Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Second Floral Challenge Entry - Clematis

My daughter took this picture last year of the clematis in her back yard and I really liked it.  I had already done one quilt for the floral challenge that our Guild proposed but have always wanted to do something with this picture.  Well, easier said than done!!  I had one heck of a time trying to use my usual "Ruth McDowell technique" which involves breaking the picture down.  I then tried sketching but that didn't work either.  I finally decided to do raw edge applique and luckily had a bunch of fusible stashed away as well as some fabric I dyed last fall that was close in color but not quite!

My first task was to assemble a background.  I did this by just sewing random green strips of different widths together until it reached about four feet long!  It was 45 inches wide.  This was my first iteration.  I cut the piece into 7 inch wide pieces and was planning on then sewing them together.  Of course I wasn't crazy about the arrangement.

So I again cut down the strips into smaller sections, again varying the widths.  I also turned them so that the stripes were going up and down instead of sideways!
Before I started fusing the flowers on the background, I quilted the backgroud using straight up and down lines about an inch apart.  I then fused all those flowers down and tried several methods for getting the white stripes down the middle -- first Inktense pencils, then permanent white marker and finally I went to acrylic paint.  First I watered that down but as in the other cases, it just didn't lighten up the middle of the flowers at all so I had to go with fairly thick acrylic paint -- white for the lighter flowers and a mix of white a purple for the darker ones.  It is okay.  The next challenge was machine attaching all those pieces.  If I had my Bernina 170 down here, I would have used my zig zag but my Juki only does straight stitches so first I just stitched the middle of the flowers intensely with yellow thread.  Despite my best efforts, you can only see that stitching from no further than 3 or 4 feet and I did a lot of stitching.  Then I stitched around the outside of the flowers with matching thread to secure them.  I then did a second row of stitching around the outside and did stitching surrounding the white as well.  It is okay and does show up a bit giving some dimension.  

Here it is, completely finished.  You might notice that I inverted it as my last step after viewing it upside down on my bed and liking it better than the way I had originally intended!!  It measures 24 x 24 inches which was the requirement and is faced rather than using binding.

This is the other piece I did which I called Camellias.  I don't think it is quilted in this picture.