Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Remember to Play - A Mixed Media Quilt

Remember to Play
Approx. 9" x 12"
Paper, fabric, embellishments - some found on-hand
Original design
Completed 3/4/2012

After reading a few mixed media quilt magazines, I decided to try my hand at a mixed media quilt. Follow along below to see how I made it.

Starting point: greeting card from the grocery store. Background fabric, backing, buttons, red/gold fabric were from my stash.

I cut a piece of background fabric without measuring. Then I cut the backing a little larger than the background.

This old lady still plays marbles. I found that fascinating.

I put a piece of scrap batting between the background and backing, then did a fancy stitching along the edge. I chose red thread so the stitching would stand out. Why not? I'm not worried about perfection here.

Edge stitching is done. It is enough to hold the edges together. I don't plan to bind.

Trimmed off the excess batting, then did some simple quilting - in red.

Here's how it looks from the back.

Taped the card in place.

I wanted some kind of saying. I decided on Remember to Play. "To" was nowhere on the greeing card, so I dug through my shred and found an ad with a "to" that was large, colorful and interesting.

Here is my saying.

Using glue to hold the paper words in place, I stitched the card and the words to the quilt. I used red for the card so it would stand out, and white for the words.

Here's a close-up of the stitching.

It needed a little something, so I found this red ribbon in my stash.

I cut a length of ribbon that looked good. One edge was kind of raggedy to begin with, so I frayed the other edge, too.

Red ribbon is topstitched. The piece looks pretty good. It only took a couple of hours to make.

After looking at the piece for a few days, it felt like it needed a little more embellishment. I found some marble-looking buttons and some red ones at the store, just as I was hoping.  Also, my friend Lena R. gave me a small treasure box full of beads and what-not. I chose some tiny black beads.

Trying out the beads and buttons. I like how the red ribbon looks.

It's hard to see, but the back side of the buttons have little indentations in them, kind of like golf balls, which makes them interesting and playful.

Not entirely happy with this layout.

I kind of like the buttons off to one side, but there's too much empty space next to them.

In the end, I liked the look of four buttons along the bottom. I used the plain side, by the way. I like how they are crooked, too - rather playful. It didn't take too long to sew on the beads and buttons - less than two hours, while I watched Celebrity Apprentice. I'm really glad I added those embellishments. The piece really feels finished now.

I enjoyed making this mixed media quilt. I had to quiet the perfectionist in me, and just let things be non-parallel, asymmetrical, crooked, frayed, etc. This was an art piece, and art doesn't have to neat and tidy. Also I told myself it was okay if the pieced failed, I would learn a lot, and that the next piece would be better. 

I will definitely try another soon. I've already bought a card!

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