A kitten and fabric art.

All my best intentions vanished into the mist on the day we found ‘Tiny’ a day old kitten in front of one our outbuildings. My plans to post here once a week, no matter what else was going on in my life, were lost in a sleep deprived haze.  Here’s a picture of the little trouble maker;

A five day old kitten being held.
Tiny the kitten at five days old.

Somehow I managed to find time to both sew and paint over the last couple of weeks in spite of that distraction.  I finished two fabric art trivets and started work on three smaller paintings at the studio in Rimbey.

The trivets were made using free motion quilting as well as raw edge applique. Two layers of cotton fabric enclosed one layer of insulating batting and one layer of cotton batting. After I sewed edges together and turned the layers inside out I ended up with two approximately 15″ x 18″ padded rectangles.

For the first trivet I decided to keep it simple and cut out some flowers from a batik print in my stash.  The leaves, from a mottled fabric, were shaped as I sewed.

Quilted flowers and leaves, using free motion quilting and raw edge applique.
Leaves and flowers appliqued on a fabric trivet.

After I finished that I returned to my outer space theme, since I’m trying to stick with that imagery for a while at least.

I found that the free motion quilting wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, largely thanks to some very clear and informative YouTube videos by Zazu’s Stitch Art,  but what I did find was that the more small elements I made, the more I had to fiddle around.

Cutting thread and inserting the needle and pulling the thread up through the fabric layers, then cutting loose ends to keep them out of the way really slowed things down.  It was also much harder to keep nice flowing lines and more evenly sized stitches when my appliqued areas were so small.

To get the piece to lay flat, I also had to watch that the quilting was more or less evenly distributed.  Areas with less stitching tended to puff up and sometimes even distort the overall shape.  I did wash the finished work and found that I had very little fraying of the appliqued edges; I had been imagining the worst there so that was a relief.  Since all my cotton fabrics are pre-washed there were also no problems with shrinkage.

I’ll be trying out one or more different ways of creating fabric art after this.  But for now this is my ‘Sun and Comets’ trivet, front and back.  I used different colors of thread for different areas or objects and like the way the back looks like a thread painting too.

Fabric trivet, made with cotton fabric, raw edge applique and free motion quilting.
Sun and comets trivet
Fabric trivet, made with cotton fabric, free motion quilting and raw edge applique. View of the back of the piece.
Sun and comets trivet, back view.


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