Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines Quilt 2017

"Holding Hands through life"  16" X 18" 2017
Let me introduce this year's Valentine quilt. I make a V-day quilt every year we've been married. To mark the miracle of finding each other. Some are very small, some are bed sized, all have a heart on them.

It all started with a visit to the National Gallery of Art during the Christmas holidays. I studied and wrote, but haven't published, an article on cropping. I took my photo, a close-up of Picasso's The Lovers and printed it onto fabric.  Then gathered fabrics...
I find it very interesting to see fabrics in yardage then see the areas a person chose to cut out for their artwork, don't you?
Two of the above fabrics are hand dyed as it a third from which I cut the music "Romance"
I love the little old valentines to the left!
I used pinking shears to cut out just the one I wanted

Gathering the five fabrics I wanted to use, I laid them on the table deciding arrangement, proportion, composition, etc.

I wanted to tell a story of long time love, growth (leaves), gesture (holding hands), loving words and interplay of every day life.

Cut some strips, some accent pieces and start to compose. I enjoy a diagonal line so they elements lead your eye from top left down to bottom right while they engage  and balance each other.

Note the tape. I do not like glue or fusible so I taped the elements til I could hand or machine stitch them down. I used the Oliver Twist hand dyed 30 weight cotton thread for that.
I just hand stitched the little poem

I like the loft one gets by not using fusible plus the chemicals  are not nice.

Note the spiral stitch holding the painting in place. I used Printed Treasures prepared fabric for printing, and it's thick. Too hard to hand sew. I love this stitch and it's not on any other Bernina machine. It's so dynamic with the oliver twist thread, right?



Note the pinkish hand dye with hand writing on it isn't real words!!! It looks like real words in beautiful script.

Note, it's hard for me to cut into one of a kind hand dyed fabric, but my phrases this year are "Use it" from last year, and "Follow your heart" which means I just let myself cut into yardage, in an area I felt would work best. Whew! That was not easy, but very satisfying.
 After strips were sewn on, and most elements sewn down, I placed a heart, cut from a sheer where I liked it. Again I wanted to see the heart above the element so no fusible. I stitched it down with free motion spirals and YLI gold metallic thread, then finished it off with tiny gold rocaille beads. Most of the appliqued elements have raw, pinked edges which might fray and lift a bit over time. I like that. 
 Lovely. 
Music plays a large part in our lives, writing in mine, communication is vital across the elements.


 The different fabrics interact with words, script, color that blends. The quilted free motion spiral stands for eternity. I quite love the gold thread and uneven spirals quilted on the sheer... click to see details. 
 Quilting is always a big decision. I did a lot of embroidery before layering to quilt, so I only wanted to add some stability to the piece and dimension. I use my walking foot for stability around main elements, then free motion foot to draw hearts, leaves and spirals. There are several hearts quilted in but pretty subtle. Note the little hand embroidery flowers and crosses (kisses) hand stitched along the bottom of this element.
I used gold balls along the leaf veins, and shell flowers with same gold centers. Growth.
I broke some rules of design in the making of this quilt but followed my heart. For instance it might not be apparent but the hand holding photo is almost center. Use of four flower beads breaks to rule of odd numbers. There is the red/orange color in the picasso image not repeated except in the oliver twist thread spirals. That shade should not work with pink.

I wanted to float the elements too, but didn't want it to get larger, so I decided to do it with a wide binding. In order to keep the writing consistent, I had to cut the binding from different angles and put it on the four edges one at a time.
I wasn't sure I could get one done this year... but this was finished in two days.
And I think it represents our year. 
As a young woman I despaired of ever finding Mr Right. I dated a lot of Mr You Might Do's and "kissed a lot of frogs" and waited for Drew.

