Sunday, July 14, 2024

A timespan quilt repair with AGF 2.5 Edition binding strips

I have a quilt from the mid-1990s that I made when I was a very new quilter. This scrappy quilt—which has been used frequently and is currently on a bed—was inspired by a quilt design from the Fons and Porter “For the Love of Quilting” TV program. After decades of use, several areas of the binding have become frayed and the quilt has been on the mending list for at least 2 years.

Scrappy quilt with frayed binding.

2.5 Edition binding strips

With the introduction of the 2.5 Edition binding strips by Art Gallery Fabrics, this quilt repair has bubbled up to the top of the mending list. Wanting to try this new product, I purchased the “Stitched and Bound” design and I now have the strips cut, pieced (on the bias), pressed in half, and ready to attach to my 1990s quilt.

Stitched and Bound 2.5 Edition binding strips by Art Gallery Fabrics.

I have to decide which side of the binding will be visible.

The 2.5 Edition binding strips have two design options for a binding.

More 2.5 Edition fabrics for future bindings

There is a large variety of designs in the 2.5 Edition collection. The ones with words—“Handmade Bound,” “Magic Bound,” and “Good Day Bound”—are especially fun and unique. Where else have you seen a quilt binding with words running around the quilt’s perimeter on the binding???

Sew and Sews Place, a quilt shop in the Chattanooga area, has a selection of 2.5 Edition bindings. I bought four other binding prints online and got a cute “I Sew and I Know Things” sticker, a Thank You card with a coupon, and two bobbin clips in with the package. A lovely surprise!

AGF binding fabrics and the goodies that came with my order from
Sew and Sews Place.

This quilt will become a timespan quilt

By adding a new binding to this quilt, it will no long be classified as a 1990s quilt… but will become a 2024 quilt once a new binding is attached. I’ve done the patchwork, machine quilting, and everything else to create this quilt. Through the use of it, it has become the point in its lifecycle to mend it. This is part of keeping it as a sustainable textile and continue its usefulness.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

I joined the Junk Journal July Challenge

This July, I’m taking the Junk Journal July Challenge. It's 31 days of art journaling, mark making, practicing my hand lettering, and collaging with paper and fabric scraps. I have participated in this Challenge twice before—both times with the January version, Junk Journal January—in 2023 and 2024. It’s a fun recycling and artsy, month-long exercise.

"An hour of art making is cheaper than therapy.

My Junk Journal

My Junk Journal this time is a no-sew, accordion book block. It's made with various papers and cardboard from the recycle bin (aka "junk"). I like to use discontinued fabric sales materials as they are always so colorful and have interesting textures and designs. The format of my July 2024 journal is square (8” x 8”). so it's easy to photograph the pages for IG social media posts.

Art journal for Junk Journal July 2024.

Accordion folded, no-sew journal.

The Challenge and the prompts

The Challenge, coordinated by @megjournals and @getmessyart, offers daily prompts that can be used for inspiration and direction. They can be followed… or not. (I usually follow the prompts.) 

This year, a lineup of art journal crafters have created videos showing how they interpreted one of the daily prompts. So, you can see 31 different artistic styles of art journaling through the page each has created.

The prompt for Day 1 was “spark.” 

Day 1 journal spread for Junk Journal July 2024.

To get into the practice of hand lettering, I found a great quote by Robin Williams.

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
—Robin Williams

I'm letting that little spark of madness cultivate my art journaling this month. 


Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Mid-year tracker update

Summer is in full force. The calendar page has turned over to the seventh month. My Create Daily tracker is half-way filled in.

Create Daily 2024 tracker: July 1, 2024.

I have also satisfied 6 prompts in my Make Nine 2024 Challenge and have good options for potential projects to satisfy the remaining three… which is probably because I have an abundance of UFOs!

Make Nine 2024 tracker.

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Slowing down in a surface design and hand stitching workshop with Arounna Khounnoraj

Creating an imagined landscape with natural dyes, fabric painting and slow stitching… a time to travel in place.

Painted and printed fabrics dyed with natural dyes.

I had a most enjoyable experience taking a workshop with Arounna Khounnoraj [Bookhou] and several artists and friends at Shakerag Workshops. The Imagined Landscapes workshop—comprised of mark making, surface design, natural dyeing, and lots of hand stitching—was a slow, more intentional, and much needed change of pace.

Surface design

In the Imagined Landscapes workshop, participants made marks on fabric with brushes, textile paint, and a soy milk mordant.

Painting with textile paint.

I got to experiment printing with a wood block that a friend gave me earlier this year. I printed on a commercial batik fabric as well as an unbleached cloth.

Block printing on a batik fabric.

It took a little time and concentration to line up the block with each printing so the overall pattern would be preserved.

Block printing repeat.

After mark making with paint and mordants, the fabrics were dyed with natural dyes. Most of the dyes required a heat process to set the color while the indigo dye pot did not.

The natural dye pots included madder, marigold, onion skins, avocado, iron, and indigo.

Beautiful flowers on the indigo vat.

The dyes revealed beautiful shades of rosy red, yellows, light beige, greys, and blues on cellulose fabrics.

Cotton fabrics dyed with natural dyes.
From left: marigold; onion skin overdyed in indigo; madder; avocado; indigo.

Hand embroidered linens that I picked up at a local thrift shop were overdyed.

Embroidered linens (center and lower right) from a thrift shop
were overdyed in onion skins and indigo.

The imagined landscapes

The landscape compositions were created from the hand dyed fabrics that were basted and then appliquuéd to the quilt sandwich. 

Composition layout with basting.

I usually appliqué shapes onto the quilt top (prior to basting a quilt sandwish), however Arounna, our instructor, likes to see the stitching on the back side of her work. This was an interesting concept to me so I decided to try this method. It was a way to appliqué and quilt in a single process. Some of the fabric edges were turned under and some were left raw and frayed. I think my imagined landscape benefited from both. 

Raw edges and turned edges for appliqué pieces. The appliqué was done through all layers
of the quilt sandwich. Most of the knots were buried in the batting layer.

An imagined landscape (work in progress).

One of my fellow students, Roz, suggested I keep the outer borders of the composition freeform (not finished the perimeter with a binding or facing). I decided to take this route and I plan to finish the piece by mounting it on a frame or a stretched canvas.

Hand stitching and inspiration

Stitching inspiration came from teacher demonstrations, group conversations, and suggestions from fellow students. We had quite a group of experienced and creative textile artists in the workshop! As an advocate for slow stitching and visible mending, Arounna discussed and demonstrated embroidery and mending stitches as well as how she does hand piecing.

Arounna demonstrating hand piecing.

The “baseball” stitch is good for mending tears on garments.

Origami triangle pouch

With scraps and small leftover bits that were too precious to toss, some of the students created small origami treasure pouches. 

Triangle treasure pouch.

The pouches are a bit like fabric origami. So cute!

Origami fabric pouch.

Arounna is a wonderful teacher and a prolific author. She has published five books thus far and teaches workshops internationally. If you ever have the opportunity, take a workshop with her! Or pick up one of her books (I have her Punch Needle and Contemporary Patchwork books) and enjoy the slow stitching process.

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