Remember I mentioned I had 2 pieces at a gallery and one of them sold. This is a piece along the same lines. Same animal, same fabric, same techniques. The one that sold was a small crow with 3 feathers.
The new one is a larger crow with a tree.
I took this photo before I framed it. After framing there will be a glare on the glass.
I think I am done with the embellishing. When Judith was here Saturday she was telling her friend Kathy who met us here that a piece of art should be attractive three ways. First from a distance. It should stand out from across a room and draw you in for a closer examination. Moonlight has wonderful colors that would attract me. It should be attractive from mid-range. I can see the texture of the stitching in the rolling lines of color. And it should draw you in very close to see small details. Moonlight has tiny beads and small hand stitches and the "stars" are crystal clear delicata beads - very subtle.
I love these improvisational quilts but all that heavy quilting needs to be handled in a certain way.
It is paramount that your batting/wadding be 3-5 inches bigger than the finished front. I use white synthetic felt instead of batting because it stretches less and it gives me a firmer substrate without cotton tufts popping out the stitches. Sorry, can't remember the name for this.
I spend a good bit of time ironing as flat as possible. Sewing all curves is a challenge so keep your seams small - scant 1/4". Then I lay the top , face up, on the felt and smooth, smooth, smooth. All the smoothing pays off.
START IN THE CENTER always. In this photo, I started with the periwinkle center and stitched each section starting in the center, then moving up one section to the top then starting back in the center stitching each section to the bottom.
I will quilt/stitch one row and smooth. Then I stitch the next row and smooth. There is a LOT of shrinking that occurs when a piece is quilted this densely. It may not look like it but each row is a challenge to keep the fabric flat and not get a pucker. This one finished without one pucker. I have always had at least one pucker in previous pieces. I credit smoothing, speed when sewing and attention to detail.
Also if unsure, I pause, wait a day (if you knew me you'd know what a struggle pausing is) then proceed. This is what happened when it came to the top most deep purple section.
The fabric was so perfect, I was afraid quilting would detract from the piece.
Hanging flat is another problem with improvisational quilting. What I did with this piece was use Pellon fairly heavy weight iron on interfacing on the BACKING fabric. Here we go in layers"
Quilt face up
Backing fabric face down - cut to match quilt size
Heavy weight (NOT Peltex just regular interfacing) iron on interfacing glue side down cut 1" smaller than the backing fabric
WonderUnder paper side up.
Everything is pinned
I iron on top of the paper. The WonderUnder definitely is stuck to the non-fusible side of the interfacing.
I try to get as much of the Pellon interfacing to "stick" as possible especially around the edges.
I remove the paper from the WonderUnder.
I stitch around all four sides of the quilt sandwich with a 1/4" seam making sure after finishing that I have caught all the the quilt front in the seam.
I CAREFULLY pinch up the backing making sure I haven't caught the quilt in the pinch and cut a small hole.
Being very careful, I cut an opening through and across the backing fabric.
I use this opening to carefully turn the quilt right side out starting in each corner.
I rolled the edges of the quilt so that NO BACKING FABRIC shows from the front as I iron the backing fabric JUST AT THE EDGE of the backing.
Once the edges are rolled, steam ironed sharp, I carefully and slowly iron from each edge in a few inches all around the back until I worked my way to the center. The slash will seal shut. Minor wrinkles and the over lap of the slash openings are OK with me.
Not great pictures but the main idea is to see the rolled edge of the quilt and how flat it is.
You can see minor puckers and the slash is overlapped about 1/16". From the back you can also see the interfacing did not extend to the edge (I didn't want any more bulk than I had to have) but you can't sense the missing interfacing from the front. Now I have rigidity and flatness.