Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fish in Textile

How do you tackle a commissioned piece? The following is a description for creating a commissioned 'mini quilt' / 'beer mug rug'.

Things that are relevant for this commission:
1) include a trout as the free motion stitched image
2) the person it is being given to likes blues, greens and orange
3) this art piece is to be a reminder of his summer fishing on Kootenay lake

I found it helpful to first practice sketching several different fish profiles on paper. Having knowledge of the shape you are sewing really does help in avoiding stitches where you don't want them.

Textile Art by Eileen Gidman
'Autumn Waters of Kootenay Lake'

Sew and flip method: After sewing the first strip onto the textile art, turning and pressing, I am marking a line that I want the next strip to abut to. This keeps the strips perpendicular.

Be CAREFUL when trimming off the excess fabric to not clip into the backing fabric.

My friend Lorraine just made this thread catcher for me and I can not believe how MUCH TIME IT SAVES in not having to bend down each time searching for the trash bin on the floor. Thank you Lorraine+++.

The first three strips are sewn on and I know I want the last two strips in the end position so I am auditioning fabrics for in between. Trying two different blues here.

Remember the darks. This darker strip makes the printed strip stand out more.

Although I already selected what I thought would be the binding fabric before starting, so I could put a center strip of the same fabric down between the fish picture and the pieced strips, I still decided to try different fabrics to make sure the choice was right.

I narrowed the binding strip down to two choices. The complement of the this blue binding strip is the golden colour. There is a lot of the golden colour in this piece so I think the blue would be a good choice of binding.

My original choice with it's complementary red-orange. This also looks good with a bit more attention being drawn to the red. What cinches my choice is the pattern of the binding piece. It adds extra textural interest and it looks professional as it matches the center strip. Even though I go with my original choice, it doesn't hurt to have a second look.

A 2 1/4" full width strip of binding material is folded in half and pressed. Yes I know some people don't press here but I find it easier on these smaller quilted projects.

Sewing the binding onto the perimeter, mitering the corners and stopping where I started sewing on the binding.

The 'mini quilt' is folded in half, wrong sides together and the ends of the binding are joined. Hint: Sew really close but avoid catching any fabric between the binding.

Turn the binding to the back and pin in place from the front. I leave pinning the corners until the end. Miter them at the back and pin in place for top stitching.

Top stitch with coordinating thread.

OOPS, I forgot to include the label. A little 'unsewing' to do.

'Cool Waters of Kootenay Lake'
Textile Art by Eileen Gidman
Another choice for the commissioned 'mug rug'.

This sample was glued to a 8 1/2" X 11" folded piece of cardstock to create a card. I use a good quality glue stick otherwise the paper can buckle.
 If you have any additional hints about how you tackle a textile art commission feel free to leave a comment or a photo link. Thanks for stopping by.


Gloria said...

The fish look great, Eileen! Love the accent piece of fabric! It has all the colours you need!

Win Dinn, Artist said...

Love the 'how to', Eileen, and the colour testing you did even after choosing your fabric. That's great confirmation of your choice!

HollyM said...

These are beautiful, Eileen! What is the name of that color tool? I'm sure you mentioned it before. I must get one.

Laura Leeder said...

Thanks for sharing your process Eileen! I just know the owner of this commissioned trout mug rug is going to love it!