Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Clover at dusk art quilt

Oh look - a squirrel!  This month I worked on another squirrel project, a small art quilt this time.

Clover at dusk art quilt

Clover at dusk
A few weeks ago, as is our routine, Chevy was taking me for a walk in the early dusk. It was a lovely evening. On our way back to the house I was enchanted by a patch of clover backed by vines of dark leaves cascading from the fence and the blinking lights of a couple of fire flies. I took a few minutes to admire it and then home we went.

By the time I got home, I was thinking that I had to capture the moment in a small art quilt. I sketched a rough image and the next day went back to check out some of the details. And that's how the Clover at dusk art quilt became a squirrel (i.e. an unplanned project - Drop Everything And Make it!) to be posted in the Dreami! linking party.

After choosing two hand-dyed fabrics from my stash, I cut up some leaf fabric and glued the leaves onto the piece. After stitching them down with FMQ, I drew in the fence and FMQ it.

The beginning of Clover at dusk art quilt
The next step was the embroidery of the clover and grass. I used the lazy daisy stitch for the clover leaves. The embroidery took a couple of enjoyable evenings as I listened to audio books.

I then added the batting and FMQ around the clover and in the grass, as well as around the leaves and the outline of the fence.

I attached a backing fabric using the pillow case method, turned it over, closed the opening and wrote out the label directly on the fabric. I was admiring my work when it dawned on me that I hadn't added the clover flowers! Oops :-)
Simple label written on the back fabric
I knew that I wanted to use fuzzy wool to make the clover flowers. I played around with the wool and embroidery floss and came up with these.
Clover added to the Clover at dusk piece!
Here is a close up of the clover.
Close up of the clover flowers.
Finally came the time to add the fire flies - a couple of shimmering off-white beads did the trick.

Clover at dusk with fire-flies
What I learned
  • There were many lessons learned in this wonderful mini project. Because it was unplanned and small, it was much less intimidating than most projects - just an idea and the challenge of making it in cloth!
  • After sketching out the original idea, I'm glad that I was able to go back the next evening to check out some of the details. If I had waited longer, I would have been out of luck since the scene is no longer there  - the owner mowed his lawn :-) 
  • Behind the hand-dyed fabric, I used an interfacing that I found in my stash. I'm not sure what kind it is, but I'm going to look into it because I really like it.
  • The internet is really a great aid. I just found some generic pictures of metal fences and the clover flower to help me with the details.
  • I wanted to add a little colour to the grass and found a variegated embroidery floss with some of the greens of the grass that also a little beige and purple. It worked in really well.
  • I make it sound easy in the description of my process, but I was tired and it took me three tries to get the backing on correctly...I kept sewing the fabric right-side up! 
  • The backing has a few stitches for the clover flowers and the fire-flies. It's not a big deal, but hopefully next time I'll finish the embroidery before adding the backing 😊
Linking Parties

Project Details
Clover at dusk

Clover at dusk
7½" x 8½"
Materials: hand-dyed fabric, commercial fabric, glue stick, beads
Techniques: hand embroidery, free motion quilting, beading


  1. What a wonderful memento of the walk with Chevy! I need to do something like this with images (some in my head, some taken with my phone) on our walks. Don't you just LOVE seeing more fireflies? They are such magical little beings. I like how you made them and I love how you went back in (doh! I've had moments like those, many of them) and did the clover with wool and thread! Perfect little squirrel! :-)

    1. Thanks Sandra. I love that I'm now so much more open to seeing those little special scenes and taking photos of them. Fireflies are great but I don't see many of there here. Yes, those oops moments. Thank goodness it's usually easy to undo things in fabric and thread :-)

  2. Your quilt is beautiful. This is my first visit to your blo and the first time to learn about art quilts. Wowza! Time for me to learn more. I came by way of Wandering Camera. :-)

  3. Don't you just love those moments when something seemingly insignificant catches your eye, which in turn can be created into a beautiful piece of art?! Small projects are definitely less intimidating and I am very glad that you were able to go back the next day to see the all the details. You captured them so beautifully in your mini. It is lovely!

    Thank you so much for linking up on Wandering Camera!


  4. That is a really pretty, dreamy piece - well done!

  5. So glad you captured this moment in your art. Fireflies are one of those things I read about in all the classic children's stories when I was little, but have yet to experience. They are always portrayed as a little bit magical :)

  6. Those darn squirrels LOL It's a great mini. Thanks for linking up with Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday (TGIFF).

  7. Your art quilt is beautiful. thanks for sharing with Moving it forward.

  8. Hello Andrée,

    What a wonderful spontaneous project! Shame about the neighbour and the spontaneous lawn mowing, but you knew what you had seen and had to sew it. The fire flies made you do it!

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks.

    Love, Muv


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