the pieced background. The fabric seems to be very soft in contrast and may work out well for a background. I also have seen rolling hills made out of various pieces of fabric. Check out McKenna Ryan patterns and maybe get some inspiration there. Good luck and I hope this idea helps.
    Kathy Stewart from IA
    http://community.webshots.com/user/kath_stirut

  13. #13
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I noticed you had a variety of greens (and weren't there some pale blues as well?) that would work nicely for an outdoor scene.

    Look up watercolor quilts. Your fabrics might work nicely in that genre.

  14. #14
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    I have nothing more to add but please when you're finished a photo of your creative artwork!

  15. #15
    Super Member judykay's Avatar
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    Try Bonnie Hunter's website, she has many free patterns at the top of her page. She says if it the fabric is ugly it is not cut small enough. She is a very down to earth quilter and teacher with many ideas. I receive her emails daily and enjoy following her, one of my favorite.

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    Happy Quilting
    Judy in Lower Michigan

  16. #16
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    You are an extremely kind person to even consider taking this on. There are difficult fabrics that don't do much for each other, with a landscape design that usually depends on fabric selection for success. (Personally, I find the overall concept somewhat bizarre, too.)

    Could you get them to settle on something else, like several square, decorative pillows? That way, you could group the fabrics in the best way, the design possibilities would be way easier than making a picture, there'd be more than one of them to be shared, and they could also be displayed instead of used.

    hugs, Charlotte

  17. #17
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    A friend did a memorial quilt for her Mom--used non-cotton fabrics and then on the top she put lace, buttons and even some costume jewelry of her Mom's --all with a picture of her Mom printed on cotton as the center.

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    I'd like to help, but I'm a man.

  19. #19
    Super Member Wonnie's Avatar
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    If you use soft interfacing to stabilize the pieces, what about a crazy quilt...you could incorporate color by using decorative stitches by machine to connect the pieces...or...could you use the blue, for instances a stream and some of the other fabrics as flowers enhanced with outlining by machine?...just a thought...

  20. #20
    Super Member Wonnie's Avatar
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    Another thought albeit a bit different.....could the pieces somehow be used as clothing hanging on a clothesline suspended between two trees or sheets or pillow cases and that would explain the different Fabrics...again, just what popped into my head.....

  21. #21
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    I would consider going back to the Lady and saying, these are not suitable for what she wanted and try for something different, like the nine patch. As you said yourself, you are not confident in your abilities, it is also possible to say no when people request things. Or the opposite side of the coin, you can say "Oh I would love to but I'll have to put you on my list of things to do".
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  22. #22
    Senior Member huskyquilter's Avatar
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    How about something like this?

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    Or you could do some pine trees (with that green) and a little church in the woods.

    Something angel related would be very nice too. A little house with an angel over it, as if she's watching over everyone would be nice.
    Jenny B

  23. #23
    Senior Member huskyquilter's Avatar
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    Also, I think your first one is very nice, I like the tree idea, there are a lot of variations you can find. Have you looked on pinterest? There are tons of great quilting ideas on there!
    Jenny B

  24. #24
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    That tree is perfect, Jenny! (Love the colors).

    hugs,
    Charlotte

  25. #25
    Senior Member Judylee2's Avatar
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    As Bonnie Hunter says," If it is still ugly you didn't cut it small enough!" I like all the ideas shared by the ladies here. You might also consider thread painting or color pencils to add color to existing fabrics.
    Good luck and Happy New Year!

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