Friday, July 10, 2015

A Small Fantasy Art Quilt

Fantaisie 1
I had a couple of days off and was actually getting ready to do homework when we had a power outage. After a while, I turned off the electric things around the house and wondered what to do - I couldn't even use my sewing machine!!!

Since I don't really have any hand sewing to do, I started a mini quilt. It was supposed to be a quilted postcard in the style of Positively Postcards, but I couldn't fit it onto 4" by 6", so it's turned out to be a small wall hanging (7½" by  9").

All of the fabric comes from my scrap stash. The project ended up taking most of the two days to do (with a lot of chilling time with Chevy since I was on vacation!)

Flower garden fairy
Flower garden fairy
The first fabric I picked out was the garden fairy. I found other plants that looked like they came from the same garden. After that, it was mostly about choosing what else to add. I tend to want to add tons of things, so I had to work hard at keeping it fairly simple. I added the frog, insects and scrolled leaves for a feeling of light-hearted fantasy to the piece.

I placed the fabrics onto a Pellon interfacing that I bought years ago and never used. I really liked the feel of the thread sketching on it. I also used a glue stick for the first time to hold fabric pieces in place. That worked really well except for when I changed my mind and moved or removed pieces. Glue remained, but it washed off easily (more about that later).

Thread sketching details
Thread sketching details

I had a great time thread sketching the flowers and plants. I love the fact that if you don't really like what you just did, you can usually cover it up with another thread! It's very forgiving that way. It's great to try different threads (weights, colours and fibre) and see how they work out. I had bought a couple of spools of silk thread from Superior Thread. What an amazing sewing experience. It's the peach thread that I used on the fairy and her flowers. I'm going to have to very slowly invest in more of that!

The only un-sewing came when I was trying to figure out how to quilt the solid background. I started with a purplish thread around the butterfly. It was just too blue and too obvious. Since I really didn't have any matching thread for the background, I used a very thin Superior Bottom Thread. It didn't blend in as much as I would have liked, but was a huge improvement over the first one.

I think that the quilted feathers give the piece some movement and takes the eye on a discovery tour around the piece. I also like the look of quilts that go over the borders. I'll have to keep working on that.

What I learned:

  • I found it really difficult to decide if I should FMQ the negative space (the purple background). I wish I had taken a picture before I quilted it so see if I made the right decision.
  • Thread sketching is a lot of fun and very forgiving. I like the fact that I can sketch what I want, and when I've had enough, I can stop. Not everything needs to be covered in thread!
  • As I mentioned, I very gently hand-washed the piece before binding it. I found that after washing it, the borders weren't as stiff and they puckered a little. I was able to work them out when I added the binding, but it might have been better to wash the piece after binding it. 
Thanks for stopping by.

This post was linked to Free Motion MavericksMOP Monday, Quilt Story: Fabric Tuesday and Oh Scraps! Check out everyone's work!


  1. Very cute and whimsical! I really like the way you describe the process and the lessons you learned: it's useful and inspiring! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Hi Alida. Thank you. I really hope to make a few more. It was so much fun!

  2. Hello Andree,

    What a sweet little wall hanging, all the more so because you made it quickly and almost on a whim. You made exactly the right decision to quilt the background. The purple area would have looked empty and probably a bit rumply if you had left it empty, and the FMQ feathers have worked really well.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv

  3. A very sweet little quilt! Thanks for sharing it with Oh Scrap!


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