I spent about a month before the holidays making small quilted and beaded artworks with hangers that I call “ornaments” but most of them are too large to actually hang on a Christmas tree. I layer fabric with heavyweight stablizer like Timtex and use a gluestick to secure them. I quilt them, satin stitch or couch yarn around the edges, then embellish them with beads, yarn, etc. They are rather time-consuming to create and I don't really make much on them for the materials and time put into them, but people do buy them and seem to enjoy hanging them year round. Some of them are still hanging in River's Mist Gallery in Stevensville and in The Artist's Shop in Missoula. The prices on them range from $22 to $30. Here are some more:
Here are a couple of pieces that I made this fall. The first one was a project using pearl cotton and embroidery floss to make buttonhole stitches around circular objects like washers, plastic loops, pony beads, and whatever else you might find. I suspended them from the top of the quilt and called it “A Hoop That Never Ends” which is from a song in the Disney movie, Pocahontas and I believe refers to the circle of life.
The piece below, "Fade to Dark", started with the ombre fabric that fades from light orange/red to almost black. I love the textures and lines of this piece and I feel that the quilting was rather successful. This piece really glows when it is hanging on the wall. It has been in two galleries and the lighting really made it stand out. There is quite a bit of stamping using Lumiere fabric paint and a stamp I made myself. The beads are mostly dyed bone, but there is also a stone donut in the top left corner with a cascade of fiber strands dangling from it. The red strips in the area of criss-cross strips is a faux suede. I used a double flange around the inside of the binding which I think is quite effective for the piece. I have been using a lot of flanges, which are actually just unfilled piping, around the edges of my pieces. They are easy to do and add another shot of color to the "frame".
I found out yesterday that my piece, “Tapestry Strutting” (see my August 26, 2011 post for a picture) will be shown at the AQS Lancaster quilt show. They chose 202 quilts for the judged show and they have $44,000 in prize money. They are expecting at least 20,000 people so it is good exposure for my work. I was very happy to get that "fat" envelope in the mail. I thought it was somewhat of a risk to choose this piece because it is so different, but I think the color and the quilting are very effective. I have enjoyed living with it on my walls at home. Wish me luck---I'd love to get published in American Quilter magazine with all the winners again! [“Red Sky” won 3rd place at AQS Des Moines a couple of years ago so it was in the magazine]