Tag Archives | wall art

Winterling, The Vase

 TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

The Zwiebelmuster chinaware design is full of flowers, leaves, stems, and curlicues. All of that can be crocheted, appliqued, beaded, and embroidered. So that’s what I did, and it took some time.

You know from reading the earlier post about the Winterling wall hanging, that I photographed a coffeepot as a model for the vase. I enlarged the photo to the size of the wall hanging and printed it. The coffeepot/vase became my pattern, which I consulted for size and shape as well as light, shadow, and the actual blue design.

 TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

For a project like this, I will cut out the paper shape and use it for a template. The photo above shows the paper template next to the fabric vase, which I’ve already pieced from knitted fabrics. The fabric vase is a little bigger than the paper, to give me room to fold under the raw edges.

 TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

Various shades of blue knitting created some highlight and shadow. But tulle or netting is the best for making shadows. More layers of tulle mean darker shadows, as you can see in the photo at right.

 TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

Here are the first few crocheted leaves and flowers, made with No. 10 crochet cotton. I crochet without instructions, measuring my foundation chain against the printed template. Sometimes I have to unravel and recrochet a piece several times, but eventually it turns out alright.

I try to get most of the pieces crocheted before sewing them in place. That’s because I have to pin, unpin, rearrange, and repin many times to get the flowers and leaves to look right.

 TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

Then it’s time to sew. And sew. And sew some more. One day in the middle of February, the weather was so nice and warm, I was able to sit outside with my coffee to do some sewing.

 TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

It’s just about finished here. Yay! After this, I folded under the raw edges and whip stitched them down before handsewing the vase to the wall hanging.

 TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

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Threads of Texas Quilt Show 2016

Threads of Texas Quilt Show 2016

The Town ‘n Country Quilt Guild’s biennial quilt show, Threads of Texas, is over for 2016. I imagine there are some members still recovering from organizing and staffing this wonderful exhibit.

My friend Peggy and I sold tickets for four hours. We met lots of people eager to see the quilts, shop for supplies and gifts, and have a little lunch.

Along with our friends Hazel and Donna from the weekly Dublin Rippers bee, we entered several quilts in the show. We laughingly considered changing our name temporarily to “The Ribbon Ladies,” because between us, we won a total of ten or eleven ribbons!

Afternoon won a blue ribbon (first place) in the category “Other Techniques—Small.” I posted in-progress photos of Afternoon earlier in this blog.

Threads of Texas Quilt Show 2016

You’ll also find some blog posts about Red Vases, which won second place in the same category. Same for Antelope Horns, coming in at third place.

I haven’t written about Crochet Comets yet (but I will!). It is my first quilt made from quilting fabric, and it’s embellished with doilies. Crochet Comets and Red Vases won merit ribbons for embellishment.

Threads of Texas Quilt Show 2016

Peggy has already planned what she’s going to sew for Threads of Texas 2018. I’m not sure what I’m going to enter, but I am sure looking forward to it!

Threads of Texas Quilt Show 2016

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Another Wall Hanging with Crocheted Flowers

Five Point crochet flower from Crochet Bouquet

The Five Point flower from pages 85–86 of Crochet Bouquet was perfect to embellish my latest wall hanging. The Five Points in the photo are made with Aunt Lydia’s No. 10 crochet cotton. They are really small and cute.

I’m making the wall hanging to enter in a juried show with an evolution theme.

You can crochet three different sizes of flowers from the Five Point pattern, one size growing out of the previous one. To me, that is a visual way to show how something might develop over time.

The quilt design also goes from plain to fancy, another sort of visual evolution. Here’s a peek at one of the steps in this wall hanging’s evolution.

Another TextileFusion wall hanging in the works

Find step-by-step photos and hints for crocheting the Five Point flower here.

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Arranging Flowers in Red Vases

When I’m arranging embellishments for a wall hanging, I like to get other peoples’ input. It helps me see things from a different perspective.

In the past, my daughters helped me out (and here, too). In April, participants in the International Quilt Festival (Chicago) Open Studios event arranged and rearranged flowers for Red Vases. We discussed the merits of different color combinations, flower shapes, and number of flowers.

