Thursday, March 6, 2008

Grapes continued...

Many thanks for the comments on my beaded grapes. I was asked where to find the drop beads and I've included one website under favorite artists and websites on the right side of my blog. These beads come in several sizes and I find the smaller ones work best for crazy quilt motifs.

Since grapes make wonderful embellishments for crazy quilting I thought I would share other motifs I have made. The first is a large grape leaf cut from hand-dyed silk. I've made templates in several sizes, traced the outline onto silk with a pencil, and then burned the edges.

The grapes in this motif are French knots made with 7mm variegated silk ribbon. A few #11 purple beads are attached to the leaf along with the veins using either a stem stitch or feather stitch.

I enjoy adding the tiny tendrils made from a single-ply flower thread. Wet a length of the thread with Aleene's Stiffen Quik (Quick Drying Fabric Stiffening Spray). Wrap the thread tightly on a pin and allow to dry thoroughly. I leave a long tail on the tendril to use in attaching it to the fabric. I purchased the Stiffen Quik from Hobby Lobby but I'm sure it's available through other fabric and craft stores.

The tendrils can be seen more clearly in the picture to the left. These grapes are made with the cast-on stitch. Sharon Boggon offers a great tutorial for doing the cast-on on her blog.

My most rewarding experience with creating grapes developed from my 2006 WTWW calendar creation; "Grape Expectations." Many of you are familiar with the wonderful work done by Victoria Adams Brown in bringing awareness to the issues of breast cancer.

I dyed all my fabrics with the exception of the silk dupioni that covered the bra. I had 3 sizes of grape leaves, hand-dyed and then painted with highlights. I used the product mentioned above, Alleene's Stiffen Quik, to make the leaves hold their shape.

The grapes were formed with small circles of hand-dyed silk filled with fiberfill. I found if I used beads I could dangle them in clusters.

The vines were made with floral wire wrapped in 7mm silk ribbon. I cannot tell you what a joy it was to make this bra. It is so rewarding to start with a piece of white silk and an idea and watch it develop.


Allison Ann Aller said...

So THAT is how you made those tendrils!!! I always wondered, and now I know thanks to your generosity with your discoveries. Thanks so much, Barbara...~xo Allie

Sharon said...

Oh Barbara your work is just gorgeous...I just found your site through another cq'er and I will be back...thanks for sharing such beautiful art with us

Rissa said...

I love the story of taking it from blank fabric to finished design. Go Barbara!