Sunday, April 6, 2008

Salsa Girl is Back

The March challenge left me feeling flat and uninspired.  I think it was because of the project I selected.  I fell way short of my goals, and I certainly couldn't say I had fun.  I was in fact working at the task of drawing and I usually wasn't happy with the results of the sketches I did.

I decided to turn back to wild and crazy in April.  Back to experimenting with techniques, back to having fun.  When I read Sharon's challenge to address change, I immediately thought of my wish to move away a bit from knitting and try quilting.  Fiber to fabric, so to speak.

It so happened that I was in my local quilt shop earlier in the day and found a pack of color-coordinated fabric in primary colors.  Needless to say, I had to take it home with me, but I had no idea what I was going to do with it at the time of purchase.  I have also begun to acquire some "fat quarters" with the goal of learning how to quilt in the coming months.  The fabrics are in no particular palette - just what appeals to me at the time I'm in a shop or at a yard sale.

I decided to address this month's challenge by trying to marry knitted fabric with woven fabric. I wanted the piece to be transitional, in some way incorporating the best of both the fiber and the fabric.  I pulled out some inspirational photos of crazy quilts, with the intention of perhaps using the fiber in the embellishment of the seams.  But I felt I didn't know enough about quilting to complete a project by the end of the month (Lord knows, I have a hard enough time keeping up with these challenges when I at least have a vague idea of what I'm doing!)

I recently completed a fabric postcard class at my local quilt shop, and I thought that maybe I'd do  post card-size piece.  I thought I'd use one fabric as the core or center and then work the knitted fabric(s) as a kind of frame, maybe embellish the fabric with buttons or sequins or beads, and then back the piece with either a knitted or woven complementary fabric.

Here is the fabric stash I started with:

And here is the fiber that I selected from my stash (Note about the fiber:  I stuck to all synthetics or cottons since all the fabrics were cottons or cotton-polyesters):

I ended up selecting four possible fabrics and five or six fibers in coordinating colors:

The fabrics all came from Moda's "Sss-silly Safari."

I swatched up three of the fibers and began playing with the pieces.  Being a nut for color - any color as long as it's screaming, in-your-face, outrageously bright - and as long as I can combine a zillion patterns in coordinating shades with all kinds of glitter, charms, and sequins dangling around, I am REALLY happy.  So I realized after about 10 minutes of shifting fabric and swatches around, I'd need a bigger piece than 4" X 6" (10 cm X 15 cm) because I wasn't content to use just one fabric and two or three fibers.  I wanted several fabrics.  I also wanted to combine the knitted and woven fabrics randomly, rather than having the knitted parts forming a frame around the fabric.

Here's where I'm at for the moment:  I have decided to begin a "book" of fabric pages.  I plan to make several more swatches from the coordinating fibers and I'll play around with them until I come up with something that's pleasing to me.  I plan to use the "build-a-book" instructions that Virginia Spiegel published in the Fall 2006 issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors (p.60-65).  I haven't decided on the size of the "page" yet, although the instruction suggest 10" X 6 " (25 cm X 15 cm).


Tanguera said...

What a cool idea to merge both knitting and quilting. Love the fabrics you've been buying.

Deb said...

Bernadette: I love these colors and all the froo-froo yarns. Can't wait to see what you do with them.

Jane said...

I'm sure all the drawing you did for last months TIF has primed you for this month! I love the colors and fibers you've chosen and can't wait to see what you come up with for April... I also wanted to thank you for stopping in to visit me. Jane