Over the Edge

Date made: January 2004

Over the Edge

Another project hits the dust! woo hoo!

At this year's Pacific International Quilt show in Santa Clara, CA, I bought a kit called "Over the Edge" which included a FQ of original hand-printed fabric. The hand-printed fabric had 3 elements: a line drawing of a completely disorganized and cluttered sewing room, a title strip and a background strip of exclamatory words. The sample at the booth was delightful and I realized this would be a great scrap fabric project (not that it would make a huge dent in diminishing my scraps, but I wouldn't need to buy any new fabric to make it!).

Since I have recently completed other UFOs, I was hot to trot, so to speak. :-) Using the color photo as an example of what colors to put where (why mess with success concerning color placement when it has already been done for you?), I pulled similar colors and/or designs from my stash. I was very pleased to find that it was an extremely easy wall-hanging to put together. The directions call for partial coloring of the line drawing w/ fabric markers .... I wasn't about to go out and buy a whole bunch .. but experimentation with my Zig scrapbooking markers (which are permanent, acid-free and non-water-based) showed that they can successfully withstand the washer & dryer .. so those are the markers I used to color in the line drawing. [note added later: I should have realized that objects viewed from a distance need to have more vibrant color to be seen than objects seen up-close. I didn't color the line drawing very darkly, so the colors appear as though they are pastels. I should have colored them more firmly so the color would have been darker. More intense colors would have shown up better when viewed from across the room.]

My own rendition of the wall-hanging is slightly different from the kit's ... I have an extra vertical sashing on the right hand side. You'll see a series of topsy-turvy spools of thread at the bottom of the wall-hanging. Somehow, I managed to make the spools of thread larger than they should have been, resulting in a longer strip than the pattern calls for. To compensate, I added the extra vertical sashing. [shrug] eh .. I wasn't about to remake all those spools of thread.

The vertical band of lop-sided fabric strips on the left hand side represents the bolts of fabric in our sewing rooms. :-)

Then it came time for the actual quilting. I am truly dismal at coming up with novel ideas for quilting motifs; I tend to "stay in the box" and this wall hanging was no exception. I stippled in the black background areas and the background behind the purple star. I outlined stitched many objects in the line drawing .. you can't see the quilting cuz it's black just like the lines, but it does give a slightly dimensional feel to the center of the quilt. I found some continuous line hearts, both vertical and horizontal, that I sized to fit the various sashing bands. (I did the resizing by computer: I scanned in the quilting motif, edited it in my graphics editor to the different sizes that I needed. I was quite pleased at how (relatively) painless this was.). The 'fabric bolt' band was quilting in a continuous line vine motif. I used Superior's Glitter thread for decorative stitching and Aurofil for the stippling. The finished size is 2' x 3'.

Cautionary tale:This wall-hanging has been positioned on a *north-facing* wall that never EVER EVER gets ANY sunlight. Ever. There's natural daylight in the room, of course, but sunlight NEVER hits this wall where the wall-hanging is.

So it was with considerable surprise that I realized, at some point, the black print fabric ... which just looked so wonderful ... has faded. Quite a bit, in fact. Look at this sad picture and compare it to the one at the top of the page:

What can I learn from this?

  • Maybe that indirect sunlight, eventhough it may never hit the fabric, can indeed cause fabric to fade? Could be.
  • More than likely, the ink used in making this print was sub-standard. Other than consistently buying quality goods, I don't know how to avoid this. Even then, you can't always be sure that Quilt Quality Fabric is going to be 100% terrific. (Some of Jinny Beyer's saturated colors come to mind ... no matter how many soaks in Retayne or Synthrapol or use of Color Catchers, some of her fabrics just bleed and bleed and bleed. And ya never know which ones when you're buying it.)