Left Overs

by Judy Gula

Left Overs

by Judy Gula

Arts and Old Lace was the 2012 Art Quilt Challenge that was hosted by Artistic Artifacts and Cyndi Souder of Moonlighting Quilts. Below is a photo of my completed Challenge Piece. (Click here for a large view of “Lace with Grace.”)

Arts and Old Lace quilt entry by Judy Gula

I design intuitively, which means that I don’t have a documented plan when I start a piece. I might have an idea that I like, a vintage photo, a couple of items that go together... but otherwise I am a tornado in my studio, pulling items and testing how I feel about the composition in real time.

After the tornado there are sometimes items that I think still work together, and ‘why don’t I just start the next art quilt’..... so these items are kept together. I think I have been moving the below pictured grouping around my studio for about two years now.

Testing the layout

Do you see the white clay doll in the middle? She is a Frozen Charlotte and came from Germany. I just love these vintage china pieces and wanted her to be the focal point of a quilt. Originally I thought this piece would have to be mounted on a canvas due to the weight of Charlotte, but it turned out to be fine. The lesson today is how to mount three-dimensional items to your quilt with glue!

Glue!! I know, I freaked you out, didn't I? But yes, glue. The trick is to glue the item to another piece of fabric, like ultrasuede or, as in this case, a piece of vilene, then stitch that onto your art quilt.

Pelment Vilene is a European product that is similar to Lutradur. The Tentakulum company includes hand-painted pieces in several of its popular Painted Threads products, for example, the Painter’s Pixies. For this project, I cut down a postcard size piece. I took matte gel medium (fabric glue is fine also) and applied it to the back of the frozen Charlotte at the points that would meet the Vilene.

In addition, I used a double strand of beading thread, secured around the neck and one leg of the doll. I thought about adding pearls or small beads to the tie downs, but in the end decided not to.

To stablize the vintage ribbon that was used in the art quilt, I applied a stiff organza fabric with Mistyfuse. Doing so helped to keep the vintage material together and straight, as well as making stitching through the ribbon easier.

I have learned the hard way that it is necessary to machine stitch the background before adding my layers. And for this particular project, I even applied and stitched the binding on before attaching the doll.

The remainder of the items — ribbon, lace, buttons, pearls — were all stitched on by hand. In other projects I will add such layers on with machine stitching, but in this case I felt the condition of the ribbon and lace cuff would would be better preserved with careful hand stitching.

Photos of My Finished Art Quilt

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