Wednesday, July 22, 2009

First rotary-cut quilt

Photo: My first rotary-cut quilt (c. 1992), recently overdyed (not an improvement).

The trials of cutting strips of fabric with scissors for my first string quilt in 1976 (queen size) kept me from trying again until 1992, when I bought a Dritz rotary cutter and a 30x36 translucent cutting mat, both of which I still have and use. I had no quilting rulers then, only a piece of plexiglas on which I made marks with a permanent marker.

I had a quilting book called Amish Shadows, loved the op-art look of the blocks, and made two or three little quilts (about 36" square) including the above, and used polyester batting, because what else was there? The quilting was stitch-in-the-ditch. I had a horrible time with puckers on the back, but I persisted picking out stitches and re-sewing, until not one pucker remained (now I use spray basting, which eliminates all that frustration; recommend wearing a mask while spraying). I was so proud of these hideous little quilts! One of them hung on the wall for awhile, and they have served as table toppers and foot warmers for couch potatoes, but now I find them boring.

With a bit of blue dye leftover from a dyeing project, I overdyed this one quilt, but learned that the fabric must be polyester, since the colors of the quilt darkened, and none of it looks really blue. The lightest strips were an off-white, and now they're a very light green. What now looks like bluish pink was originally more of a peach.

Since I need a lot of practice with free motion quilting (FMQ), these little ol' quilts will be a good canvas on which to do some FMQ practice. Can't hurt 'em, right?
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3 comments:

Debbie Babin said...

Brave one! But, what did you have to loose??? Funny how those "old" quilts still look "old" even when new things are done to them.

What about cutting it up?
I have done that with success. I see potential compositions that are not symmetrical, OP-Art.

I like the simplicity and smoothness of the strips. Makes me think of a new artist I found:
http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=105563567004&h=nAtoR&u=56wuL&ref=mf

Let me know how it goes.
Debbie Babin

Debbie Babin said...

I forgot to add the artists name:
Lisa Call
I think her website is:
http://www.lisacall.com/
Debbie Babin

LynnDel said...

That's a great idea, Debbie. I hadn't thought of cutting it up. Lisa Call has been on my bloglist for awhile. I would never dream of achieving her level, but it's something to aspire to!