Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fabric Finding Field Trip

     Hi! I had the best day, yesterday! I never need an excuse to go fabric shopping, but I'm in the process of making up kits for applique projects. I'll be  teaching at Baltimore on the Prairie in a few weeks and at the Houston Quilt Festival in November and I wanted to match up some leaf and flower prints in specific colorways. I was also looking to match up a red fabric which I'd like to use for a vase in another project. So, I made a plan to go adventuring with Nancy Kerns (friend, fabric enthusiast and winner of the Founders Award at Houston two years ago for her amazing Mary Simon Baltimore Album Quilt). Here's her quilt. It's pretty spectacular! But a photo can never do it justice.

Living in Maryland, there are lots of choices for a day trip.
     First stop, the Jinny Beyer Studio in Great Falls, VA...  

      What a treat! I wanted to move right in! You get an instant jolt of creative juices flowing as soon as you walk in the door. Linda (teacher and knowledgeable staff member extraordinaire) was there to greet us. She's a delight...vivacious, friendly and helpful.

 I had brought along a small swatch of the vase print I was trying to match. It was a Jinny print which I knew to be extinct (Linda dated it from about 15 years ago...Lampas Rose), but then managed to help me find a perfect color and print choice for my vase. That alone made my day. Then Linda made me buy a lot of other fabric. You can see by the bolts stacking up on the table...and lots more that you can't see, behind the table.

 There's much more than fabric to browse at the Studio. Nancy hadn't been there before and enjoyed all the displays and offerings. Your eyes don't know where to go first!

     Linda suggested a tour of the rooms upstairs which are used for classrooms and more displays of Jinny's quilts. Eye-popping gorgeous! Here are a few:

This beauty is called Moon Glow...

Here's a closeup...

    Back on the main floor I spied this sweet little quilt done in wool applique. I can never resist the look and feel of textured plaids and hand dyed wool fabric .

                                  Here's a close up glimpse...

     I easily made my fabric quota and Linda gave me a Jinny green bag. I love it. Lime is the new neutral and will go with all my outfits :)

     Onward...Nancy and I drove to Purcellville, VA, enjoyed a quick lunch at Market Burger & Fries and then went to visit Web Fabrics.

     Once inside, I was in such a search frenzy I forgot entirely about taking pictures! Well, I guess that means we'll just need to make another trip back. In a nutshell: It was glorious.

Thanks for stopping by!

copyright August 15, 2012 Jeanne Sullivan 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Selecting Fabric for Flower Centers

      Selecting fabric for an applique design is one of my favorite parts of the process. I make it a point to indulge myself with a generous allocation of ''fabric playtime''. It's just so much fun trying out different fabric prints with the same design element. You just never know what you're gonna get! 
      Here, I began with a simple flower design. I knew I wanted a yellow flower so I prepared the petal appliques with a tonal yellow/orange fabric and they are ready to stitch. I placed the petals on top of the printed pattern.

     Next, I began the search for a variety of fabrics which might suggest the look of a flower center. It gave me an opportunity to come up with some creative and unexpected results. First, I pawed through my scrap bin to find possible ''centers'' from past projects and then I raided my stash looking for large florals with appealing centers. After auditioning lots of potential flower centers, I made up appliques for six of the most promising ones. I usually only cut out the fabric bits to try them out, fussy cutting the part of the fabric I think will work, but since this is my first blog I wanted to make them look all nice and fancy for you to see! 


     Here's how the various centers looked when I auditioned them on the flower. I get the biggest kick out of this. It reminds me of playing with Colorforms when I was a child. Anyone remember those? I tried out all the centers before settling on my final choice. Which one would you pick?



C .




          Don't the centers make the flowers come alive?! And, each one is so unique. Guess which one I chose...

         Thanks so much for stopping by. I'd love to see your flowers with jazzy centers. Please share!

All the best,

copyright Aug. 4, 2012 Jeanne Sullivan