It’s Freezing Here in the Windy City!

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Windy City #9  by Laura Wasilowski

I make a lot of quilts about houses. An architect may say I’m looking for the ideal structure. A psychiatrist may say I’m trying to return to the “womb”. I say I live near the Windy City and appreciate the shelter and warmth of a well made house when it’s freezing outside. No matter what the reason, I like making house quilts. Here’s one of the latest ones, Windy City #9. Looks warm to me.

How to Outline Sunshine

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Windy City #5 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

Outlining the shapes with hand embroidery on this little quilt added so much to the liveliness of the design. Here are a few other ways to outline the shapes in your next fused art quilt.

windycity5detaildAdd a Blanket Stitch to trim out shapes like this turquoise batik fabric above. Whip stitch another color of thread through the base of the Blanket Stitch to get a rope-like look. The Back Stitch gives a nice dashed line around shapes like the Size 8 Oranges pearl cotton thread on the green batik fabric.

windycity5detaileAnother way to neatly finish an edge like the sun in the Windy City #5 design is with the Spiky Chain Stitch. It’s sort of a combination of the Chain and Blanket Stitches. Here you see it in orange around the circle. The Fly Stitch adds sharp points to the sun and French Knots add punctuation marks to the points.

(See Windy City #5 and other small art works for sale at the Artfabrik booth #1314 at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this week.)

How to Outline an Outhouse

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Windy City #5  by Laura Wasilowski

It’s been a lot of fun adding hand embroidery to outline shapes on this little quilt, Windy City #5. You can see it in person at the Artfabrik booth #1314 at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this week. Here are few of the stitch details for those of you who can’t attend the show.

windycity5detailbThe roof of the house is outlined with two sets of Blanket Stitches, one an “innie” and one an “outie”. The blue Blanket Stitches tipped with green French Knots are made with a Size 8 Aquamarine pearl cotton thread. Along the side of the house is the trusty Blanket Stitch as well as the Back Stitch in that same Aquamarine thread.

windycity5detailcThe Chain Stitch outlines the roof of the er…um… outhouse and the tree. Adding the simple Running Stitch next to the tree shape helps repeat that same Aquamarine color used elsewhere. And the pinked fabric edge of the field is finished with the Fly Stitch. French Knots fill in the divots.

There’s more to come! I’ll share it with you soon.

Improvisation: The Only Way to Design

improv10Lucky me! I just came across this set of pre-fused fabric scraps and collages for art making. (Note to self: clear my work table more often.) Sure some of the pieces are 10 years old. But like starter dough, these scraps have great art making potential.

improv20But first, a batik background fabric is selected to provide a base for the design work. Working on a background helps you choose the colors for the elements in the design and gives you an idea of what size it will be. This set of odds and ends are pulled from the “fused for your convenience” scrap pile to kick start the design. 

improv21And here’s the design made with some of the fused fabric shapes and other shapes found in my mound of pre-fused scraps. Improvising is the only way to go! Next up? Hand embroidery, of course.

Interior Landscapes?

prettyplanetpalmtreesWe’ve reached that time in my gardening life where I shut myself up in the house. Why, you ask? Because mosquitoes roam the earth looking for blood, my blood.

prettyplanetpalmtrees1So what’s a gardener to do? Why work on a landscape indoors, of course! Here you see a quilt sample from my defunct Pretty Planets class being turned into a small piece of art. All it lacks is some machine quilting and a few tiny dots representing…. mosquitoes.