Paper Piecing in Rubber and Chihuly Improv

Creativity comes rushing in at least for me in frantic bursts. And ideas are served up best with some great materials to create with. This last week I gathered together a suede coat donated by a friend, some scrap upholstery leather and left over coat leather and a motor cycle inner tube.

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An encounter with a paper piecing pattern I have wanted to try and a desire to use nonstandard materials for this very traditional quilting method collided and a bag front in paper pieced suede and rubber materialized.  Of note I did have to rely on my industrial machine to piece these together and ended up quilting them down to a heavy interfacing to help it all lie flat.  It turns out rubber doesn’t iron very well.

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Encouraged by some instagram friends to make this a girl bag instead of a boy bag and the fact that it was rocking a Joan Jett/The Runaways vibe (thanks Kirsty) set the stage for a “Cherry Bomb” back with reverse appliqué in leather and rubber.

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I used some leftover coat leather for the sides, bottom and handle. If you look closely, you can see a 007 insignia barely visible on the bottom, a remnant of the coat with that marking that was donated for my creative cause.

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It’s already been claimed by an interested friend (to be honest with most projects, I can’t wait to give them away fast enough so as to clear my space and brain). Although not shown, the bag has an inserted zipper pocket inside and a magnetic clasp at the top. The bag design from top to bottom is my own.

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I completed the first blocks for our first Bee Sewcial month this last week as well.  This month’s inspiration was the Chihuly exhibit in the Denver Botanical Gardens. What an interesting exercise this was. I feel a bit like I am in art school watching myself and everyone else make their self portraits.  I find myself surprised how different all our blocks look from each other’s (heck, my three blocks don’t share much similarity).  I wish Stephanie the best in putting them all together into a cohesive creation (no small feat).

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I experimented with curved piecing (which was a tad tricky when trying to make the vertical “glass” overlap) on the first block above.

On the second block influenced by some of the “hard lines” of other pieces in our group, I improv pieced triangles together.  I  inserted some pieced blue orb scraps that were cut from a failed too literal attempt at stacked blue glass balls.

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The last block is probably the most “me” and was inspired by some of Sarah Nishiura’s work. I needed a break from all the red I have been working with so concentrated more on the blue and yellow colors in Chihuly’s work trying to mirror the vertical bursts of blue and yellow glass seen in the garden.

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I have made some more wonderful connections this week, there is more collaborative work coming and I am anxious to start hand quilting my 5/325 quilt.

Happy Monday all,

Hillary