Grace and Poppy Quilt: Part 4

Well, here is where I am so far on the Grace and Poppy Quilt. I’ve got about the top two thirds pieced and the sun has been all reversed appliqued in the corner (though I am still in the process of trimming the pieces out).

GracePoppyWIP

Next I will finish up the bottom piece, in greens in browns, in the same free-flowing curvy style the top is done, and then I will reverse applique in the the actual flowers. I don’t know how I got onto this reverse-applique kick, but I’m gonna run with it for this quilt. It’s a little ’70’s, to be honest, but I’m OK with that in this setting.

After all that’s done, I’ll start piecing the back (yes, I am piecing the entire back… not entirely sure yet why, except, hey, why not?), and practice my free-motion quilting techniques (which means everyone I know is getting quilted potholders this holiday season) until I am ready to baste and quilt.

Onward and upwards!

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Inspiration: Mary Ann Tipple Textile Art

I’ve been looking around at a lot of modern quilters and textile artists lately as I’ve been working on my quilting skills in general and working on how to merge photography (specifically old family photographs, which I have boxes and boxes of) with textile art. Fusing my family history with the utilitarian collective history of both photography and craft arts is something that has always interested me and been a prevalent theme in my own art, and it’s always interesting to see what others are doing in this realm as well.

And that’s how I ended up stumbling on Mary Ann Tipple‘s work. She has been working with old family and found photos for almost a decade.

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While her intention lies more in visual art than the utilitarian aspect of quilting (she transfers he images using gel-medium transfer techniques and often adds hard embellishments on the final quilts), I love her sense of history and the questioning of place in her work. You can see more oft Mary Ann Tipples work at her website, Textile Art Tipple.

Grace and Poppy Quilt: part 3

Well, I’ve been out hunting around for fabric for the last month or so for the Grace and Poppy quilt, and am finally set.

GracePoppyFabric

Final fabric choices for quilt

That’s a lot of colours and Fabrics, more than I’ve ever worked with before in a quilt, so I’m feeling challenged and extremely excited. I also decided I would go through Spoonflower to get the main image printed onto fabric because I want the quilt to be functional as well as decorative, and I have never found a transfer paper (or alternative method) that can be done at home and withstand washing, sunlight, and general wear and tear.

While I await my custom fabric that will be used as the main focal point for the quilt, I decided to sketch out the front design:

GraceAndPoppySketch

Working sketch for quilt

I also decided, since I am going to have a LOT of fabric left from the front, that I’ll also do a full back, though it will likely just be wavy stripes of colour. The quilt itself will incorporate more techniques than I have used in a single piece before, including making my own pattern, piecing, applique (which is how I plan of putting the flowers on), and I plan on actually quilting the final piece myself using the free-motion quilting techniques I have been working on.

But the biggest challenge I am facing is myself. I tend to get all wrapped up and excited in projects and rush through them and then I’m not happy because I think they look rushed. So I am determined NOT to rush through this project, but give myself a good 6 months, and work on it slowly, while also just focusing on practice pieces.

practicing my loops and "c"s.

practicing my loops and “c”s.

Wish me luck, and I’ll post my progress as it comes together.

After all, a woman didn’t leave much behind in the world to show she’d been there. Even the children she bore and raised got their father’s name. But her quilts, now that was something she could pass on.

-Sandra Dallas

Grace and Poppy Quilt: Part 2

Now that I’ve finished the mood board for the Grace and Poppy quilt, I can move on to getting my concept tightened up and my colour palette in order. So far, I know I want the photograph to be the feature of the quilt, an iris running up the right side, and a poppy running up the left. I also want the background to be minimal in terms of design, and inspired by the colours of the wheat fields, sage brush, and various rivers and canyons that run through central and eastern Washington.

Choosing colours from the photos in my mood board, I put together the colour scheme for the flower elements and main background of the quilt.

QuiltColours

Choosing colour schemes for a quilt I am working on is very different than when I choose colours for any other medium. Whenever I work in graphic design, or even knit or pain a room, I limit my colour palette and generally stay within 3-5 colours, generally throwing in multiple variations of hues. But quilting is a whole other ball game, and the final scheme can hold up to thirty colours. I do however, try and stick to using 3-4 colour families, and ensure all colours jive with each other and just generally make sense.

Now that I hammered out the colour scheme, I can move on to gathering fabric. This process with likely take me a few good months, as I scour my stash and favorite quilt shops (on-line and in-person), looking for the perfect combination of patterns and colours. Don’t worry, I’ll share them all as soon as I’ve completed my selection.

Before I go though, As I’m always curious about others processes, if you quilt or make art or do anything crafty, how do you come up with colour palettes for your projects?

Grace and Poppy Quilt: Part 1

I’ve been getting more and more into quilting lately, and made a slew of baby quilts of the last few months for the slew of friends having babies this spring. But I’ve been getting really bored just making the same old patterns and quilting the same way over and over again.

So, being inspired by Natasha Kerr and my plethora of family photographs, I have decided to start a quilt incorporating my favorite picture of my grandmother, Grace, and her husband, Hank (also referred to a Poppy by my mom and her sister). This will probably take me about a year or so to complete, and I’ll keep the quilt on the small side.

To start things off, I’ve made a mood board.

moodboardThe photograph of my grandparents will be the the central focus in the quilt, but I also wanted to incorporate their life farming in central Washington (Poppy grew wheat and Grace ran a small iris farm). I also added some fabric swatches to the board as well. It all seems like a good place to start, and next I’ll be working on my color palette. Stay tuned!