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Monday, August 26, 2013

What I am up to, August 26, 2012

I generally manage two or three quilting sessions a week, rarely one a day. It isn't a lack of time. It is a lack of energy. I've been working on something to do when I don't quite have the energy to actually play on the sewing machine.

Months ago, possibly last year, I bought a Craftsy class called Thread Art. It basically was a class on how to use colored pencils in an art quilt along with free motion quilting to make pictorial quilts. I knew I didn't want to do the class project. And I didn't have the free motion quilting skills at the time to actually do the technique. These days I do.

I had bought the colored pencils back then, but just put them away. I took them out again last week and decided to try the technique out. There was also an article in the newest Quilting Arts Magazine, which was a similar, but not identical technique. I had bought the brand of pencils from the Craftsy class and the brand used in the magazine were different. Still, I decided to try both techniques.

The Craftsy class technique was to use the pencils dry on a surface where the free motion quilting had been done, and then paint on fabric medium to make the project permanent.

This photo shows my first two attempts to do that.
I used the practice piece I have for the Coins quilt I am currently quilting. This area has very light beige thread on white.

I liked the way this came out. I liked that I could blend in the colors, using the blending pencil, as much or as little as I wanted to. And that the more I colored the more intense the colors turned out to be. I used 2 or 3 shades of each color in this sample.

This second sample was different. This time I used the technique from the magazine. The fabric medium was painted on first, so I was working wet. The advantage was the almost instant intensity of the colors. The disadvantage was that blending the shades into one another wasn't as easy or as controllable. And I ended up with strokes I could see in the final product.

The final sample was in an area where I was using the darker beige thread I'm using on Coins. I went back to the Craftsy class technique, but in a larger area.

Again this is 2 or 3 pencils and several layers of pencil work, followed by the blending pencil and fabric medium. And I love how this looks.

I have an apple penciled out in a blank area of the practice piece. I'm going to quilt it and then color is. The area of the apple is a lot larger than anything I've done before. But I'll still just be practicing, although if this turns out, I might just cut it out of the practice piece and finish it so it can be hung. I've got ideas for several real projects. I'm going to work small for a bunch of reasons. I like the look of the smaller pieces and I know that having small projects means they get made and they get finished. With my current energy issues, that is important.

Meanwhile, most of the second inside strip on Coins has been quilted. Yes, there are those leaves again, without color this time.

Since coins is made from a tone on tone white, there will be no coloring going on in that quilt.I have not decided what I will do in the outer borders. The top and bottom borders are quite narrow. I think one of Leah Day's designs that I've used several times before would look good in both of them. The side borders are wider. Maybe feathers. We will see.

Take care all.


  1. looks like a new box of pencils for your first day of school and you do such nice coloring!!!

  2. I love your coloring, especially the green leaves. I sure will try it myself.
    Your coins quilt looks beautiful so far. You are sure improving your fmq-skills! Well done!

  3. Are these special pencils for drawing on cloth?