Saturday, March 4, 2017

Dapper and Cool

 I spent a long time deciding what fabric would work best for the background. (see previous post for the process up to this point) Since the Applique is all in batiks, I kept trying to find a batik that worked ... none worked from my stash, so off I went to the LQS. I tried many batiks and they all were just not right for the look I was going for.

batik was too ... 60s

So, we pulled some other fabrics and came across this one that looks like a menswear jacket. 

So, to the cutting mat I went. I wanted to add some borders and chose this batik (that had been in the running for a background). I decided to break the frame with my first border and build from there. 
 sewing borders
 breaking the frame (border) adds depth

Once I got the borders sewn on, it was time to find a backing fabric.I had a remnant that was perfect :) I pressed the fabric with starch alternative. When using my domestic machine, I like a starched back as it glides over the machine bed much easier.
iron the backing

Then it is time to mark the quilt for quilting. I chose to do diamonds in the outer border and the very inside background. They remind me of argyle, a traditional print (we have a lot of jokes in my family about argyle socks being "old man socks").
 marking the quilt

The first step in the quilting process was stitching in the ditch. I am LOVING my walking foot with the stitch in the ditch plate! Then I could move on to the quilting of the background and borders.
stitch in the ditch to stabilize

I chose to fill the center border with a coffee bean free style quilting motif. This is a quilt inspired by my husband, after all, and he is a coffee drinker.
coffee bean filler
All of the applique pieces have a straight stitch all around. Nothing exciting.

I faced the quilt to finish it quickly for the challenge
 completed quilt

Dapper and Cool
in Michigan

For more entries in the challenge check out Persimon Dreams: Project Quilting Well-Dressed Man Challenge
EDIT to add - I won the Project Quilting Well-Dressed Man Challenge! Thanks for voting for my quilt :)

Now to a true confession. I basted the facing so that I can take it apart as I have more I want to do with this quilt. I want to quilt it a bit heavier in places ... and give it a dynamic binding treatment. I'm hoping to enter this one in shows ...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Well-Dressed Man Challenge - Project Quilting 8.5

 This week is mid-winter break at college, so I am able to give more time to a challenge and this one needed it! Project Quilting's fifth challenge this season is Well-Dressed Man

I thought of all kinds of things, but had to go with The Army Guy ... now that he is retired, he has grown an "epic mustache" (according to our daughter's co-worker) and he likes to wear bow ties. How dapper!
 the Army Guy and his "epic mustache"

After taking his picture, I manipulated it in Photoshop and printed it off, using a tiled printing mode so I could get an image bigger than my paper. Of course, I could have taken it to an office place for them to print it on larger paper, but who wants to run out to the store in the throes of creating?
tiled print ready to assemble

So, I taped the image together and traced all those little bits onto paper-backed fusible web. Yes, I remembered to reverse them - what I should have done was to reverse the print, but instead I just put it face side down on my light table for tracing.

Then came the fun ... what colors to use? Do I go natural? or not? I decided to make this a value study and not worry about natural colors at all. I chose blue for the skin, making him cool ;) 

now he is dapper and cool!

Lots of ironing shapes onto fabrics and cutting shapes from fabrics, before I could place them all together. I laid down some parchment paper (from the grocery store) over the large print and started putting the pieces where they belonged. More pressing to keep them from shifting away.
iron pieces to the parchment paper and each other

I wanted the focus to be on his hair, his glasses, his mustache and his bow tie, so I chose to use some purples, keeping it mostly analogous,  but working with warmer purples to contrast nicely. I moved the other way for this shirt and vest, going green, again a color analogous to the blue, a very nice combo on the color wheel. And, bonus! the warm purple against the cool green is almost a complementary color, making the purple bow tie stand out even more.
first day's applique work

After the first day, it was looking pretty good, but my brain and eyes were getting tired, so it was time to put it aside before I made any major mistakes (which happens with tired brain!).

 Today I tweaked the appliques a bit more. Some were in the wrong places, I needed to define some other areas, all subtle differences, but I find it much more pleasing after the second day of manipulating the applique pieces.
 day two of working on the applique

I have chosen background fabric and have a plan for tomorrow's foray into the Sewing Dungeon ... I'm excited to see what happens next!