Saturday, February 2, 2013

Heart Strings

When I was a very little girl there was a popular movie called "Meet Me In St. Louis" about the World's Fair that was held there.  One of the popular songs from it was The Trolley Song, sung by the female lead, Judy Garland.
Part of the lyrics are:
Clang, clang clang went the trolley
Ding, ding, ding went the bell.
Zing, zing, zing went my heat strings
For the moment I saw him I fell.
 If you go here you can read  all the lyrics, but be sure to play the video of Judy singing the song.

 Anyway I remember asking my mother what "heart strings" were.  I don't remember her answer, after all I was a very little girl, but here many years later are my heart strings.

The art quilt group of my guild, Northern Star Quilter's Guild, has a challenge every year that hangs at the guild's annual show.  This year we are doing a deck of cards.  We are to make a 12" x 16" piece that will go on a white backing that will contain the number and suit of the card.   I chose the Nine of Hearts, knowing just what I wanted to do and  thinking that I could whip this up in no time.

 It started out well enough.  I pieced together a lot of Dupioni silk strips and adapted my favorite teardrop  quilting shape to hearts and quilted madly away.  So far, so good.

 I knew that I wanted to have cut out heart shapes with thread lines sewn across.  I know that you can sew "on air" if you use a walking foot, but I wanted to do some definite designs on each one and I knew it would be easier if I put a piece of Solvy behind each one. I had done this before.  (See green ginkgo leaves below.)  I was all out of the usual plastic-like Solvy that I had used before, but I had paper Solvy that was supposed to rinse away with water.  I tried it on a sample and it worked just fine, so I proceeded to make each heart. When I was all through I submerged the piece in water and all the paper seemed to melt away. but when it was dry you could see bits of paper clinging to the thread. So I submerged it again, leaving it in the water a longer time and spraying each heart with the sprayer in my faucet.  Dried it and .........same thing.  Once more in the sink, this time with a little dish detergent and a gentle rub with a toothbrush.    Same results!    Rats!!!

That was enough!  I went over the thread with paint and it was a little better.  These will be displayed against white, so hopefully , those little white crumbs won't show.

 We were also supposed to have a found object somewhere on the quilt.  This was cut from one of those cheap  inexpensive Valentine necklaces that you can buy in the card stores.

 On this one I scribbled all over the Solvy.  Don't know why my satin stitch looks so bad.  I really can do better.  Again, see green ginkgoes below. Maybe I'll go over this one again.

 This one was sewn in air using the walking foot and no Solvy

 This is to show that I really have done this before with success. One year for the Journal Pages project at the  Houston show I did a series of Ginkgo leaves, using a different technique for each month.  Of course, this was March. I covered the whole thing with netting and that also was a help.  I didn't want to do it on the heart piece because I thought it would detract from the luster of the silk.


Martha said...

I love these cut-out leaves and hearts. At what point did you cut out the heart (or leaf)? After quilting the surface--cut through front, batting and backing? Then satin stitch around heart? I understand how the tulle or Solvy will help hold the shape after you have cut out. Very neat!

norma said...

Thanks,Martha. Yes, I quilted the whole thing rather densely, then cut out the shapes, then did the thread work, then the satin stitch edging.

Art by Rhoda Forbes said...

Norma, Heart strings is beautiful. I love the open space. Nice job.

Janice m said...

Love your work! I've done some cut out work and prefer the H2O type washable stabilizer myself...and still have had to use tweezers to get rid of the last bits! I'll remember the paint next time! LOL. Happy ?? Birthday and many more!

Sandy said...

I found that same problem when I used the paper solvy on top of a intensely thread painted piece! as I was working on tea dyed fabric, I had to go back in with a damp teabag and 'colour' all the paper made the whole piece a lot darker than I intended.
I haven't used it again, but if I do, I will put it on back to do the outlines and then thread paint on the front from there.
Sandy in the UK

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