It has only been just over 2 weeks since my first post of the year, and I am already posting my second one…. Maybe hope for keeping up better…. Since creating my “Too Many Two’s” art cards, I have been cutting more flowers with my die cutter.
The photo above shows a couple of charm squares of fabric backed with Wonder Under that were cut using my flower die… As you can see there is a lot of fabric left between each flower cutout. This bothered me, so I decided to take things into my own hands….
This photo above shows the die as it originally was. I used a cutting wheel on my Dremel tool to cut the individual flowers apart from each other… I drew lines to help to guide my cutting.
Above is what the die looked like after a lot of sparks flew as I cut the sections apart.
After using a grinding wheel to round some edges and clean up the cuts, this is what things look like now… Each of the flowers are now separate from each other. With the flowers as separate dies, it is much easier for me to cut just the flowers I really want, and it is much easier to use up smaller fabric pieces.
As you can see in the above photo, I have some other dies from the Spellbinders Shapeabilities series of dies. The leaves and butterflies started out with each shape separate from the others, and with the leaves, there are multiple sizes that nest within each other when stored. These dies are considered “wafer thin” dies and meant to cut one sheet of card stock or chip board and also will emboss the papers, too. With a bit of experimenting, I have figured out that I can cut two layers of fabric successfully. The cutting base is 6″ wide by 9″ long, so if I want, I can place as many shapes as I can on 6×9″ pieces of fabric and cut quite a few pieces at a time.
This photo shows a bunch of flowers and leaves that I cut after “fixing” my flower die. In the lower right corner, you can see some little strips I cut from some of the leftovers to make tiny Delphinium flowers. After I cut up a bunch of the shapes, I fused them to pieces of the Wonder Under backing paper until I can use them in a project. You can see some flowers fused to the left of the photo.
I didn’t have any projects in mind, so I just got a bit creative with the iron one day and put together new flowers by combining larger and smaller flowers like I did with these that somewhat remind me of Dianthus flowers… just not “normal” colors.
This photo shows a lot of the flowers I came up with… Pansies, Delphiniums in different sizes, Coneflowers, and a bunch of Random compound flowers. There are a lot of possibilities with the different flower shapes. I can cut up some of the larger flowers to make the Pansies, group multiples for Delphiniums, and more. Not long after I fused up these flowers, the most recent FFFC theme was released- Memories of My Childhood. Hmmmm…. From just a little girl, I have loved flowers and remember helping my mom in the gardens. There even is a photo of me at about 3 yrs old with a bud I had picked off of one of my mom’s rose bushes in one hand, and “bouquet” of weeds in the other. The random compound flowers are not “botanically correct”, not what I usually use in my quilts. With my horticulture degree, I usually make my flowers as close to nature as possible. This challenge gave me a reason to just play like a child would.
I started with a base that was to be one of my Botanical Applique series pieces. I roughly cut some green fabrics for grass and stems. I wanted it to have the look of a child’s crayon drawing.
Once I had the grass, I added flowers and leaves. I packed in a lot of flowers, and then added a few butterflies. After the fusing was done, it was ready for quilting, but I had to put it aside for a couple days to get paperwork in order for a visit with a new doctor. I was going to see her for the first time yesterday, in the hopes of finding out if there is something other than my fibromyalgia causing my pain levels to be increasing so much this winter, and my Rheumatologist has no answers at this point. The appointment proved to be very discouraging, and by the time I got home last evening, I needed massive doses of chocolate… I almost went to bed early to just hide from life, but I saw this piece still in need of quilting. My mood improved quite a bit as I lost myself in the stitching…. I didn’t even care if I followed lines perfectly…. I just stitched wherever I felt like stitching at the time…. Great Therapy….
Once the quilting was done, I trimmed some of the white border off then couched yarn on the edges to finish them off. I had a sparkly pink ladybug button and a couple dragonfly ones that I added. I also had some plastic flowers with single holes in their centers to add more to the piece. I normally would have stitched on the flowers, but since I was dong a child-like piece and it was late, I decided to glue on the critters and flowers. I added various sized pearlescent beads to the plastic flowers and some of the fabric flowers. The photo above shows what I had just after gluing things… You can see some of the still wet glue.
This is what it now looks like… All the glue dry and a better photo taken with better light in the studio. “Garden Play” is now available for purchase at Andrus Gardens Quilts on ArtFire.Here is a detail shot showing the little plastic flowers, ladybug and pearls. A change in the way I look at what I was creating was a fun change…. Sometimes just playing like a kid is needed….
I’m not sure what will grow in the studio next… I do know I will be cutting out more flowers with my dies and there is lots of gardening to do…. Things are pretty dreary outside these days.