Monday, February 19, 2018

SAQA Donation Quilt: 2018

A few weeks ago I made my annual 12 x 12" quilt for the SAQA auction.  The auction is a major fundraiser for SAQA and I've participated for the past several years.  It's not until September, but our fabulous regional representatives from KS/OK/MO have organized a hanging of the 12 x 12 quilts from our region for the month of February.  If you're in or around Westwood, Kansas, you can see them in the Shirley Stiles Gallery at the city offices at 4700 Rainbow Blvd.

I really enjoyed doing the illuminated initials in this quilt, and this quilt, so thought it would be fun to do another one.  I also wanted to do another openwork piece, so it seemed like a fun time to try combining them. 

I started out with a bunch of drawing.  I knew it had to have a fabric frame because I needed a way to hang it, and then I sketched in the letter and the decorations.

When I started with the fabric, I made the top of the frame out of gold brocade, then sandwiched a layer of sitff peltex interfacing between it and a backing layer (just made out of cotton).  I satin stitched around the inside of the frame to give a nice finished edge.  Then I quilted the frame down to a piece of water soluble interfacing in a grid pattern so that the final openwork would have some structural stability.

It was fun to layer the letter and other elements on, and after I had them where I wanted them, I fused them to the water soluble interfacing.  I had to fuse a mirror image of each element to the back so that after the interfacing was removed the letter would be more than one layer thick and have a nice back.  And then I just started quilting!  For the curly-cues in the background, I tried to make sure they touched the grid as much as possible.  I've had bad experiences with openwork thread work collapsing on itself after you soak out the interfacing, so it's good to have things touching as much as possible.

And then when I soaked it, there was the most marvelous surprise!  I'd unintentionally gotten the backing fabric off from the front fabric a little, so that it looks like the letter and leaves have a really nifty turquoise shadow!  The turquoise you see is the backing fabric showing through.  I love the openwork look, it casts a lovely shadow on the wall, and I think the whole thing turned out great.  I hope it raises good money for SAQA!
A is for Art, c. Shannon Conley, 2018, 12" x 12"

And here's a quick picture of the regional showing!