When I left on in my last post about this quilt, I had shared the dyeing process and the stones and lettering. Next, I fused trees in the four seasons into the corners. I distorted the shape so the tree canopy served as a frame. I had thought initially I might need an inner border, perhaps couched yarn or stitching of some sort, but the shape of the tree worked so well I didn’t need anything extra. As I did with the stones, I cut out leaves, LOTS of leaves, separating the colors into the ice cube tray so I could place them carefully.
I did the stitching around the stones and on the trees, including the leaves, at the top stage with stabilizer underneath. (See my post here to learn more about my current article for Machine Quilting Unlimited on the Fourth Layer–stabilizer– for densely thread painted quilts.) I removed the stabilizer everywhere except for under the center because I knew I would want to quilt that area more densely than the rest of the quilt.
Then, I had to decide what threads to use in the dark areas. My sewing tables (two back to back) are each 24 inches, so I have a nice, HUGE flat surface to support the quilt as I work.
With all the manipulation, I realized that some of the ink had rubbed off, despite being REALLY careful to heat set it according to directions. I wrote immediately to friends Judy Coates Perez and Susan Brubaker Knapp to seek guidance. Judy had only used the regular colors, not the metallics. And Susan had an article in the just-out issue of Quilting Arts about lettering, including these inks! She too discovered that the metallics seem to “shed” a bit.
After re-inking and heat setting, I tested on my scrap cloth several products to seal the ink including GAC 900 (a textile medium that one adds to paint), a UV Coating, matte gel medium, and Krylon Spray Fixative which says it is acid-free, archival and safe on fabric. Only the Krylon didn’t leave tell-tale signs that it had been used. So I carefully masked off the rest of the quilt, leaving only the lettering area exposed and sprayed the Krylon on it (stinky!) in hopes that will help prevent the mica flakes in the gold ink from coming off.
I was nearly done, except that I didn’t really care for the multiple layers of thread I had used stitching the sun. Picking it out did NOT appeal to me. So I trekked down to Clementine fabrics in Rockland and bought some perle cotton in the right color.
At last, it was nearly DONE! Time for facings, sleeve and label.
And I couldn’t resist the temptation to place a moon behind the sun as my label. One more time with the dip pen!
This quilt will be for sale–another reason I opted to not include a lot of personal details in the quilt. As I said before, I am happy!