First Art-style quilt

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HerGram wrote
on 2 May 2009 5:41 AM


This is my first attempt at doing something arty. The background is Ricky Tim's convergence quilt. The flowers are broderie perse and the hummer is fusible applique. Is the hummer's head wrong? What should I do for borders?There is a thin black border so far. Unfortunately, I am out of the hand-dyed fabric. Any ideas for quilting design; I plan to do some outline free-motion but don't know what else.

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Jody Johnson wrote
on 2 May 2009 8:59 AM

I love the colours of this quilt and how well the humming bird and flower both blend and contrast with the background.

For free-motion quilting you could maybe quilt some branches and hibiscus leaves around the flowers, making it look like an actual hibiscus plant reaching into the frame. I would probably keep these features to the right-hand side of the quilt to make it look like the hummingbird is flying into the plant. It would really anchor the flowers to the background. Your background shading works well for this as the blues/greens in the lower right hand corner suggest shadows while you upper left corner has warmer tones, suggesting light coming into the photo.

As for the hummingbird's head, I think it just doesn't look right to you because the black cap just draws too much attention and pulls you eye away from the rest of the quilt. Maybe toning down this fabric will bring it back into the balance.

As for borders, I have no suggestions. Sorry! I would have to say borders are my weak point and I struggle everytime I add them, so much I just don't add them to my work a lot of the time!

I would love to see your end product! Good luck.


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HerGram wrote
on 3 May 2009 7:44 AM

Moving along.  New bird head . Free motion on the edges of flowers. I will embroidery the bird beak. Just don't like the border; may take out the green in the upper right corner, it conflicts with the light source, doesn't it? How could I accent the staments on the hibiscus?

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Marsha53 wrote
on 3 May 2009 8:14 AM

I also love the colors you chose.  So subtle.  How brave of you to put your work "out there"!  When I see the unbelievable work in the magazine, I feel like a kindergartener!  I am trying to get the nerve to post a few pictures.  My friends and family love my work...I think they just don't know better!  lol...   I'll just have to keep the magazine away from them!

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Jody Johnson wrote
on 3 May 2009 8:33 AM

This is really coming along. It is looking very good. I like how the free-motion quilting accents the petal edges (it can be seen even given the small scale of the photo). I like the butterfly.

Higlighting the could do either french knots or beads maybe.

I think the border in the upper right does constrast quite a bit with the light source. Can't say I have any solutions though. I am interested to see what you come up with.


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Posts 41
on 3 May 2009 11:49 AM

Very nice project, I like the colors also and the free motion quilting really adds a lot for the eye to follow.  I myself like the tiny black border it adds a crispness to your work.  I look forward to seeing your progress.

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HerGram wrote
on 3 May 2009 2:20 PM

I like the black border too - that's from Ricky Tims. Had a little trouble with raveling threads from the black, and it's a good quality cotton from the quilt store. Finally had to use some Fray Check. Maybe that's just what happens with black fabric.

Marsha, I just want to say - don't ever hesitate to put your work "out there". I am in my sixties and just entered my first judged competition and was so thrilled to win a ribbon. I have been quilting for many, many years and this was the first time had ever entered a show, because I was afraid I wasn't good enough. But, what happened was ---- now I am inspired and excited about the craft again. And, isn't attitude everything?

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pandabolt wrote
on 3 May 2009 7:26 PM

I rather like that diagonal contrast that you have added with the border.  It frames things nicely, and adds a new dimension to the piece.  If you want it as a frame, I think it's successful.  If you are concerned about the light source, then that border is no longer a border but an integral part of the overall design, if that makes sense.  In which case, then, you would probably rethink the color/value and, what?, lighten that upper corner?  So then would you start with a darker color at the lower left and get progressively lighter as you move diagonally to the upper right?

If you really want to continue the light source concept, you might consider a more subtle progression of values.

This is a pretty piece.  I love the background colors that you began with.  Those harmonic convergence pieces sure do make great grounds for other work, don't they?

It's nice to know that there are other "Well-Seasoned" folks out there having fun with art quilts.

Peggy Holt

Missoula, Montana


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Patsewz wrote
on 30 Sep 2009 1:31 AM

When I can't deside on the border on a convergence quilt I I border only two sides, like the bottom and either  the left or right side.  Sometimes it provides the extra balance I need.  Other  times it gives me the chance to continue the design on into the border.  On your quilt why don't y ou take the border off of the upper right corner and see how you like it.

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