Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Whole Cloth Odyssey, Part 1

Quilting offers so much artistic expression... and an infinite numbers of ways to go about expressing your ideas. I've willingly chosen hand-applique, hand embroidery and hand-quilting for 16 years and I love it.

Six months ago, I bought a new Bernina and it has changed my perspective in ways I never thought possible... especially after several classes and a few hundred (yes, hundred!) hours of practice. Now that I actually know how to operate such a powerful machine, I'm having so much fun sewing on it, quilting on it and exploring all its many wonders.

But even with all this technology, for me, some quilts still require that 'old school' touch, and the one I'm working on now is a case in point.

I'm calling this one a whole cloth odyssey because I found this amazing fabric and I've decided to keep it whole. I've had the fabric for a couple years, and I've drug it out from time to time and considered cutting it up, but each time I realized that the parts were not as strong as the whole.

It is also an odyssey for me because I'm stretching my hand-work in new ways by bringing as much depth as possible to my embroidery, plus the final outcome is unknown. I expect it'll be a hand/machine mash up.

Pictured below is the cast-on stitch I just learned. (Thanks to Mary Corbert and her Needle 'N Thread blog for the countless free how-to videos and excellent eBook!)  I also plan to incorporate the fabulous Amy Butler ribbon in the picture below --- using a lot of ribbon will be a first for me.

These 3 photos are part one. Check back again next week and I'll post more pics as I go - until eventually - the whole cloth will be revealed.

This flower bed is only half done. The orange stitches are made with a single strand of DMC floss - yes, just one strand at a time.  Keeping it light and it looks like a painter just brushed on a touch of color.


The Freshly Pieced blog has a Wednesday WIP link up, and well this one is certainly a work in progress.  So I plan to share the odyssey as it evolves each Wednesday. Stay tuned.  I'm guessing four to six weeks? (might be a bit optimistic...)

Thanks Lee for the link-up!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced