Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

Sunday, 14 August 2011

California Dreaming


I purposely waited until after the International Quilt Festival Long Beach to post a photograph of my entry for  West Coast Wonders, called California Dreaming.  The quilt features some of my favorite techniques ---- machine quilting. machine embroidery and fabric postcards.  The photographs were taken by my husband Marvin, my sister-in-law and myself.  Marv did most of the the Photoshop work after taking two classes with Kerby Smith .  It looks deceptively simple, but there were a lot of challenges along the way, and I had to back-track a number of times. The project is also my wallhanging assessment for my City and Guilds Certification.

 The project was inspired by friends who like me to send them postcards from my travels to decorate their bulletin boards.  I started off with a cork tile, which was photographed.  The image was then sent to Spoonflower for printing.  I ordered two yards to allow extra fabric for testing, errors etc.  The postcards are really postcards.  I printed the images or postcard backs onto Electric Quilt pre-treated sheets.  I was able to get two images per sheet. The images were then fused to heavyweight Fast2Fuse.  I used the heavyweight to ensure that the cards would be flat against the background.  I fused muslin to the wrong sides as viewers should not be turning them over!  The edges were satin stitched using several different heavy-weight cotton threads including Sulky Blendables 12wt and Wonderfil Spagetti and Frutti.  Once the postcards were made, I took the ones which needed stamps cancelling to the local post office.  Gino was kind enough to frank them for me!  The background was quilted with a sun and ray pattern in 40wt thread, before I attached the postcards with monofilament thread. I had learnt from previous errors that areas need to be quilted underneath before applying large "appliqu├ęs".  As I knew that the piece would have to be shipped multiple times, if it was accepted into the exhibit,  I had to determine the placement of the postcards to allow for "folding" lines.  I used a wide binding to replicate the idea of a frame.  Once everything was stitched, Marvin  helped me to put real pushpins (thumb tacks) through each card.  We then cut off the backs to ensure that other quilts would not be harmed,  and sealed the backs with silicone to make the quilt safe for travel to multiple venues.  The quilt will be shown at the International Quilt Festival Houston, and International Quilt Festival Cincinnati.