Here are a few options we came up with:

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases

Back at home, I consulted these photos while making the final arrangement for Red Vases, and this is it:

Wait! On second thought, this became the really, really final arrangement.

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases

Now to sew all those flowers in place.

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How Red Vases Began

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases

Quilters and other crafters are generous people. I picked up this long, skinny seed packet panel at a quilt guild meeting—someone was cleaning out old projects and brought it to the giveaway table. The panel was about 11 inches wide and 37.5 inches long.

It lay in my fabric stack for a few years, while I contemplated how to incorporate it into a project. Finally it challenged me to use it as the backing fabric for a long, skinny quilt.

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases

That was the beginning of Red Vases, only the vases didn’t start out red. Originally I was going to recycle a tan lace sweater. You would be able to see green stems behind the lace and it was going to be great!

Only, as you can see, it wasn’t very great. It was boring.

I dug out some red and red and white checked knitting left over from another project (scroll to the end of the post). Much better!

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases

Luckily this change of vase didn’t set me back too far, because the wall hanging had to be pieced, quilted, and bound in time for the International Quilt Festival in Chicago in April, and time was growing short.

At the Open Studios event in Chicago, various people joined me in arranging flowers on Red Vases. Our first major decision, unanimously approved, was the choice of Edelweiss over Van Wyk Roses in the little vase.

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases--Edelweiss

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases—Van Wyk Roses

Patterns for the crocheted “Edelweiss” and “Van Wyk Roses” are from Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights. See sidebar for a link to the Crochet Garden page at Amazon.com.

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A Quilting Ladies’ Valentine Project

This year, Valentine’s Day fell on Tuesday, which is the day our weekly quilting/crafting group meets. To celebrate, we were all to make a small quilt, using embellishments or other supplies from every one in the group.

knitting for my Valentine’s Day quilt

One member made fabric flowers for everyone. Others shared crafty charms and Valentine buttons. Two ladies gave us all little quilted hearts. My contribution was a collection of beads, buttons, and a bit of ribbon for each person.

I decided to make my usual TextileFusion-style quilt, so the first step was to knit some fabric for the quilt top. A few hours at my trusty Ultimate Sweater Machine resulted in this length of knitted fabric in pinks, creams, and reds. All the yarn is from stash—gotta love that!!

The first photo shows the fabric already stabilized with fusible interfacing. Then I cut it up and pinned the pieces on to a fabric foundation. Since the foundation fabric doesn’t show in the finished piece, I used some leftover fabric that has been lying around for years.

cut pieces pinned to fabric foundation

Here it is, all pinned and ready to sew.

I zig-zagged between each and every cut edge, sometimes twice. The zig catches the edge of one cut piece, and the zag catches the edge of the piece next to the first cut piece. At the same time, they are both attached to the foundation fabric.

It takes a while, and it’s kind of messy because the cut knitting sheds little bits of yarn. Finally, all the pieces were attached to each other and the foundation. I added rickrack to the quilt top.

Valentine’s Day quilt top almost ready for quilting

Next time, my favorite part of the process: choosing embellishments!

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Knitted Willow Pattern Plate

Eva found this shard of willow pattern china

We went out to check on some wild pig bones, which lie in a culvert down the dirt road from our house. We hoped they were bleached and clean enough for us to take home and add to Ella’s collection.

Too bad–they still had fur and other stuff attached to them. Recent rains have partially buried the rib cage and apparently washed the skull away. They are fossils in the making.

Undaunted, Miss Ella spotted the skull of a carnivore, maybe a fox or a small dog. We picked up pieces of armadillo shell, too. Ella wants to study bones someday. Preferably dinosaur bones.

Then Eva spotted a piece of broken china along the roadside. It was a piece of a willow pattern plate, of all things!

detail of Suzann's willow pattern wall hanging

It was a little like our life in England. We were always on the lookout for broken china, especially in places that the earth was disturbed, or where old houses were torn down, or even in our own back yard, where previous owners dumped and burned household trash. We collected boxes and boxes of broken china for making mosaics.

