Thursday, July 2, 2020

Second on the 2nd: Sunfeathers

For my second look, I like to share something that is reminiscent of the theme of our current host at Art Journal JourneyThis month with Erika's HOT theme I looked for something that reminded me of hot or heat.  But thanks to Valerie, it also fits Rain's Thursday Art Date with her theme Try a Different Medium.  More on that later.  This second look is from October 6, 2012 and is called


Thanks go to Kym at Totally Tutorials for playing matchmaker because I was able to receive these gorgeous feathers from Abakhan, a fabric, hobby, and craft company located in the United Kingdom.  As you can see, I have now received the feathers from the UK, along with a lovely postage stamp, which I considered a bonus.  I was even more thrilled that I received the yellow and orange feathers, which fit in nicely with an idea I had for a small art quilt.

In exchange for these lovely feathers, I agreed to create a tutorial using some of my hand dyed fabric and Abakhan's feathers.

Here is the completed project I call "Sunfeathers," and I will now step through the process.

Supplies clockwise from back left:

Plastic quilting ruler
Rotary cutter
Dressmaker tissue to be used for backing
Templates (plastic lids, 2 each)
Hand dyed fabric
Brown tulle
Rusted fabric
Self healing mat

Not shown:
Fabric scissors
Sewing machine
Stitchless fabric glue
Abakhan feathers

I welcome you to see how I dye my fabrics using various stamping reinkers and how I rust my fabric.  These processes are beyond the scope of this tutorial, but you will find hand dyed fabric and rust dyeing labels listed on my right sidebar or on my Tutorials page.

I cut two pieces of felt in my basement studio using my self healing mat, plastic quilting ruler, and a borrowed rotary cutter.  I decided the smaller felt piece was too small for the project.  At the same time, I auditioned the template I would use for the center of the Sunfeather.  I'm not very good at cutting, preferring to tear my fabric and materials.  Unfortunately, you can't tear felt. 

I was, however, able to tear my yellow fabric which I laid on the cut felt.   It was at that time I realized I had to iron this fabric.

Rusty fabric was called for when I needed some brown.

I had trouble using the borrowed rotary cutter to cut both the rusted fabric and the brown tulle.  I had to move to my other craft area to do this.  You can barely see the two layers of tulle I cut that will cover the rusty fabric.

It was now time to audition some brown buttons to go with the rusted fabric I would use for the Sunfeather center. 

I used E-6000, a strong silicone based glue found in most craft stores, to attach the buttons to the fabric.

While I waited for the glue to dry on the buttons, I sewed two pieces of dressmaker tissue together for the backing.  Although it's hard to see, I made a sunflower in the center with yellow thread.  This was quite a feat for me, because I have no feed dogs and no way to create free motion stitching.  Here the piece has been sewn, but not cut to size, which I will do after I attach it to the front.

After the glue holding the buttons was set, I added the two layers of tulle, which I purposely cut larger so I would have some overlap when I sewed around the buttons.

It was now time to sew the tulle to the center assembly.

After sewing around the buttons, it was time to cut the threads

and the excess tulle.

Next came the quilt assembly.  I began by placing a bit of batting behind the mottled hand dyed fabric and sewed it to the felt using variegated thread.  Then I sewed the decorated dressmaker's tissue to the reverse side of the felt and cut it to size.  Finally, I added the Sunfeather center using stitchless glue designed for fabric, a product found at most fabric stores.

Then came the magic!  When the feathers were added using the same fabric glue, the piece seemed to come alive.

I intentionally placed the Sunfeather center slightly off-center to the background and added an extra orange feather on the right side of the assembly.

The completed piece was scanned and a hanger was glued to the back.  Please click on the scanned image for a larger and overall view of this completed piece.

Once again, I want to thank Kym at Totally Tutorials and Abakhan for providing me with this opportunity to create this fun and colorful "Sunfeather" art quilt.  I hope I have shown that any mixed media artist with limited sewing skills (like mine) and any experienced seamstress who actually knows how to sew, can create something this beautiful and fun. Thank you for visiting.


As promised, the new mediums I used that would qualify for Rain's Thursday Art Date include the stitchless glue I used for the first time, thread sketching the sunflower to the back of the art quilt (because I have no way to drop my feed dogs, so trying to draw the sunflower in thread [yes, it's called thread sketching] was hit and miss), and using decorative feathers for the first time. For a new technique, I also cut the felt, tulle, and rusted fabric (because I'm a person who tears, not cuts).

Now it's your turn to share your Second on the 2nd.  The rules are quite simple and everyone is welcome to join the fun look back.  All you have to do is bring back a post that you are especially proud of, or perhaps one you shared before anyone knew your blog existed.  It could even be a post that is as relevant today as it was when you originally posted it.  Any post, any genre, any artistic endeavor is acceptable.  Then link below (direct links only, please) and Bleubeard and I, along with other Second on the 2nd friends, will be by to visit.  Please be aware this link is only open through the 6th, when T Tuesday goes live, so linking on the 2nd is preferred.

