Monday, July 11, 2011

Building A Wall

We're finally getting some nice weather, and some flowers are starting to bloom.  This is the first white foxglove that I've had here; mostly they're purple.  We have an abundance of foxgloves this year - they're everywhere in the yard.  I love them, and I love that they just happen - I don't have to do a thing!  Yes, I'm a lazy gardener nowadays.

I'm finally getting started on my challenge quilt.  I've been thinking about it (and stalling) for quite a while now.  The challenge this year is to do 'an element of nature', using textures and fibers, etc.  There are no requirements for size or color for this challenge, which is challenging in itself.  I've had 3 different ideas and couldn't make up my mind what I wanted to do.  My initial thought was Trees or Leaves, but I though maybe too many people were going to do that. I also thought of Grass, but I've waited too long to do that one - no time for all the embroidery that I planned on doing.  So, I've finally decided on Rocks.

First off, I printed some photos of rocks on fabric.  I had some great rock photos from our trips to Nevada and the ocean, both of which are great places to find rocks.  Then I made a trip to the bead store to buy some polished and drilled rocks.  I'm not sure where I'm going with all of this yet.

When I visited a new local quilt store I saw this Texture Magic and had an idea that this could work too.  I had to play with it first.  I used some ugly scraps that I found.  You quilt through your fabrics and the Texture Magic.  Then you steam it with the iron and it shrinks up 30%.  It reminds me of Shrinky Dinks!

Then, using my photo of a rock wall, I started building a fabric rock wall.  I was surprised to see how many fabrics I had that would work for this, and my friend M~ let me use some of her Stonehedge fabrics.  My technique: I just looked at one of the rocks in the wall, and tried to copy it by cutting with my scissors.  I had a hard time getting them to be rock-y enough, but not too round or square.  I used a charcoal fabric for the background.  Black seemed to be too stark.

More rocks!

Then I decided that putting batting between the background fabric and the Texture Magic would be better.  It would fill the "rocks" nicely.  Then I stitched around all the rocks.  I did one continuous line of stitching.  It was a giant puzzle.  I had to do quite of bit of backtracking to make it continuous.  It took me two sessions of stitching to finish this!  But, finally it was done.  Time for the next step!

Making the magic happen.  In other words, steaming the fabric with the iron. 

Here it is - all crinkled/poofed up nicely.  I think it looks pretty much like a rock wall, all things considered.

Now for the rest of the quilt.  That will be the real challenge, because I only have a vague idea of what I want to do.  And the project is due Friday at noon.  You know what I'll be doing this week!  *grin*

Purple foxglove


  1. Beautiful flowers! I am anxious to see your rock wall upon completion. It's a fun idea and fun to watch it develop!

  2. What a brilliant idea. Viv at Sew Much Progress would love this.

  3. You are quite right, Clare. I do love this! I love the effect of putting the batting between the rock fabric and the background fabric - inspired and inspiring! Look forward to seeing how the quilt progresses!

  4. Your rock wall looks so real! The foxgloves are so pretty, mine did not come back this year...

  5. Wow, you really have made this a challenge with these new techniques and products. I love how it's looking. Square it up and bind it, that's how I would finish it! Love the foxgloves, when we were kids we would pick all the blooms off and put them on our fingers out in my grandpa's field and forest. Memories.....

  6. Those rocks are really cool. I picture some kind of vegetation growing on them, flowers, or vines or something.

  7. This is w-a-y too cool Sharon! I think it looks just like rocks!! It'll bee fun to see your finish.
    I LOVE LOVE your foxgloves! I have 2 pale yellow ones, but they never get taller than a foot and the blooms don't get hardly as big as my thumb. I have them planted on the north side of my house but I think it just gets too hot here....I dunno the answer!!

  8. Wow, that worked out great! All you need now are some foxgloves in front of your rock wall. :- )

  9. I love the rock wall -- so cool! It looks so neat and realistic ... and seeing it I was like, and then she could make a whole little cottage like that ... or a castle ... very inspiring ...

  10. Very cool! But what do you do about the crinkly border now? Just curious as to how you're going to handle it.


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