Once upon a time, (actually 4 or 5 years ago) there was a Shop Hop. And with that Shop Hop, there was a quilt block that all the shops were to use to create a quilt. Each shop had the same block and were free to use the block in what ever design we chose.
For our shop, several of the girls worked on the quilt that Jessica had designed. The block was constructed in various color ways and Jessica chose several appliques from McKenna Ryan’s beautiful patterns to enhance the border. The quilt was looking very nice. The colors were bright and cheerful, but the quilt was also becoming VERY- VERY Large ! Oh, we all had good intentions. We were planning on filling the border with tons of McKenna’s appliques but, as is always the case, we just ran out of time. The border was extremely wide, and well…………it was a little empty. But, not to worry. We can quilt something really fabulous to fill it up. Right? Wrong!!!!
Oh, no. Now that would just be too easy! I have to decide to go and get all creative and create hours of work for myself. And, did I mention that it was just a few days till the opening of The Shop Hop. Isn’t that the way it always goes. You always get your best ideas when you’re in a crunch. I don’t know about you, but I think I do my best work when I’m in a state of complete panick.
Now, while you are reading and looking at the pics, (which were taken before the gift of the good camera I’m afraid, be sure and think about the mess I made in “My Room” and all the fun I had making it.
There were quite a few appliques in the lower border, but just not enough to fill it up. You can see there is a large clam, along with fish and the sea-horse, several sea shells and star fish, different appliques of coral and sponge, a few little Nemo’s and seaweed in various colors here or there. The bottom of the quilt had the most appliques, but still it was just a little empty, and as you went up the sides of the quilt toward the top, the appliques became fewer.
It really needed a little something to connect it all together, so I put on my thinking cap and then it hit me. “Snippets”! I remembered the technique called ” Snippets”.
Well, just let me tell you that the creative juices started flowing and I never looked back. I grabbed any and all fabric scraps of anything and everything I could find. I randomly and with complete abandon, cut it all up into tiny little nuggets. I threw all those pieces in a bag and went crazy adding snips of every thread in every color I could find that would compliment the quilt. I added metallic threads in different colors, variegated threads, solid color threads of all types and of course Ricky Tim’s Razzle Dazzle, some Halo and anything else I could find that wasn’t already stitched to something or holding something together. After looking at my collection in the bag, I closed my eyes and gave it a few shakes. I looked inside and low and behold, I had created a concoction that just might work as the ocean floor.
Now, the quilt was already loaded on the machine, wouldn’t you know it, so I just sprinkled and spread all those snippets where ever there were empty spaces, held my breath and stitched it with the longarm and some metallic thread. I blew away the excess snippets with compressed air, (hence the mess in “My Room” ) and continued on.
All in all, it looked pretty good, but needed a little height and color in places. I cut long wavy edged strips of various lengths and colors of fabric and free form appliqued them in place with my longarm. It still needed more, but I couldn’t quite decide what to do.
Paint! I’m going to paint. I had tons of paint that I had bought at a quilt show from a vendor and if I’m not mistaken, it was fabric paint. So with paint brush in hand, and no earthly idea what I was going to do, I started painting. I added green sea weed with gold highlights , and random dabs of maroon and gold metallic paint to fill in.
And then it happened. I wanted to paint fish and sea horses and well, I got a little carried away. So just let me show the pictures.
Wasn’t that little puff fish applique cute?
Yep, I painted those sea horses!
Jessica wanted a fish bowl in the middle where she had applqued some adorable fish. I had some netting, so I laid it over the fish and using my longarm, I stitched a circle. I trimmed the excess netting close to the stitch and still using my longarm, I added a satin stitch around the edge. Now, that took some time! A piece of batik was added to the top and bottom in the same manner as the net. I added different colors of stones and beads behind the net and to hold the net down, I did some wavy satin stitched lines thru all the layers.
And after all that, I finally did some quilting.
The quilt was finished the morning of the opening day of The Shop Hop, and Jessica and I had just finished hanging it when the doors opened.