With the owls, tree, and foliage complete it was time for a final look at the top. I guess those owls are going to fall off of the branches without any feet. I was kind of ready to work with something other than fabric, so off to see what I had in fabric paint. I pulled out my Lumiere paints and added the talons.
An Owl with Talons
I also thought their beaks didn’t show up in the photo very well, so I darkened them with fabric ink. It’s kind of scary taking ink and paint to an almost complete quilt top when you’re under a deadline!!
I felt like the quilt needed some kind of border, but I really wanted the piecing to continue through the border. The obvious solution was to use a sheer fabric, in this case chiffon. I went with that because it wasn’t quite as sheer as the organza. If I had to do it again, I’d use organza … I’d like it to be a little more sheer. Then I added a small inside border using a light gray print.
Completed Challenge 2 Quilt
All-in-all I’m pretty happy with the quilt and can hardly wait to have the time to quilt it! But now I’m working on the next challenge. It is a quilt with the theme “Opposites Attract”. I have a rough sketch and have started gathering fabric.
Once the background was completed, I added the owls and the trees. Then rearranged everything many times! Then I thought it needed a little foliage. I didn’t want to add much because I didn’t want to detract from the background or the owls. This is the start.
Plain Foliage – Yawn!
I little boring, I thought. So, I added angelina fibers to highlight the leaves. I pulled apart the fibers and piled them on top of the leaves. Then I added snippets of the red areas of the challenge fabric.
Angelina Piled Up
Covered it with the silicon pressing sheet and ironed it.
After that, I trimmed everything up. Angelina only adheres to itself, so I gently lifted the angelina and added little pieces of fusible web to adhere it to the fabric.
A few more details to go!
My goal was to get the owls completed before going on family vacation! With the owls completed and home from vacation, it was time to get started on the quilt top. I taped a piece of paper larger than I wanted the final top to the wall. Taped on my owl sketches, drew the lines for the changes in light, and drew the tree. Here is a picture, but I don’t know how well you can see the sketching.
Line Drawing of the Quilt
Next, I traced the large sections of the background where the light changes and cut them out. I knew would have to paper piece the background. I pulled a lot of blue to purple fabrics from my stash – many of them older than I care to admit! Divided them into two piles of light and dark. Then started randomly piecing them on the paper.
Paper Piecing the Background
Once I had all the background pieces done, I laid out the owls just to see how they looked. One thing I learned while sewing these very large, paper-backed sections together: I can sew standing up! That really made it a lot easier.
to be continued …
The design of the owls was completely dependent upon the challenge fabric. Off to the printer to copy the circles that I wanted to use onto paper. These are my original drawings for the owls.
Original Owl Designs
Although I love hand applique, there just wasn’t time for that! So, I went with my favorite fusible – Steam a Seam. After many years of reversing the design and tracing it on to the paper side of fusible, I wised up a while ago and now trace it directly to the fusible … that way I don’t have to reverse the pattern. Another bonus is that the design is on the fusible. So, once I have it ironed to the fabric I can peel off the paper and the image is left behind. No need to find the paper scissors! The only time I use the paper method is if I am using a dark fabric … then I need the paper so I can see the outline.
These owls are a little bland. So I cut out a bunch of 1/2″ circles from the challenge fabric to dress them up. I happened upon a Sizzix PaddlePunch years ago and bought it just in case I ever would need such a thing. It pretty much a handheld diecut. I position it over the circle I want to cut, take a hammer to it, and voila … a little circle. It works best if the paper is still on the fusible. I have managed to use this on three projects to date!
Sizzix Paddle Punch
Here are some of the tiny circles.
Here are the scraps!
Fabric Scraps – after using the paddle punch
And, finally, the owls all dressed up!
All Dressed Up
End the end, I thought the beaks didn’t photograph well. Since this contest is all about the photograph, I used ink to darken the beaks – but that didn’t happen until the quilt top was completed.
Coming up … designing the quilt top.
About a week or so before the voting for the first McCall’s Quilt Design Star challenge closed, I recieved a small package. In the package was a piece of fabric with a note saying it was just in case I made it to the second challenge. Obviously, the next challenge was going to be a fabric challenge.
Challenge 2 Fabric
It is a very busy fabric, but the circles are what stood out to me. I could see them being terrific owl eyes!
Once I found out that I was moving on to the second challenge, I got out my graph paper. This is my original sketch.
To be continued …..