The second class that my Mom and I took during the Sisters, OR quilt week
, with our friend Nancy, was Deborah Boschert's
"Buds, Branches, Blossoms" art quilt class. I really, really wanted to take this class, so I was super disappointed when we were informed that our initial registrations weren't accepted and the class was now full. Nancy and my Mom managed to still snag spots though, but I could not get in. On our no-class-day mid-week, my Mom and I attended both of Deborah's lectures, which made me want to take her class all the more! After these talks, by a fantastic stroke of good luck, I noticed a sign on the cafeteria bulletin board that said spots had become open in her class -- and were being offered for free! So we were thrilled that we all got to take this class together, on the last day of quilt week -- and with some extra funds available for fabric shopping no less!
|Sisters, OR Quilt Week -- Cafeteria|
We had packed not one, but two suitcases of fabric from our stash. Our fabric selections included two or three choices of a "focus fabric" for an art quilt, with coordinating fabrics, in preparation for Deborah's class. But of course the "grass is always greener on the other side of the fence", and I fell in love with a fabric that Nancy had brought called "Animal Spirits"
by Sue Coccia
. So at the beginning of the class I made a quick decision to design my art quilt around a fussy-cut sting ray
from this fabric line. I still LOVE Sue Coccia's art, and have since bought a lot more fabric!
|Suitcase #1 of fabric stash, exterior.|
|Suitcase #1 of fabric stash, interior.|
|Suitcase #2 of fabric stash, interior ... because you can never have too much fabric, LOL!|
We had a blast in Deborah's class playing with fabric and designing our first art quilts. I thought it was the perfect introduction to making textile art. We even learned to make and use fabric stamps, which I had thought I would never be interested in doing. I made a custom Hawaiian maile lei
with my stamp, and incorporated it into my piece.
My goal for this piece was to capture the feeling and colors of the ocean in Hawaii, along with the graceful looping swimming motions that we'd seen mantra rays do in Hawaii. I had several ocean-y fabrics to choose from, including some from one of Marcia Derse's
fabric lines that I had bought several years ago when I happened to meet her at the Ann Arbor Art Fair
in Michigan. I found a small turtle button for an embellishment, and decided to incorporate some shimmery blue netting that I had in our embellishments stash. I decided to cut triangular shapes from matching fabrics, to echo the sting ray's shape, and quilted a looping swim path with a green variegated thread. I attempted to learn to make french knots using embroidery thread, but after spending 45 minutes trying to thread the needle, I gave up!
|Holly in Deborah Boschert's art quilt class in Sisters, OR July 2017, with art quilt in progress.|
This weekend -- a very hot and lazy Labor Day weekend in the Bay Area -- I somehow managed to muster enough energy to finally finish the piece I had started in class. Specifically, other quilting was done around most of the components using a blue variegated thread. Some rays of light through the water were quilted into the lower left corner. I decided to just fuse the sting ray. And because I wanted to leave the impression of an uninterrupted open expanse of deep water, I decided not to do any more quilting on the right side of the piece.
I also decided to try wrapping this art quilt on a pre-stretched art canvas, using a puffy batting, and stapling everything to the wood frame on the back. I really like how that technique makes it easy to hang the piece, which is 16"x20".
I like how it turned out, but I wish I had made the looping swim path stand out more. If I were to make another one, I'd try couching a yarn of some such to make that part more noticeable.
|Finished piece, "Hawaiian Blue", front, 16"x20".|
|Finished piece, back.|
|Finished piece close-up, bottom left, with sea turtle button embellishment.|
|Finished piece, close-up upper left.|
Mahalo nui loa
(thanks from the heart) to Deborah for a wonderful class (and book!) that has finally gotten me started with more abstract art quilts! I have already started another art quilt ....