Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Little Hummy Art Quilt

I'm starting another "Work In Progress," and I think I will be inspired enough to actually finish it! I'm calling it my "Hummy Art Quilt", cleverly named because it has hummingbirds and flowers. 

First of all, something we should probably always remember -- this is an adaptation of a copyrighted pattern, but I'm making it for my own personal use. I'm acutely aware of this because I make and sell my own designs and books and wouldn't want anyone else reproducing my patterns for resale. 

It's part of the reason I won't post the entire pattern, but I'll take pictures as I work and share some of the things I've learned about B.E. stitches and techniques that I'll be using.

To give proper credit, I bought the book of quilt patterns at an estate sale several years ago. Patterns were made by a quilter named Patricia Cox. She still designs and has a website. When I looked at the pattern over the years, I realized that -- doubled in size -- the flowers were a perfect size for our Brazilian embroidery flowers.

So I went shoppping for fabric!
The Michael Miller fabric is "Fairy Frost" and I'm stitching on the lighter green. The darker green will divide the flower/birdie vignettes and to add dimension I (not being a "true" quilter) decided to finish the frames in the Attic Window quilt style -- my version.
The frames between each "window pane" are made with the darker color. I used my bias tape maker (a sewing tool) to get evenly-folded fabric dividers, tucked strips of Steam-A-Seam or Wonder Under (one of those sticky-back things that comes on rolls) and ironed the "frames" in place.
       Then I blind-stitched them in place so they wouldn't shift as I am stitching.  I left the folds along the outside edges opened flat so I could add border strips (sashing, I think) along the edges when I'm finished with my Brazilian embroidery.
Like this:
These pictures aren't actual "true" color because I'm using indoor light for my photos. I'll work on mastering that next. I found (so far) that Iris #050 is a really lovely match with the fabric, and I have several dye lots of that color (shaded avocado green).

Well ... next I traced the enlarged pattern with flowers and hummies onto the fabric. 
     I decided there wasn't quite enough contrast between the icy light green and the willow leaf-colored darker green, so that's why I'm doing the Attic Windows thing ... with my sewing machine and a handy-dandy zigzag stitch using darker green rayon sewing thread.  I think I like it so far ...
Now I'm ready to start my Brazilian embroidery. I backed my fabric with poly/cotton blend Symphony Broadcloth (100% cotton would probably shrink) -- the fancy fabric has already been pre-laundered, whew!
     And I mounted my lined fabric on wooden stretcher bars (the 1" x 1" kind), attaching the fabric with a household stapler. (Although most people would use brass tacks, I use whatever is handy!)
      By the way, when my embroidery is all finished, this project will (still on the stretcher bars) go into either the sink or the bathtubby to soak out my blue wash-out Marvy pen marks.

I have more pictures, but will save them for next time!


  1. Great idea, Rosalie! I'll be anxiously watching your project "bloom"! You've taught me so much about BDE, that I feel good that I, as a quilter turned BDEer, can reciprocate and teach you a little about quilting terms. Your "frames" are actually the sashings of the little wallhanging and the outside pieces that you'll add later are borders. Just like BDEers are purists about a dimensionally embroidered piece not being Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery unless made out of Rayon threads, quilters won't call it a quilt unless it's layered with some type of batting and backing and then all three layers stitched together in some way. Isn't it amazing how defined we've gotten within each needlework catagory? Makes your head spin trying to keep it all straight. Anyway...whether you decide to add batting or not....I think your "Little Hummy" creation is going to be wonderful!!
    Sherry J

  2. Oh...Rosalie....watching you start blogging has inspired me to start posting on my blog again! Thank you! I needed that push.
    I've got a project that I've wanted to do from a needlework book by Country Bumpkin. It was originally done in wools, but I'm going to adapt it to BDE and do it on linen. I plan to change the many of the flowers used in the design to some of those inspired by talented BDE designers and teachers like yourself. Wish me luck!
    Sherry J