I’ve spent most of the summer working on hand quilting some queen-sized bed quilts.
In my limited remaining hours, I haven’t fiddled around with my multimedia art quilts so much.
I decided to work on a couple of Seattle Seahawks mini quilts.
This quilt is still a work in progress, but I thought I’d show you a little bit more about my process. If you’d like to know more about how to make mini quilts in this fashion, you can check out my tutorials for multimedia art quilts by clicking here.
Sometimes I draw my designs onto water-soluble film, but other times (such as this), I simply use a FriXion pen** to give myself an outline. I typically use the FriXion ball clicker style pen, and try to remember not to throw them in my purse or accidentally write a check with them.
**If you’re lucky enough to live near a Bartell Drugstore, keep an eye out for their sales on FriXion pens. If you catch a sale, I’m sure you’ll be excited to snap up as many packages as you possibly can! Between their sales on coffee, permanent markers, and FriXion pens–and probably way too many chocolate truffles, they get a decent portion of my income.
I like using either of these methods because it isn’t a perfect art. If I miss a mark, I’m not so worried. Most of the time I make sure that my rough outline is a very simple sketch.
After I’ve got my outline ready, I make a quilt sandwich with a layer of batting and a backing layer of either muslin or another piece of white cotton fabric.
I drop the feed dogs in my machine and use an open-toe foot so I can see where I’m going while I work on my thread sketch.
I shorten my stitch length and bring my bobbin thread up to the top and I’m ready to get to work. I keep my machine at a moderate pace because I’ve found that the faster I go, and the smaller spaces I’m working in, my thread likes to break because my bobbin isn’t keeping up–even with a Bobbin Genie.
After I’ve thread sketched all the lines in my quilt, I get started painting my mini quilt.
So this is an area where I probably break all the rules. When I am painting, I start lighter and build up darker, then I add in more lighter values again if I need to.
That probably sounds counter intuitive, but it’s what works for me. It gives me a chance to see what I’m working with before I commit to really dark paint.
In the image below, I’m working with Phthalocyanine Blue (Red Shade), a cool blue, with float medium added.
The Seahawks colors are college navy, action green, and wolf gray. (You can see all the team color codes by clicking here.) To make navy, I simply add black to the blue, and apply that with my float medium.
You can see that I might not fill in an area completely, or I might start layering my paints and gesso. I kind of just wing it. I’ve taken painting classes in the past and I kind of just did everything my own way back then, as well. I think any teacher that gets to know me just throws their hands up and figures it’s just best to leave me to my own devices, simply for their own sanity.
Another way I don’t follow the rules is why, when, and how I apply gesso.
I use gesso to soften the brightness of my paints. I know most people use gesso to prep canvases, but I apply some over my paints because I like the look. It often is a great help for covering up little dribbles of paint–I’m usually a bit messy.
So in this image, you can see my amazingly messy paint palette is really just a paper plate, and it is indeed very messy. I stopped while waiting for the paint to dry, and added a little more gesso that I will cover up again after I let it set up overnight.
Georgia is curious what’s going on and spent quite a while staring at this mini quilt in progress.
I think that Georgia is content with the progress so far, and since this post is already terribly long, you’ll have to stop by again to see the finished project.
Are you ready for football season???