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Thumbnail Quilts

They’re like thumbnail sketches only different.

I’ve been feeling as if I’m about to give birth to emotional art, but I can’t figure out what it is that I’m trying to get out of me. Meanwhile, I’ve been wanting to make a quilt, but I seem to be design stuck. I’m still wanting to make an Antarctica quilt, but I haven’t been able to figure out what I want on it and how I want to make it. Window with several panes? Collection of rectangles not all the same size but fitting into a nice rectangle? Part of it batik? I’ve been sketching, but I haven’t been able to work out what I wanted.

I decided to make thumbnail quilts experimenting with a couple ideas. What if I used a double thickness of variegated thread and reproduced the stylized pine tree that I’ve been putting on mugs? I grabbed some scrap material – linen/rayon blend because that was a solid and on top of the scrap pile. I grabbed some scrap batting. Cut batting, folded the scrap fabric around the batting, and proceeded to see if what I had in mind could come out of my hands. Then, I thought it might be interesting to try stippling by hand.

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Stippling by hand is…. ugly. I almost like the stylized pine tree. Maybe I’ll try an appliqué version. I might like that better. On the left, I tried quilting and leaving open spaces inside the tree. On the right, I tried quilting in the spaces inside the tree. I’m not wild about either of them.

So I tried a bit of variation. I got out embroidery floss and used three strands at a time. I grabbed a different color to make the veins in the leaf. I first thought about doing echo quilting like what’s found in traditional Hawaiian quilts. Then I got the idea that maybe French knots would work. It took a few tries before I figured out how to make French knots. It’s been a few years.

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I like the embroidery part and I may play around with abstract lines. The French knots aren’t all that exciting. I’ve now got some leaf ideas floating about my brain.

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Same blouse pattern but with the alternate hem. I really like this pattern. The blouse is cool, comfortable and I don’t have to wear a bra under it. What could possibly be better?

I also made Jim two pair of boxers from leftover fabric from this blouse, and leftover fabric from the set of pillowcases I made from fabric I bought for…. what was it I bought that fabric for? Must have been for pillowcases.

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Author:

I retired from the Public Defender Dept. November 12, 2015 after 21+ years as a criminal defense attorney. Now, I'm a full time multi-media artist and writer starting on a new adventure. As an artist, I create with beads, fabric, fiber, and ceramic clay. Sometimes separately; sometimes in assorted combinations. You can find my on-line store at: www.debthumanart.com.