Working on Paula's quilt: She submitted her colors, orange (bright to rust), olive, moss, lime, you could add purple, blue, turquoise, and several of her favorite past works. I suggested a few more, and while waiting for her reply, I went right ahead on my own with an idea that was burning itself into my consciousness. I figured she opened the door just wide enough for me to barge my way in.
The layout is often the first consideration. This one is in in three uneven parts. Unusual and challenging.
I wanted to do something abstract since my friend Mary and I discussed art terms the other day, and the term abstract art vs. non-representational art sent me off into a long dull lecture. Don't get me started.
Knowing the size of the finished piece is so important when drawing out the pattern. One needs to know the confines of the space in order to fit it all in right.
I use the release paper of Wonder-Under (saved from years of fusing) to draw the shapes of the ferns. I am not drawing every little frond. Heavens! I cut out the pattern piece and having found the right background and fern colored fabric, then I place the shape on the backside of the already fused fabric touching it lightly with the tip of my hot iron. This will keep the pattern piece in place as I cut around the shape. Then I remove the pattern piece and begin to cut the fronds. *Note: I work with all fused fabrics for these quilts, the only non-fused fabric is the backing fabric.*
I am very careful cutting and removing every other piece to leave the fronds looking individual. When I lay the fern on the background fabric, I position it with the remaining drawing, so it goes where it belongs. I use a tweezer to ease every frond into place. Then when it is right, I press with the hot iron, lightly down the middle in case I might need to put something under one of the edges, later in the process. When the top is completed, I will really hold down the iron for a final fuse.
The ferns are all in place and looking good, so I am ready to place the long strip and the squares. I wanted them to be all the same size with 1/4" spacing between them. I used a great Fiskars transparent ruler to arrange the spacing, and when they were just the way I wanted, I fused them down.
The work was moving along at a brisk pace and I almost kept working until I finished....but no! I must remember to pace myself. This is not a race. I am trying to keep the fun in the process and not to try and hurry it up. Coming back to it today, all fresh, with new ideas to work into it, makes a better piece and a happier quilter. Lesson learned.