I have photos of a couple other V-day quilts under the label valentines
Linking to parties on my links page... thank you


33 comments:

  1. This is just so lovely--I like the emotion that it portrays so expressively. And a lot of rules are made to be broken depending on the "look" you want to achieve--just like you did. Beautiful piece--your work is so "you"...hugs and Happy Valentine's Day Julierose

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  2. Not only did I enjoy the finished piece, I really loved seeing your process on this one. Wonderful all around!

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  3. Really pretty! I love the hands touching and the little embellishments in particular. I've never tried an art quilt myself. Wish I saw things through the eyes of an artist like you do.

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  4. The beauty of this piece is that every element is thought out, focused and expresses exactly what is in you heart. I love the two intertwined stitched hearts. To you and Drew, a happy Valentine's Day.

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  5. What a gorgeous testament to love! I appreciate the detailed photos that allow us readers to see the stitches and beading that make it ornate and complete the picture as a whole.

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  6. Love your Valentines series and hoped you'd have a quilt to add this year. The gold heart is especially nice. Thanks for describing the design process, which is always so interesting.

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  7. What an artistic valentine imression! When ideas flow and a deadline looms you " hit the nail right on the head" ! It's gorgeous! Detailed, enough to keep the eye moving over the quilt!
    Cutting through yardage! Following your heart....it's a treasure!

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  8. I am Glad you made your 2017 celebration quilt!
    May you and your partner continue to dance!!
    Aloha, Sonja

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  9. It's impressive! Love all of the detail and the steps it took to the finale. Happy Valentine's Day !

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  10. So beautiful and lovely. Thank you for showing us this quilt. My job takes every inch of me these days, and I have no time to sew. But soon it will be better times.

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  11. Romance and Quilting...I love the combination. What a beauty. Happy Valentines Day :)

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  12. Neat. I really like how this looks.

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  13. What a sweet little quilt! Happy Valentine's!

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  14. So beautiful, the quilt and the sentiment.

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  15. It's beautiful! Thank you for taking us through the design process - it's always good to see how someone else works. xx

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  16. Your inner heart fills me with joy. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. What a beautiful way to commemorate your love. We should all remember how much our dearest ones mean to us. Thanks for sharing all your construction and design details. I'm always interested in the way you work. So creative.

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  18. Your artistic sentiment on this piece just blew me away. I'm so pleased you brought the details and how they were applied to our attention. Absolutely lovely. mary in Az

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  19. I was just reading somewhere yesterday about how our art helps us heal, and I hope your art does that for you. It is so beautiful and personal. Happy for you that you and Drew found each other and have each other to hold onto!

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  20. That's a really pretty Valentine. Soft and sweet. Thank you for sharing!

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  21. Just lovely, the quilt and the story behind it.

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  22. I love the watercolor feel of this quilt.

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  23. What a lovely valentine, and the process posting was a valentine to us. Thank you.

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  24. Beautiful Valentines quilt, so romantic. I'm not into pinks and reds, hearts and flowers so much and to me this is perfect.

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  25. I am so happy you have been able to get back to quilting, the Valentines quilt is a wonderful combination of images, memories, and stitching. It speaks "love" very strongly.

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  26. Best Valentine card ever! Congrats on this charming mini. ;^)

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  27. Wonderful! So meaningful and special. You really hit the jackpot finding each other

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  28. A beautiful gesture of love. Hope V-Day was as special as the two of you. ღ

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  29. Such a lovely tradition. Thanks for sharing and for linking up with TGIFF!

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  30. What a treasure, LeeAnna. The "Lovers" painting hung in my parents' home for many years. Just that glimpse of it reminded me of their love. This is a beautifully composed piece!

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  31. I love the story behind this quilt and the fact that you make one each year to celebrate your love.

    Thanks so much for linking up to last week's Stitchery Link Party. Aloha hugs!

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  32. Hello LeeAnna,

    This is a beautiful romantic quilt -so many details packed together, yet a harmonious whole. Just what you set out to depict.

    No I never use fusible stuff or glue, either.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks. Your quilt is this week's featured project!

    Love, Muv

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