I know many of you prefer Mr. Linky rather than Inlinkz, so today we will use Mr. Linky for our direct links.

26 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

I'm glad you were able to find something to fit both challenges. I had to think about it, too, as I wanted to combine 3 challenges....Thanks fo sharing the tutorial, the sunfeather quilt is gorgeous. I always love playing with feathers, too, which I pick up on m walks or buy at the Euro shop. Have a great day, look after your eye! I have had 14 big eye OPs to date, and know how important it is. Valerie

Elkes Lebensglück said...

The sun feather quilt is so beautiful and how you designed it with all the preparations for dyeing is fantastic.
You can be proud of this wonderful work.
I wish you a nice day and take care of yourself!
Greetings Elke

Iris Flavia said...

I sure admire your sewing!
If you keep showing this... I might try it, too! Ingo´ll have two weeks off and might try out the 70´s sewing machine our dear neighbour gave him and if it works I might ask him to show me, too (but... it looks so difficult, bad memories of an awful teacher in grade 7, too. Maybe I just enjoy your work after all!)...
Feather, I do have, though!

Munavarah Girls Orphanage said...

I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. Thank for sharing!

craftytrog said...

A stunning piece, and great to see your process photos too Elizabeth! Very inspiring 😊
Alison xx

Barbara said...

Amazing imagination and creativity in this piece!

CJ Kennedy said...

A fun piece. I enjoyed seeing your process and your sewing machine. Enjoy your day

kathyinozarks said...

Awesome post Elizabeth-I will back to really read everything-looks fun-I am off to churn some ice cream this morning and start getting the house ready for the 4th hugs said...

Bright and happy sunfeathers :) terrific piece ~ Enjoy your day!

My name is Erika. said...

This is a really cool hot page. I didn't know you back in 2012 so it is nice to see this page and all your great stitching and feathers. Those are gorgeous hot colors! Hope your month has started well. Hugs-Erika

Sharon Madson said...

Your Sunfeather art is beautiful, Elizabeth! And yes, here I am! Can you believe it? Thank you for letting me join in today.

Sandra Cox said...

Sunfeather is definitely fun. Lots of steps!
How's the eye?

Rain said...

Hi Elizabeth! :) What a fun post. I love your quilt, it's so creative. I can't wrap my head around how you sewed that pattern...very cool. I have a sewing machine but I really only use it for straight stitching and maybe some zig zaggy stuff. Quilting is something I really want to try out one day. I'm a big feather fan though haven't used it in my art yet. I just stick the feathers in my hats! :)

Christine said...

wonderful work on these challenges Elizabeth, thanks for showing your process.

Darla said...

Although I don't sew, I enjoyed seeing your process. The colors really stand out in the finished piece. Perfect for the challenge.

da tabbies o trout towne said...

this turned out really nice Elizabeth though I dare not say anything to de tabbies about the "burd skin" !!!

bleu N squiggles~~~~heerz two a noize free... safe.... N happee week oh end :) ♥♥

kathyinozarks said...

I am sorry about eye Elizabeth, I read about it on Sharon's page I think it was. Hope you heal quickly-hugs
Yes I figured out I had celiac back in the '90s so its been awhile not eating gluten

Barbara said...

Thanks Elizabeth, for the visit and the comment. I feel good about you recognizing my painting) in spite of having challenged vision). I wondered if anyone would! It was fun to branch out. �� I hope your eye is healing well!

pearshapedcrafting said...

What fabulous colours! I do hope your eye is feeling a little bit better! Take care! Hugs, Chrisx

DVArtist said...

Wow Wow and wow! This is AWESOME!!!! I loved seeing every aspect of how you created this. It is hot too. Love those colors!!!! Hope your eye is healing.

Rita said...

Wow! Beautiful hot colors and a great tutorial. :)

Meggymay said...

Sorry I am late, this seems to be my usual greeting just now. I loved reading the post and seeing the way you used the feathers, it is a beautiful quilt and the bright colours are gorgeous.
Hope your eye is mending.
Stay safe.
Yvonne xx

Andrea @ From The Sol said...

Your process was mind boggling and your results were amazing ... you are right, when I clicked on it, I could see all of the textures. This is really a beautiful piece. I am impressed with several things ... your talent, of course, you ability to keep Bluebeard away from your feathers and finally that your scissors wear jewelry :) This was fun to watch, my friend, and probably that much more fun for you to do ... even the sunflower in your backing. Cheers for you ... can you hear them? Stay safe and be well ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

Gillena Cox said...

Very very interesting


Divers and Sundry said...

oooo, what a pretty piece! I like the colors :)

NatureFootstep said...

lol, I love your sun. It even have some spots on it. Looks beautiful with the feathers.