Saturday, January 30, 2010

Playing with Felted Fabrics

A couple of months ago, I took a class in which we felted wool fabrics, and used a "cookie cutter" method of embellishment.  Basically, a hole is cut in the garment fabric, a piece of felted wool the same size and shape is "plugged" into the hole and attached with decorative stitching.

I had my jacket cut out and waiting for  design inspiration (or divine)!  I made some samples of the "cookie cutter" technique.  But, I could never make up my mind that I wanted to cut holes in that jacket.  The gal who taught the class has some fantastic art garments using that technique, and in fact, she won a contest sposored by Threads, using the embellishment.  Still----

Today, I pulled all the fabrics and threads out and decided to applique.  Instantly, a big red flower came to mind.   Years ago, I did a LOT of quilting.  I taught it.  Went to school to become certificed through National Qulting Association to be a quilt show judge.  Baltimore Album quilts became very popular, and I fell in love with them.  They are white backgrounds, with appliqued floral designs.  Very fancy.  In their time, the 1800s, the Victorian ladies of leisure made these time-consuming quilts.

I loved doing hand applique, and started designing Baltimore Album quilt blocks.  Elly Sienkiewicz became an authority on those quilts, studying their history, etc.   I took a couple of classes from her, and showed her the blocks I had designed.  When her first book was published,  she asked to use my quilt blocks in her book, along with the patterns and instructions to make them.  Here's the book, and four of my quilt blocks:

What this has to do with my jacket is--I took the flower from one of the above pictures, enlarged it and am using it for the main flower on this jacket.  On the quilt block, each petal is appliqued separately.  The applique on my jacket is not intricate.  It's more "folksy" with a modern twist.   Here's the first flower, sewn down with a straight stitch.

Looks like a big old blob at this point!  I cut the flower out as one big unit, sewed it down with a straight stitch, and marked with soap the petal lines.  Then, I used a Feather Stitch and with heavy variagated thread, stitched around the flower.  This is where it stands as of now:

I've drawn  some vines with soap, and will make some leaf shapes and applique them .  There will be beads because what's an art-type garment without beads?  I'll probably applique down one sleeve and do something on the back, as well.

I had fun doing this and am anxious to get back to it tomorrow. 

14 Talk to me:

KID, MD said...

Very pretty design!

Cindy said...

Did you say embellishment?? I am so there!! Love the felt applique!!

KimP said...

Wow, Gwen, I had no idea you did that much quilting! Applique is something I have yet to try. I think the red flower is going to look fab on your new jacket!

julia said...

I'm so glad that you are doing this flower applique. It is beautiful and I still have some of my felted sweater fabric left. I may have to try something similar. You are so very very very creative.

The Sewing Loft said...

I am so impressed with your quilt blocks. Very lovely. Can't wait to see your finished jacket.

Barb

QueenSH said...

This is so neat! I need more patience to deal with something like this but I am sure when you get done it is well worth all the time and effort.

Linda said...

Very nice! Looks like you got some "divine" inspiration!

Kathi said...

Oh, how pretty!! I can't wait to see this when you are finished.

Lilian said...

Hello Gwen, thanks for your nice comment on my blog. I'm glad I found yours too! I'll be checking your blog regularly. As a matter of fact, I put your blog on my favourite-list already, so no post will go amiss!

Rhoto said...

"Oh, what fun it is to"... C-R-E-A-T-E, eh ;)
Looking forward to watching your progress ;)
Soft hug,
Rhonda in Montreal (PR)

j.kaori said...

Great inspiration! I can't wait to see your finished product. I've seen those types of quilts before --- so beautiful. Your quilt blocks are stunning.

Lina said...

It is so interesting.I plan to use some old sweaters for appliques.Your work is so inspiring.
I can't wait to see finished jacket.

Audrey said...

I made a Baltimore Album quilt about 13 years ago using many of the blocks from Elly's books. How neat that your blocks were included in her book! I love the look of the feather stitching on your flower.

shams said...

I love that embellishment, Gwen! Can't wait to see the finished jacket!

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