Grab Bag Challenge Finally Done

I have finally finished (I think) my Grab Bag Challenge quilt for  The Fiber Alliance art group, I am a member of. We filled gallon size zip bags with fabrics, threads, yarns, beads, and other embellishments. We then put them in a pile, and grabbed a bag. We don't know who's bag we have, and are to make a quilt using the mostly contents of the bag, and some of our own additions.

This is a photo of the contents of the bag I received. While the items were in the bag, I got the feeling of water from them, so decided to come up with an idea using water in it.

After taking things out of the bag, and looking closer, I began to have trouble getting an idea to gel. The Fast Friday Fabric Challenge helped me to begin to see what I would do. Over a month ago, the challenge was to make a quilt using only one fabric. It could be painted, printed, dyed, etc, and it happened to be the time that the Quiltart list was discussing geletin printing. I decided to give it a try. I had a few prints I wasn't happy with, but did end up with the prints on the right, done on the fabric on the left. It coordinated well with many of the fabrics in the bag, especially when printed.

Update on this post- Another FFFC member ended up being the owner of this grab bag! Tina Marie Rey! Talk about a small world!

Since the two above prints were from the same painted block of geletin, I decided to slice them and switch the slices to make two new panels. I used this one as the center of my Grab Bag Quilt. I backed the fabric panels with Wonder Under fusible before slicing. They are just sitting on my ironing board here. (I should have done some cropping)

Here is the resulting panel from overlapping slightly, and fusing down the slices to fabric backed batting. I decided to place it off center.

The left photo is a mock-up of the quilt that I photographed to see if I liked the placement of things. I have found myself using my digital camera as a tool more and more. It works great to try different borders, or embellishment ideas, and see what the piece can look like. The right photo shows the piece after the center panel seams have been couched with a sparkly pale blue yarn from the bag, using a variegated light blue thread, and a star stitch on my machine. The borders have also been added by applying Wonder Under to the fabrics, and fusing them on the batting.

The left photo shows the piece during another mock-up to see if I still like the idea I had. I began fusing Angelina fibers for a "pond" water surface. The cheese cloth was used for the mossy bank along the water's edge, and to cover up the cross design on the lower border fabric. The right photo is after the yarn has been couched over the border seams, and free motion quilting in borders with variegated thread, and the center panel with gold metallic was done. The cheese cloth was sitched down with free motion meandering with variegated thread. The piece was then trimmed before beading.

The quilting shows better in this photo, and you can see the beads in the grass heads, and the button-like beads nestled into the cheese cloth along the pond bank.
I really think I have gone over the deep end, now. It took 5 hours while watching TV to do the beading in the grass heads, but I love the look!

Here is a closeup of part of the plant made from a glittery "silk" plant that was pulled apart. The gold stitching shows better here, too. The silk cocoons were cut and used for the flowers. I almost dyed the cocoons a fuschia color, but when I trialed things, I liked the white. The centers are from the leftover piece of the top beaded fringe trim.

Here is another detail shot, showing the couching on the center panel seams, some of the border quilting, and a bit of the beaded grass heads.

Here is a detail shot of the lower right corner, showing some of the cheese cloth, some Angelina, and beading. It also shows the couched yarn binding. The butterfly and ladybug are from my collection.

Well, here it is…… The whole thing! I scattered some beads in the side borders, and overpainted the butterflies with Super Sparkle paint. The butterflies may end up with something else done to them. They seem to jump out at me too much. I'll have to see. Definitely the most beading I have ever done on a quilt. I also have not decided on a name, yet.

Well, now onto maybe finishing that FFFC challenge quilt very late.

The next project I will be showing here, will be a top I painted today, to wear for fabric painting demonstrations. I found a stain on a favorite white top, so decided to paint it with "my" colors, so it won't matter if I slop a bit on it while working. I have done another that I wear a lot at home.  Now if I can get it to dry- Lots of clouds, but no good rain.

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I am a former textile artist and new pattern designer with a degree in horticulture, wishing to share my love of nature, flowers and gardens with everyone through my photos, sunprinted fabrics, and now pattern designs. Chronic Lyme Disease has caused major changes to the direction my life. I have to limit the amount of time spent digging in my gardens, and quilting has become more difficult. I discovered pattern design as a way to get art back into my life. I now use my gardens and photos to inspire designs that can be used on fabrics and print on demand items.

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