I was so inspired by the china we found in England, that I made a wall hanging about them. In addition to actual pieces of broken china, it has a knitted and embellished willow pattern plate on it. Read more about it here

“What is the story behind these broken pieces of china?” I asked myself. It became the theme for my wall hanging. You can see that the knitted plate is “broken” (the dark blue lines). You can look behind the flaps of the plate to find the story.

And all that started with a trip to look for bones! As Eva said, “Well, it was probably bone china.”

Updated 2016 to replace an old link.

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More Heart Buttons

After reading the post before this, one of my regular readers (Hi Mom!) said, “When you put all those buttons on the background, they obliterate the patterns.” Hmmm. The patterns look pretty good. Do I really want to obliterate them? Nooooo…so it was time for another button session.

buttons sprinkled onto heart

Here’s the wall hanging with buttons randomly sprinkled over the heart. I’m fond of this look, but it really looks better in person. The flash makes it look too stark. There are already 60 or so buttons sewn around the edge. Can you see them?

My button tray is there on the right, with a washcloth to muffle the clatter of buttons. I didn’t want to wake my girls up with the noise. They would probably want to get up and play buttons, too.

...or button flowers on heart

I like this alternative, too. It’s a little rough in this picture, but how about these stylized button flowers? They probably need rearranging. This design reminds me of a bandanna. Can you see the hidden buttons in the background? You know, black on black, black and white on black and white?

Well, there’s still time to think about it. I’m sewing frosty buttons on the pleated trim around the heart, and you can hardly see them unless the light hits them. Hidden buttons, again. And I have been working out a way to hide the ends of the trim.

Comments and suggestions are welcome!

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Heart Bound and Buttoned Again

Suzann's heart wall hanging is bound

Black was my original choice for the binding around the heart quilt. I took it along with me to The Flying Needle, Stephenville’s wonderful quilt shop (on the loop, near Ace Hardware). I tried several black fabrics with small white patterns. They were…okay. Can you sense the lack of enthusiasm?

After some prowling around, I found red tulips and green leaves on a black background. Wow! When I placed the heart on that fabric, it perked right up! It’s funny how some combinations practically yell, “Me, me! Pick me!”

button possibilities for heart wall hanging

I trimmed the piece–always a nerve-wracking task for me. Once it was bound, I sewed on the red crochet trim. Unfortunately, it was too long, and I had to cut away four motifs. The beautiful mitered corners are ruined, but that’s okay. I will just sew something over them.

We held another button session. Here’s one possibility. This project may make a noticeable dent in our button collection. Yay!

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Heart Buttons and Trim

arranging buttons on the heart wall hanging

We had a button session with the heart wall hanging. My girls tested various black and white button combinations on the piece. It’s fascinating to me how buttons and beads can change the character of a design. I like to use them as part of the design, to accentuate borders or patterns.

I also like to hide buttons in patterns or against a same-color background. It gives a subtle visual interest that most people seem to like a lot. When they find a hidden button, it’s like finding a treasure.

See the crochet trim I made for a border around the outside of the quilt? It will look good, once it is sewn down. Well, the next step was to crochet red trim to go around the heart. I crocheted a short length of spiky trim so I could see how it would look. It didn’t look good. I tried a plain trim. It didn’t look good. Clearly, the plan in my head wasn’t going to work in real life.

sewing pleated trim around the heart

This sounds frustrating, but this is my favorite part of doing wall hangings. I love the challenge of blending or accentuating borders and patterns within a piece. I love to see how my mental picture compares to the real-life picture.

I spent a pleasant evening trying different trims around the heart. This pleated trim won. It softens the transition from the brilliant red to the black and white. It is sheer, so you can see the patterns behind it, which helps the transition. Now the inside of the trim was pretty stark against the red heart, so I sewed red baby rickrack on top of the edge of the pleated trim. Again, it blurs the border between the white trim and red heart.

rickrack softens transition between red and white

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